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Texas Chain Saw Massacre declared top horror flick

Gorefest luminaries pick their fave chillers

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Tobe Hooper's 1974 gorefest The Texas Chain Saw Massacre has been voted the top horror film ever by a veritable bloodbath of luminaries of the genre including John Carpenter, George Romero and Robert Englund.

Total Film asked 63 leading lights to pick their personal faves, then compiled a top ten based on the results. Here's what the industry considers the ultimate roster of fear:

  1. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
  2. The Exorcist
  3. Psycho
  4. The Shining
  5. The Thing
  6. Halloween
  7. Alien
  8. Jaws
  9. Dawn Of The Dead
  10. Suspiria

Total Film's deputy ed, Jamie Graham, said: "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is essentially an old dark house tale fitted with mallets, meat hooks and power tools. We see nothing, feel everything, the aggressive camera, brutal editing, clanging sound design and grainy, grubby visuals striking home like a sledgehammer to the skull."

John Carpenter, who secured fifth spot with The Thing, said of the laureate and his own number one pick: "Tobe really hit the times when he did that movie, more than almost any other film. I remember going to see it when it was out here in Los Angeles - it was '74 or '75 - and I remember that experience of seeing it for the first time. Jeez. What makes it all the more effective is the fact it's so funny."

Mr Hooper himself selected Psycho as the ultimate bowel-loosener, and gave a nod to excellent 1957 chiller Night Of The Demon.

The rest of the experts' picks can be found here. Shame on the lot of 'em for not elevating The Wicker Man* to its rightful place in the pantheon of horror classics, as the unwashed masses did when they also voted The Texas Chain Saw Massacre their shocker of choice back in 2005. ®

Bootnote

*Not the remake featuring Nicolas Cage, we hasten to add. It's a truly horrifying experience, but for all the wrong reasons.

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