This post originally appeared on Quora January 26, 2020.
When Texas Chainsaw Massacre came out in 1974, audiences were shocked and terrified by it, and people protested it in droves. Some even thought it was real.
This turned the interest in slasher horror a bit, but it wasn’t til 1978 when Halloween came out that the film studios discovered they could make blockbusters for relatively cheap with a high yield.
So the 1980s brought about a slew of films that could be made for cheap and fill seats in theaters as people live to see things that are taboo or controversial. The profits even on the duds were better than most because the investment wasn’t steep. The era of slasher films was thus born.