Seminal 1974 slasher The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is receiving a long overdue re-release for the horror aficionados among us. And to accompany bringing Tobe Hooper's classic out of the back cupboard - all uncut and previously unshown - is this lovely little horror story involving "burning fur and flesh" for you to consider as you wait for that pork joint you put in the oven for dinner to crisp up.
The story, told by director Hooper himself in a recent interview at SXSW, is a bonafide stomach churner:
The last day of shooting went on for like 26 or 27 hours. Maybe even longer because I had to shoot an actor out. And it was the last prosthetic job on Old Granpa, and he was melting. The lights were so damn strong that the bones [they were using as props] started cooking. So every time I’d say cut everyone would run to the window and puke, throw up. A doctor had to come out and administer dramamine to help settle people’s stomachs.
This family was into death art, it was a hobby. And we needed animals. The city pound had done their due for the month and they came out with a dump truck, I was in the house I didn’t even know it has happening. Anyway they pulled up about 20 meters from the house and dumped about 500 lbs of dead animals out front. I came out and looked at it and realized it was over the line, that a domestic animal is like a child so seeing all those dead cats and dogs would ruin the movie. So I said, “get rid of these.” And then I went back inside and I was shooting.
The house was tinted because we were shooting the dinner table scene, which takes place at night but we were shooting part of it in the day. But when I told them to get rid of it, someone got 5 gallons of gasoline and poured it over all of those dead animals and set fire to them. I guess they were thinking that they were going to disappear or go up into ashes. The house was bad enough with the bones cooking and everyone throwing up, but then all of this smoke [from burning fur and flesh] started coming in through the house. That’s when everyone really started losing it.
That's disgusting. Few cinematic moments are as hopelessly distressing as the final scene of Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but as far as real-life on-set stories go, that comes pretty close.
Still, made on the cheap, in sweltering conditions, and with dead animals ablaze certainly gave the original '74 flick a distinctly grubby feel. One which has yet to be matched in any of its countless sequels or remakes.
Will you be checking out The Texas Chainsaw Massacre's re-release in celebration of it's 40th anniversary this summer? Let me know in the comment section below!
(Source: Bloody Disgusting)