Although pumpkinperson.com started as primarily a horror blog, my readership is now so intelligent that few of you can relate to my low-brow interest in slasher films. But with Halloween only days away, it is an interested that must be indulged. But Halloween itself is an experience many readers can’t relate to, and not because you’re intelligent, but because a lot of you live in climates where the leaves don’t change colors and where pumpkins don’t thrive. Many of you will never understand the sheer joy and coziness of lying on a couch with a blanket and a warm cup of hot chocolate on a cold Canadian night, and watching a great horror film.
Racism in the horror community
Of course most horror fans disagreed with me that Texas Chainsaw 3D was a great horror film; indeed even hardcore fans of the Chainsaw franchise thought it was a disgrace that tainted the entire series. Although they’ll never admit it and lack the self awareness to know it, there’s a lot of racism in the horror community, and the fact the film’s protagonist was an absolutely gorgeous young white woman whose boyfriend was an athletic black man, was anathema to the predominantly white male horror audience. I believe horror attracts a lot of racists, because prehistorically, it was the mostly manly members of the tribe who defended the tribe against rival tribes, so even today, guys who are manly enough to watch horror films are genetically predisposed to ethnic nepotism. And indeed as I’ve previously discussed, subconsciously, the entire slasher genre was a rebellion against the liberalism of the 1960s.
But there’s another reason why slasher fans tend to be racist and that’s the fact that slasher films historically were uniquely focused on the white American experience. They tend to take place in stereo-typically white settings like suburbia (John Carpenter’s Halloween) or summer-camp (Friday the 13th), the backwoods of Texas (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) or a sorority house (Black Christmas). Indeed those four films really invented the modern slasher film and none of them had a single black character so for the Texas Chainsaw 3D to not only have a black character, but one who was played by prominent hip-hop star, and in a relationship with a gorgeous white woman, was a culture shock for many slasher fans.
Of course it would be absolutely idiotic and evil to smear everyone who didn’t love this film as much as I did as a racist, because ironically, another reason why this film was so hated is ignorance of HBD. Allow me to explain…
MAJOR SPOILER ALERT: STOP READING IF YOU PLAN TO SEE THIS FILM
The plot: A young woman (Heather) who hates the parents who raised her discovers she was adopted, so she and her friends go on a road trip to Texas to visit the house she just inherited from her recently deceased biological grandmother. Little do they know that locked in the basement of the house is Leatherface, a mentally retarded chainsaw wielding maniac who wears the actual faces of his victims as masks. After Leatherface kills her boyfriend and her friends, Heather flees to the police where she discovers that Leatherface is actually her biological cousin and her only living blood relative. Other family members (the Sayers) were burned to a crisp by a mob of angry Texas rednecks who were furious that the Sawyers were cannibalizing the local teenagers.
When Leatherface and Heather discover they are relatives, Leatherface stops trying to kill her and Heather stops trying to flee him, and instead the two join forces against the rednecks that burned their family to death. This plot twist infuriated horror fans because (1) it portrayed Leatherface as a hero when he’s supposed to be a villain, and (2)they found it completely unrealistic that Heather would join forces with a homicidal maniac who sawed up her friends, just because he’s her only living blood relative. Horror fans found it unrealistic that Heather would even want to avenge the burning of a family she never knew, since that family were chainsaw wielding murderers who deserved to be burned alive.
An understanding of HBD (i.e. behavioral genetics) helps one appreciate this movie. HBD teaches that we are genetically predisposed to help those most genetically similar to ourselves, so this could have overwhelmed Heather’s disgust for her biological family’s vile nature. In addition, this tendency to help the genetically similar is intensified in inbred people according to blogger HBD Chick, probably because when you’re inbred, your kin are even more genetically similar to you; and the Sawyer family epitomizes the stereotypical inbred Southerner, though I don’t know if this inbreeding has occurred for enough generations for selection to work, which HBD chick feels is important. HBD also teaches that behavioral traits are highly genetic, especially in adulthood. Blogger Jayman sometimes argues that parenting has virtually zero impact; so it really doesn’t matter that Heather grew up a normal girl, instead of being raised by a family of murderers. She didn’t need to be raised by the murderous Sawyer family to become just like them; her genetic link was enough.
Another way all Texas Chainsaw movies are HBD aware is that Leatherface has an extremely low IQ. This makes sense from an HBD perspective because he comes from a family of inbred psychotic right-wing murderers. Studies of cousin marriages show it clearly depresses IQ (and other Darwinian fitness traits like height) and the criminally insane also have low IQ’s, and some HBD research suggests conservatives might too.
The film doesn’t touch on race, but that’s clearly the elephant in the room as the town rednecks fail to respect the authority of the black sheriff who in-turn does not respect them, leading to an interesting climax that horror fans also condemned as unrealistic.
The age of the heroine
Another reason so many horror fans hated this movie so much is that the film’s timeline implied that the character Heather was born in 1974 (the year of the first Chainsaw movie), making her nearly 40 since this film appeared to be taking place in the present day (the film came out in 2013) but since actress Alexandra Daddario would have been about 25 when she played her, horror fans went absolutely ballistic. I tried to calm a few of these people down, saying maybe the character is a just a really young looking 39 year old who hangs out with 20 year olds since she works in a grocery store (I had a boss like that), or maybe the character had plastic surgery; but horror fans would have none of it, and condemned it as an absurd plot hole they could not get past.
The psychology of this is quite interesting: young people value their youth so much that they don’t want to believe an older person could ever look as young as them, and young male horror fans are disgusted by the thought that a woman they are sexually attracted to could possibly be almost 40. I believe this relates to the conservatism of horror fans, since traditional values suggest a man should never be attracted to an older woman, and that women should be sexy only when very young (peak child bearing years) since it’s conservative to believe that sexuality is only for reproduction. On the DVD commentary, the film makers do a lot of damage control, denying that a timeline was clearly specified, but it was too little too late.