VenueFrancesca Beale Theater
Tonight we revive one of the truly defining films of the great American independent horror movie renaissance of the 1970s. Locating the sweet spot between grindhouse and grand guignol, Tobe Hooper’s grisly classic is still potent almost 40 years later. Five youngsters on a rural road trip pick up—and quickly ditch—a demented self-mutilating hitchhiker before stumbling upon his kinfolk, the operators of an abbatoir/meat smokehouse. Death by meathook, sledgehammer, and chainsaw await the unwary kids, until the proverbial final girl (played by Marilyn Burns, one of cinema’s greatest screamers) is left to be tormented by her deranged captors in a veritable charnel house. Hooper’s film is one of a select group of this genre that reach such heights of off-the-charts hysteria that horror and comedy not only become indistinguishable, but are revealed as kissing (or maybe screaming) cousins. “Who will survive and what will be left of them?” proclaimed the film’s poster. Come and find out for yourself.