Day 4: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Writer: Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel
Director: Tobe Hooper
Year released: 1974
The first time I saw The Texas Chain Saw Massacre I was probably 10 or 11. I was in my best friend’s basement and it was late at night. We knew we shouldn’t be watching this film because our parents would not approve so that added to the intensity of it all. I remember my chest hurting and I thought I was going to have a heart attack during that famous door slam scene. After watching the movie, I knew I had seen something that completely was set apart. I’ve only seen it one other time since this recent reviewing and it’s as gritty and visceral as ever.
Overview: A group of friends are terrorized by a chain saw wielding murder and his family of cannibals.
- Tobe Hooper was inspired to write this movie after a visit to the hardware store.
- Real human skeletons were used as they were cheaper than plastic ones. In the Masters of Horror documentary by Bruce Campbell, Hooper said he acquired the skeletons from India. In Hooper’s The Poltergeist, real skeletons were also used.
- The original script was titled “Leatherface.” Before the film’s release the title was changed to “Head Cheese.” The name The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was final.
- The budget was so tight that Gunnar Hansen, Leatherface, wore his costume and mask every day in the 110+ degree temperature for 12-16 hour days for a month because the crew couldn’t afford a new costume and were scared if it was washed it would change color.
- A real family’s house was used for the filming location and they continued to live there during the filming.