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The Texas Chain Saw Massacre$
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James Rose

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781906733643

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906733643.001.0001

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The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and the BBFC

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and the BBFC

(p.19) The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and the BBFC
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

James Rose

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses how the succession of events surrounding the British censorship of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) is perhaps one of the longest in the annals of the British Board of Film Classification's (BBFC) history. Before the film was submitted for classification at the then titled British Board of Film Censors, Chain Saw Massacre had already garnered a growing global reputation as being one of the most frightening films ever made. While this would seem to imply that such a film would be statured in scenes of graphic violence and bloodshed, this imposed status for Chain Saw came about from the very fact that there was so little violence and gore within it. Instead, audiences and critics were affected by the film's sheer emotional intensity, experiencing the horrific events, almost in real time, alongside protagonist Sally Hardesty. With the majority of films across all genres, such a reputation serves only to stimulate an increased audience curiosity and anticipation, potentially indicating larger audience figures (and therefore larger financial return) on the film than initially expected. Indeed, Chain Saw was eagerly anticipated but its most effective quality would impede its UK cinema release for nearly twenty-five years.

Keywords:   British censorship, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, BBFC, film classification, UK cinema, film censorship

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