A chainsaw killer’s message of compassion

OK. This is not strictly theatre-related, but NYC-based playwright James Comtois is doing a wonderful series of short essays on seminal horror films at his Jamespeak blog. So far, he’s covered John Carpenter’s 1979 slasher classic Halloween, George Romero’s 1978 zombie touchstone Dawn of the Dead, and Tobe Hooper’s 1974 buzz-kill The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

These are uncommonly insightful little essays, especially his 1240-word piece on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre:

“I admit I find it vaguely amusing that such a vicious and graphic film is ultimately a plea for vegetarianism, but then again many of the horror films of the ’70s were far from subtle with their messages.”

Even if you’ve never seen these films (or seen them and not liked them), Comtois does a great job of peeling back the layers of mystique surrounding them – offering some persuasive theories as to how and why they’ve lodged themselves in our collective conscious.

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