The Texas Chainsaw Massacre/Fun Facts

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The film was originally entitled "Headcheese", but was filmed as "Leatherface", then changed again at the last minute to "Texas Chain Saw Massacre"

  • The actress whose character was hung up on a meat hook was actually held up by a nylon cord that went between her legs, causing a great deal of pain.
  • During the dinner scene towards the end of the film, when Leatherface cuts the girl's finger, he actually does cut her finger because they couldn't get the fake blood to come out of the tube behind the blade
  • The movie wasn't released in Australia until the early 1980s.
  • Director Tobe Hooper claims to have got the idea for the film while standing in the hardware section of a crowded store. While thinking of a way to get out through the crowd, he spotted the chainsaws.
  • When it was first released, the film was so horrifying that people actually walked out on sneak previews for it.
  • After getting into the old-age makeup, John Dugan decided that he did not ever want to go through the process again, meaning that all the scenes with him had to be filmed in the same session before he could take the makeup off. This took about 36 hours, during a heat wave where the average temperature was over 100 degrees, with a large portion of it spent filming the dinner scene, sitting in a room filled with dead animals and rotting food. Edwin Neal who played the hitch-hiker claimed "Filming that scene was the worst time of my life... and I had been in Vietnam, with people trying to kill me, so I guess that shows how bad it was."
  • The film was shot in chronological order.
  • The chainsaw used in this film was a Poulan 306A, with a piece of black tape covering the Poulan logo in order to avoid a possible lawsuit.
  • The film was rejected by the British film censors in 1975, but it did get a limited cinema release in the London area thanks to the GLC (Greater London Council). It was banned again in 1977, when the censors' attempts to cut it were unsuccessful, (for the purposes of a wider release), then it was banned again in 1984, due to the growing controversy involving 'video nasties'. In 1999, after the censors finally changed their policy, they took the plunge, and passed it uncut, for the cinema and video, after 25 years, since they first banned it.
  • A family was actually living in the house that served as the Sawyer family house in the later half of the movie. They rented out their house to the film crew and continued to stay there during the entire shoot.
  • The human skeleton in the house at the end of the movie was a real human skeleton. They used a real one because a human skeleton from India is far cheaper then a fake plastic skeleton.
  • Tobe Hooper allowed Gunnar Hansen to develop Leatherface as he saw fit, under his supervision. Hansen decided that Leatherface was mentally retarded and never learned to talk properly, so he went to a school for the mentally challenged and watched how they moved and listened to them talk to get a feel for the character.
  • Leatherface had "lines" in the script that were gibberish with little side notes indicating what he was trying to say.
  • Alternate titles for the film included "Headcheese", "Leatherface" and "Stalking Leatherface".
  • The close-up of Leatherface cutting his leg on the chainsaw was the last shot to be filmed; the actor was wearing a metal plate over his leg, which was then covered with a piece of meat and a blood bag.
  • Edwin Neal, who played the Hitchhiker, said that making the film was more miserable than his service in Vietnam and said that he might kill director Tobe Hooper if he ever saw him again.
  • Due to the low budget, Gunnar Hansen had only one shirt to wear as Leatherface. The shirt had been dyed, so it could not be washed; Hansen had to wear it for four straight weeks of filming in the Texas summer. By the end of the shoot no one wanted to eat lunch with Hansen because his clothing smelled so bad.
  • Tobe Hooper intended to make the movie for a "PG" rating, by keeping violence moderate and language mild, but despite cutting and repeated submissions, the Ratings Board insisted on the "R" rating for the effectiveness of what is onscreen and what is implied offscreen. Hooper had a similar ratings problem with the sequel.
  • The soundtrack contains the sounds an animal would hear inside a slaughterhouse.
  • Contrary to popular belief, this film is not a true story. It was filmed from 15 July 1973 - 14 August 1973, while the opening narrative claims that the real events took place on 18 August 1973, so it would be impossible for the film to be based on actual events which had not happened at the time of filming.
  • The van the kids drive in the movie belonged to Ted Nicolaou, who worked as a sound recordist on the film.
  • Gunnar Hansen said that, during filming, he didn't get along very well with Paul A. Partain, who played Franklin. A few years later, Hanson met Partain again and realized that Partain, a method actor, had simply chosen to stay in character even when not filming. The two remained good friends up until Partains' death.
  • Leatherface's teeth were prostheses made especially for Gunnar Hansen by his dentist.
  • Tobe Hooper used a stunt double for Sally's leap through the window; all the same, Marilyn Burns actually hurt herself shooting the insert of her falling to the ground.
  • Gunnar Hansen hit his head on doorways and other objects several times during the shoot because the Leatherface mask severely limited his peripheral vision and the three-inch heels he wore made his 6'4" frame too high to clear all obstacles.
  • Even in his lift boots, Gunnar Hansen could run faster than Marilyn Burns, so he had to do random things when chasing her through the woods (you'll notice in one head-on shot that he starts slicing up tree branches in the background).
  • Edwin Neal said, in a documentary, that he read for the part acting like an eccentric nephew of his and that, luckily for him, it was exactly what Tobe Hooper was looking for.
  • Some urban legends say that the the "real" Texas Chainsaw Massacre took place near Poth, (a small town about 50 miles south of San Antonio. This is false. The film is fictional and based loosely on the life of Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein (as were Norman Bates in Psycho, Ezra Cobb in Deranged and Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs).
  • Marilyn Burns' costume was so drenched in fake blood that it was virtually solid by the last day's shoot.
  • Marilyn Burns, whose character was chased by Leatherface through the undergrowth, actually cut herself on the branches quite badly, so a lot of the blood on her body and clothes is real.
  • The financing for this film came from the profits of a previous film the production company had made--Deep Throat (1972).
  • Since the film's original release, the location used as the Sawyer family house has changed completely. It's now an open field, with no indication there had ever been a house there. The house itself allegedly has been relocated and is used as a restaurant in Kingsland, Texas.
  • Entertainment Weekly magazine voted this the the second scariest film ever made, behind The Exorcist (1973)
  • Gunnar Hansen wore three-inch heels so that he was taller than the rest of the cast, but it meant that he had to duck to get through the doorways in the slaughterhouse.
  • Originally had a two-week shooting schedule, but filming ultimately took four weeks to complete.
  • The company worked seven days a week, 16 hours a day, in the summertime in one of Texas' notoriously brutal heat waves.
  • The punk rock band The Ramones recorded a song about the movie titled "Chain Saw" on their 1976 debut album Ramones.
  • There have been many Leatherface gimmicks in professional wrestling, particularly in Memphis and Japan. The Japanese hardcore promotion FMW sometimes billed the gimmick as "Super Leather."
  • The house was used for Travis W. Redfish's house in the 1980 Rock N Roll-Comedy film Roadie.
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