::: Pepper Landis
me describe the story for you (yes, there is a story). Imagine it’s 1973 and a group of college-age kids in a micro van are on a trip via a long, desolate stretch of road. They’re laughing, having fun, smoking dope, and enjoying some good conversation. Early in the story the kids come across a stranger along the road and the mystery begins.
The group winds up stranded at a spooky old house with a horrific man donning a mask and chasing each of the characters through tunnels, hidden passageways and in and out of dungeons. The first person to get it is the leader and driver of the van—I don’t remember his name but let’s call him “Freddie”—and his death is gruesome. Next on the chopping block is the scared but loyal-as-a-dog friend who sets off to save Freddie. His cowardly and shaggy friend wants him to “split,” leaving the girls behind to face the monster alone, but “Scooby”—let’s call him—refuses this advice and wades in, assuring his own demise. Expectedly, the shaggy, dope-smoking, hippie dude . . .
Aw, screw it! Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a direct rip-off of Scooby Doo,Where Are You? with one important twist. Instead of the gang solving the mystery and pulling off the mask of the caretaker of the haunted amusement park, we have “Leatherface” wearing the faces of people he has killed. In one truly eerie scene, Leatherface is wearing Freddie’s face. He’s hunting anyone within reach of his chainsaw and killing them.
Importantly, he’s killing everyone, that is, but the most central character—“Daphne.” Maybe he’s just a guy with a crush on the ever-so-hot Daphne. Maybe he’s wearing Freddie’s face in an attempt to fool his love into his arms. Well, probably not. He probably just wants to kill her and wear her legs on his head like antennas. So, he’s a bit different than most of us.
Still, the creators of this film have allowed every red-blooded American boy who grew up in the 60s and 70s to live out his fantasy—get rid of Freddie, Velma, and Shaggy, and keep Daphne for yourself! Granted, I hated to see Scooby get killed, but his heart would have been broken seeing Shaggy take that chainsaw to the crotch.
In many senses, it is a happy ending. In the same sick manner that we wanted Wile E. Coyote to catch the Road Runner, I was happy not to hear the discredited bad guy complain of how he would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those meddling kids and their pesky dog!