The Fashion & Aesthetics of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

In earlier posts we’ve looked at the fashion and style of Haddonfield, horror villains in general and Camp Crystal Lake (twice). This week we’re headin’ to Texas, alleged home of the NASA Space Center, Cordell Walker (aka Walker, Texas Ranger), the breed of cattle known as ‘longhorns’ and far too many families of ravenous, psychotic cannibals to name. We’re accompanied this go ’round by Brittney-Jade Colangelo, professional baton twirler, horror twitter-er, world-renowned hostess of dayofwoman.com, and recently crowned Ms. Horror Blogosphere 2009. So join Brittney-Jade, Jon and myself in breaking the cardinal rule by “messing with Texas” as we delve into the fashion sense and interior decorating choices present in 1974’s foliage-unfriendly classic — The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

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Jon: If I remember correctly, that’s the THIRD time in this film they’ve had to pull the van over to look for her pasties.

Brittney-Jade: Little known fact, she used those diamond cutters to make a hole in the side of the van. Her friend’s hot-pants make it very difficult to move and the sliding door just wasn’t cutting it.

Corey: see video

Jon: In early drafts, the film was called “The Kentucky Corncob Massacre,” and Strawhead was the original villain.

Corey: Ya know, pardner… sometimes you wear the hat, and sometimes the hat wears you.

Brittney-Jade: I knew it was bad to have a denim jacket with denim pants, but for some reason a denim polo, denim overalls, and a straw hat just screams CLASSY!

Jon: He wore a snappy dress shirt, nicely pressed pants, and brand new patent leather shoes, but, tragically, he forgot to put on his parachute.

Corey: What is with all the denim and heavy materials, Franklin? It’s not like you didn’t know you were going to Texas in the summer. And those shoes look like something your hateful mom bought you for the first day of Kindergarten.

Brittney-Jade: I’d be frustrated too if I was wearing double denim in a wheelchair. I’m pretty sure he knows he looks awful, but he can’t get anyone to help him change.

Jon: INVISIBLE MEATBALL SUB

Corey: Wearing a chicken breast as a necklace is both a fashionable and utilitarian choice.

Brittney-Jade: First someone interrupts his voodoo ritual makeup application, then someone bashes his chicken necklace, and THEN someone steals his lunch. Today is just not his day.

Corey: No, Franklin that shirt doesn’t make you look fat. But the Baby Ruth fashion accessory isn’t exactly slimming.

Brittney-Jade: I see his winter coat is coming in nicely. All we need is a gold chain and a nightclub and we’ll have ourselves one hell of a looker.

Jon: I’m pretty sure this guy would run around buck-hairy-ass-naked if he didn’t need pockets for his candy bars.

Jon: This is an age-old story of the haves and the have-nots. He’s clearly strutting around with enough fabric in those bell bottoms to make a sail, and yet that other poor girl hasn’t got enough for even a decent tube top.

Brittney-Jade: I have to wear these stupid white bell bottoms?! IT’S EVEN AFTER LABOR DAY! Greg gets to wear jeans, Why can’t I?! My sister gets to walk around topless! MARSHA MARSHA MARSHA!

Corey: Jerry, on the left, is following the ‘worms’ sign inside to buy some night-crawlers so he can take the homeless children fishing. The homeless children that have been taking shelter under his bell-bottoms since Tuscon.

Corey: “It says Smoked Sausage on the package,” says Franklin. “So you smoke it. Like a cigarette.”

Jon: This is the precise moment we know the kids are in a heap of trouble. Pam’s hand gets stuck in the van’s window, Kirk becomes mesmerized by his own reflection in a puddle, and Franklin suddenly sprouts a very large wart.

Brittney-Jade: I use my bandannas as shirts all the time. Especially when hanging out with my two-tone denim boyfriend. And my double denim handicapped pal.

Jon: He may be a murderous cannibal, but Leatherface knows how to dress the part of a proper Texas host. Notice the matching lime-green apron and facial mask, accentuated with a delightfully droll tie depicting a slab of fatback ham.

Corey: The mask may say “it’s party-time,” but the tie tells you he’s all business.

Brittney-Jade: Someone is in desperate need of some botox and a washing machine. At least Gerber baby food green is the new black.

Brittney-Jade: Greg has gotten all grown up now, complete with Burt Reynolds chest hair. He’s been trying to grow the moustache for years, but this’ll do for now.

Jon: I get the feeling that at any moment he’s going to do a soft-shoe routine to the tune of “I’m Just a Gigalo”

Corey: I was thinking he looked more like he’s about to replicate Robert Hays’ “Staying Alive” disco scene from Airplane.

Corey: Craig’s List can be really hit-or-miss. The description said “ADORABLE Overstuffed Reclining Love Seat $300!”

Jon: THIS is what happens when you order a couch from Ikea and then assemble it after doing way too much peyote.

Brittney-Jade: Even Billy Mays couldn’t sell me this. Zombie Billy Mays…that’s a different story.

Brittney-Jade:I feel like this is the shirt Zack Braff rejected for Garden State, but the glasses that inspired Sally Jessy Raphael.

Jon: Riiiiiiii-cola!

