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Film Studies 101

Feature
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
With its air of eerie verisimilitude, Tobe Hooper's chilling horror stands light years apart from the other film based on the gory exploits of the real-life serial killer, Ed Gein. Shot for around $140,000, with money allegedly re-routed from the success of runaway porn hit, Deep Throat, it's Chainsaw's dead-eyed, almost cinema verite approach that truly unnerves. The dinner scene, where Marilyn Burns comes dangerously close to having her head smashed in with a hammer, is the most memorable example of Hooper's edgy approach something he would never capture again in a career that has since gone spectacularly off the rails.

Mad Max (1979)
Australians love their cars something Dr George Miller was well aware of when he changed careers from physician to filmmaker. Not letting a paltry budget of $400,000 phase him, he fused the cult American sci-fi flick A Boy And His Dog with his own penchant for seeing muscle cars and road bikes moving fast and coming to a scattered end. Acknowledging a massive thirst for automotive action and raking in more than $100 million, it spawned one superior sequel (still one of the greatest 'real' action films), which in turn led to dozens of cheap 'post apocalyptic warzone' straight-to-video jobs.

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