On Chainsaws And Titles: A Guide To The Correct Spellings Of The Texas Chainsaw Movies

Words mean things. They separate us from the invertebrates. 

A major dilemma has surfaced in the wake of the classic slasher resurgence: that of confusing movie titles. The new "Scream" is titled the same as the original, and so is David Gordon Green's "Halloween." The latest offender is David Blue Garcia's "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," named exhaustingly close to Tobe Hooper's original 1974 franchise-launcher "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre." For all three slasher franchises, this has not only resulted in turning Google into a gaping hellmouth where research goes to die, but now all posts about any film in the franchise must add a string of qualifiers to pinpoint just which of the multiple sequels, prequels, requels, and reboots is being discussed.

The title is critical.

Garcia is at the ready to churn out a sequel to his 2022 sequel, and so moving forward, we'll need everyone to get on the same page about this chainsaw business. What follows is a list of guidelines for writing titles of the "Chainsaw" movies, mandatory for both /Film staffers and the public at large. We will be monitoring social media feeds and blocking all users who do not respect this boundary. There will be neither forum nor a marketplace of ideas on the subject, as the rules are ironclad; we take our genre guidance from Fangoria, and those nerds are very particular about the details.

When there's no more room in hell, the dead titles will walk the Earth

The "Chainsaw" guidelines are as follows:

  • Tobe Hooper is the only one who gets "Chainsaw" cleaved in twain, simple as. When referring to Hooper's 1974 film, it's "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" — "Chain" and "Saw" are separated, and the whole title is preceded by "The." Yes, a few posters here and there use "Chainsaw," but those are outliers. God help you if you cram "Chain" and "Saw" together on this one.

  • The ensuing titles are all variations on the original, but all subsequent sequels use "Chainsaw" as one word.

  • If you write out "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" with "The" and a one-word "Chainsaw," you'd be referring to the 2003 Platinum Dunes reboot. The Jessica Biel one.

  • The 2006 movie that comes after that has the exact same title with "The Beginning" added. 

  • Just "Texas Chainsaw?" That's the 3D one from 2013, where Alexandra Daddario told the 6'7" Leatherface, "Do your thing, cuz!" "Texas Chainsaw 3D" is also acceptable.

  • When writing about the 2022 legacy sequel, it's "Texas Chainsaw Massacre." No "The." If editors see a "The" here, the beatings will resume.

So, to recap: 

"The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" (1974)

"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2" (1986)

"Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III" (1990)

"Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation" (1995)

"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (2003)

"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning" (2006)

"Texas Chainsaw 3D" (2013)

"Leatherface" (2017)

"Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (2022)

/Film is not into binaries. But when it comes to titles, there is right, and there is wrong. As the single most important thing happening in the world right now, the title epidemic is formidable but not unbeatable. With your compliance, the correct title can go with the correct film, and words can mean things once again.