The slasher film was given birth by Alfred Hitchcock when he made Psycho (1960). The genre was standardized by Mario Bava with Blood And Black Lace (1964). The Texas Chainsaw Massacre made the killer a monster. Still human, but a monster in terms of behavior and theatrics. John Carpenter made the killer immortal with Halloween (1978).
In The Texas Chainsaw Massacre we are introduced to Leatherface, a killer based on the same real life killer that inspired Psycho’s Norman Bates. However, as I mentioned before, this killer is a monster. Whereas Norman Bates could pass as a sane person for a while before being read as a psychopath; Leatherface can only come out at night or creep out briefly from the shadows. Aside from this frequently copied killer archetype the film also showed directors how to showcase their talents with next to no budget. Just grab some friends find some deserted locales and have the killer pick off your friends one by one. Simple, but full of opportunities for suspense. Director Tobe Hooper uses these moments to the fullest and turns in a great no budget slasher film that clearly influenced all those that came after it.
My only complaint is that sometimes the violence becomes a bit much. Other than, this is definitely worth seeing if only to fill in the missing piece between Bava and Carpenter.