From The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to X

Arrives at the cinema on July 14 X – A Sexy Horror Story, the new film by Ti West that takes us inside the old Texas in 1979 for a thrilling story. A slasher that is the latest in a long line of horror films set in the Lone Star State.

Texas, America is truly the last frontier. Located in the deep south, on the border with Mexico, it is the second most populous and largest state in the country. It is a land of cowboys, country music and rodeos, fiercely attached to its traditions. And it has witnessed much bloodshed, in history (“remember the Alamo”) and in the news. Although its motto is Friendship, it can become very dangerous for strangers to enter its borders, because, especially in rural areas, the inhabitants are still armed and dangerous, willing to do anything to defend their property. Maybe that’s why, apart from westerns, they are many horror films set in Texasthe last of which in chronological order is X – A Sexy Horror Storyby specialist Ti West, which will be released at the cinema on July 14th. Set in 1979, it centers on a small troupe who, in the golden age of the diffusion of porn cinema, rent the outbuilding of a farm belonging to an old and grumpy owner. It will, of course, end very badly. The film is rich in references to the cornerstones of the “Texan slasher” subgenrewhich we will retrace briefly here, also recalling some less obvious titles.

Texan horror before X – A Sexy Horror Story

X – A Sexy Horror Story obviously refers to progenitor of the slasher genre set in Texas, the masterpiece of Tobe Hooper of 1974 Do not open that doorin original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Like the unfortunate protagonists of that epoch-making film, who come across the cannibal Sawyer family, the pornomakers of x they travel by van, they come across hostile and psychopathic inhabitants, and here too a girl is the strongest character. In the film, which largely pays homage to the late Hooper, there is also a nod to That motel by the swampmade by the director 3 years later, which is inspired by the story of the Texan serial killer Joe Balla veteran from Vietnam (Neville Brand in the film) who uses alligators to make the bodies of his victims disappear, killed with pitchforks. In general, Ti West pay homage the unhealthy and cruel atmosphere of these ruthless rural horrors.

In an era closer to us, it is impossible to forget The house of the devil Of Rob Zombiepart of a slasher trilogy, set in Texas, which traces the sad and long history of summary justice, with Sheriff Wydell going far beyond the law to catch the insane Firefly family. Also in this case it is a tribute to the cinema of Tobe Hooper (both Bill Moseley that Charlie Altamont they appeared in Do not open that door, and the character of Otis wears a human skin mask like Leatherface), of which Zombie is a disciple and a great admirer. As well as X – A Sexy Horror Storyset in Texas, was actually filmed in New Zealand, The house of the devil it was actually filmed in California. We don’t know the reasons, if it is too expensive for local laws or if the State doesn’t particularly care about being represented as a land of madmen and psychopaths…

True Texan he is Robert Rodríguez and therefore it could only be set in the homeland Planet Terrorits segment of grindhousehis and hers’ double bill tribute Quentin Tarantino to the low-budget exploitation films of the 1970s, as set and filmed in Austin, Texas, part of Death proof by Tarantino. It always takes place there the first part of From dusk to dawnthe vampiric horror in which Tarantino stars and Rodriguez directs, George Clooney and Harvey Keitel.

Joe Lansdale, a writer very dear to Italian readers, a Texan to the core (obviously as regards the positive aspects), sets his stories and novels in a cruel and incredibly hard western Texas. From one of his funniest stories, Don Coscarelli drew in 2002 the excellent horror comedy Bubba-Ho Tepin which the true Elvis Presleyaged and anonymous (he passes for one of his many imitators) in a Texas hospice, he has to fight with the help of some old guests against a mummy. Bruce Campbell stop here the weapons of the Ash’s The House to give life to one of his best characters. The Egyptian mummy has adapted to her new environment so much that she goes around dressed as a cowboy.

Going back in time in the 1975 film Running with the devil, two Texan couples traveling in an RV have to defend their lives from a group of classic rednecks who are, alas, also Satanists, after accidentally witnessing a human sacrifice. They are in the cast Peter Fonda and Warren Oatesactor of many westerns and above all of the masterpiece of Sam Peckinpah, The Wild Bunch (speaking of carnage on the border with Mexico…). The following year is the turn of the slasher The city that was afraid, inspired by a real case that has never been solved, i.e. the “Texarkana Moonlight Killings”, when, in 1946, a man with a sack over his head began (like the monster of Florence in Italy) to target and kill young couples on nights of full moon, in the city on the border between Texas and Arkansas. For months this masked assassin terrorized the town of Texarkana killing 5 people and wounding 8, before disappearing into thin air. Coincidentally, this time there is another actor in the cast de The Wild Bunchor Ben Johnson.

Certainly not all horror films set in Texas are here, a land that hides terrifying dark corners and disturbed and violent characters behind its sunny and welcoming appearance and in its wide and uncontaminated spaces. We remember among these the killer bees of Swarmwith Olivia deHavilland, Michael Caine and Richard Widmarkand the more recent, post apocalyptic cannibal movie The Bad Batch. And now there is too X – A Sexy Horror Story, in which the sexual activities of the protagonists unleash the murderous orgy. After all, horror cinema and porn cinema, for their bringing to full light what morality wants hypocritically hidden, are two genres more similar than we might think. Ti West he knows this very well and awaits you at the cinema with his slasher, from July 14th.

From The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to X – A Sexy Horror Story we tell you about Texas, a land of massacres in horror cinema