The Finale. And of course, all of this imagery is
tied together by one of the more powerful closing sequences
I've seen in any film. I've watched Chainsaw with
people who did not enjoy it at all, and even they couldn't
help but applaud after seeing the final seconds. Sally emerges
from the bowels of hell to a thin artery of civilization,
Texas Highway 172. A passing trucker helps her escape by running
over The Hitchhiker and slowing Leatherface down with a wrench
to his head. She jumps in the back of another passing truck
and escapes, which spurns Leatherface into an epic dance of
frustration. As she speeds away, she laughs like a maniac
at the monster's demonstration. Yes, she has been forced into
a totally deranged state, but there's hope in the laughter
too; maybe part of her is still able to feel victorious.
But cut back to Leatherface
and his chainsaw ballet. What happens now? Does another truck
come speeding over the hill, taking care of Leatherface too?
Does Sally go to the nearest town and tell the police her
story, so that the family can be brought to justice? It doesn't
matter; the world is now a different place. As Leatherface
pirouettes in rage, his form bleeding into the backdrop of
a blood-red Texas sunset, the picture stops cold and credits
roll. Evil survives. Pure poetry. Give Gunnar Hansen an Oscar
for the dance alone.
Best of all,
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Companion
by Stefan Jaworzyn is out now on Titan Books.