Corey: Jerry had a solid plan of wearing clothing that blended into the underbrush to avoid detection from local cannibals, but his unfortunate habit of screaming Skynard lyrics at the top of his lungs when nervous did eventually draw Leatherface’s attention.

Corey: Jerry was horribly embarrassed when he realized he’d accidentally worn a throw rug that morning and left his shirt out for Stanley Steamer.

Brittney-Jade: Poor guy, the darts he put in his shirt actually accentuated his man boobs. This is why I get my clothes fixed by Americans.

Jon: That’s either the ugliest shirt I’ve ever seen, or it’s a very clever attempt to disguise himself as the rug that’s draped across the railing.

Jon: I find it disturbing that Leatherface look so incredibly sad in this picture. It’s as if he’s spent the entire day in the kitchen, then got all dressed up, put on his best skin mask, and nobody has shown up for the party.

Corey: So ronery…

Brittney-Jade: That’s the last time I’m buying facial lotion from Buffalo Bill.

Jon: Grandpa has the kind of confidence you just don’t see in contemporary horror villains. He’s brazenly wearing a pink shirt with a polka-dot tie, and he is so relaxed and calm that he can just nod right off in the middle of his own movie.

Corey: Say what you will about the Leatherface clan, but there’s no denying their fashion ethic. Even when slicing meat or bashing in a girl’s head with a hammer, a tie is a MUST. Do they eat people… yes, yes they do. But they do so with unmatched style and sophistication.

Brittney-Jade: Apparently, he didn’t get the memo that we weren’t buying facial lotion from Buffalo Bill anymore. He did however dress up for dinner, glad to see we have our priorities in line. I wonder if he pinkies out at dinner…

Corey: Wearing the tie outside the apron earns Leatherface 10 out of 10 for style, but loses several points for being a safety hazard. You’ve never known embarrassment until you’ve gotten your tie caught in your chainsaw blade and had to explain to the young girl you were chasing why it’ll be a few minutes before you can slice her up while you sort this mess out.

Jon: It looks good, but it’s impractical. Look at all that blood. That’s what aprons are for. Now he’s going to have to waste precious time washing those stains out of his favorite tie.

Brittney-Jade: Its okay guys, he’ll just kill Bill Cosby’s wardrobe designer and turn another one of his sweaters into a tie. We all know inbred cannibals are good with needle and thread.

Jon: Secretly, Leatherface has been dressing up as Julia Child and working on a book entitled “Mastering the Art of French Cooking for Cannibals.”

Corey: Leatherface actually wears three different masks in the film, each intended for a different activity. in addition to the “lounging around the house and freaking people the fuck out” mask and the “sitting down for dinner with the family and freaking people the fuck out mask,” here we have the “cooking/cleaning and freaking the people the fuck out” mask.

Brittney-Jade: I believe this is the “late night show and freaking people the fuck out” mask. I’m surprised Jay Leno hasn’t sued them for copyright infringement for stealing his chin and wearing it as their own.

Jon: This is kielbasa! I asked for Wiener Schnitzel!

Brittney-Jade: I know, your food is touching. I wouldn’t be happy either. I’m sure you could separate them with your nipples though. Just calm yourself.

Corey: You slave over an open stove all day, and then you have to tie them down to a chair made out of human limbs just to get them to eat… dating vegetarians can be such a hassle.

Jon: It’s sad, really, seeing the once youthful and vibrant Joker get all sad and corpulent in his later years.

Corey: This image perfectly represents everything I remember about “Mrs. Doubtfire.”

Brittney-Jade: DAMN IT LEATHERFACE, HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU THAT MOMMY’S MAKEUP IS EXPENSIVE AND NOT A PLAYTHING. That’s it mister, no chainsaw for you. Go to your room.

Corey: The dangers of trying to touch-up your lipstick in the rear-view mirror…

Jon: I like this gal’s style. Sure, she’s about to be horribly mutilated by a vicious killer, but that’s no reason she can’t spice it up with jazz hands.

Brittney-Jade: Carrie, you had your movie. Get out of here.

Jon: Now, it’s one thing to stuff yourself into a suit that’s clearly three sizes too small. But he’s acting downright silly if he thinks he can make those clown feet of his fit into those wee cowboy boots.

Brittney-Jade: I ordered ‘chase people with a chainsaw with ease’ boots. Hell, I’ll settle for boots ‘made for walking.’ But these ‘sitting’ boots are NOT what were described on my eBay auction.

Corey: Little known trivia factoid: Leatherface accidentally invented the 1980s trend of ripped jeans.

Jon: “Don’t do it…”

Corey: Leatherface demonstrates the “turn away then face the mirror real quickly — the first thing you see, take it off” rule of accessorizing. In this case, he chooses to lose the tie — it’s just competing visually too heavily with the blood-and-sinew-choked chainsaw and the sun-dried flesh mask.

Brittney-Jade: Now I know where you got the makeup idea from, that’s the last time you’re hanging out with that Ledger kid.

One Response to The Fashion & Aesthetics of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

  1. Mark says:

    Nice, never noticed how silly Leatherface’s various clothing choices really are. You should do “my bloody valentine” next, not as big of a movie as the ones you featured so far, but some very interesting sartorial choices on display.

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