5 Unsettling Behind-The-Scenes Secrets From the Texas Chainsaw Massacre Franchise
The Dark and Disturbing Truths Behind the Texas Chainsaw Massacre Franchise That Didn’t Age Well
Like the movie, like its secrets.
Inspiring numerous remakes and sequels, the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre left an indelible mark on the horror landscape. But as much as fans loved the tale of killer Leatherface and his cannibalistic family, these 5 behind-the-scenes moments from the franchise are disturbingly bizarre when looked at closely.
Marilyn Burns' Traumatic Experience
In the original 1974 movie, Marilyn Burns' portrayal of Sally Hardesty was one of raw terror. Not only did Burns accidentally get her finger sliced off by the original Leatherface, Gunnar Hansen, but the actress was also brutally beaten during the scene with Jim Siedow, who portrayed a violent member of Leatherface's family.
Although Siedow was reluctant to participate in the scene, he was encouraged by both Tobe Hooper and, most surprisingly, Burns herself. The scene took nine takes, with Burns enduring severe beatings. After the desired shot was achieved, Burns, battered and bruised, passed out due to the intense ordeal.
Sometimes, auditioning for a franchise got as crazy as the movies themselves. For The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, little-known actress Caroline Williams surprised director Tobe Hooper and Kit Carson by energetically rearranging their chairs and blocking the door with them before beginning her audition.
Years later, another bold move was made by Matthew McConaughey, who had starred in the critically panned Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation at the beginning of his career. The actor suggested himself to play the villain and impressed the director by pinning his assistant to the wall and threatening her with a spoon.
Near-Death Conditions On Set
The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre was filmed in a Texas farmhouse that apparently became a living oven during the day. To simulate night while filming in the Texas sun, the windows in the house were covered with thick curtains, which made it even hotter for the actors. With no air conditioning, in a pre-fainting state, the actors often stopped to get some fresh air.
Compared to the original, the poorly reviewed prequel Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning made only one member of the cast suffer physically for the role. Apparently, Matt Bomer really suffocated during a scene where R. Lee Ermey's Sheriff Hoyt wrapped his character's face in cellophane as the little hole in the saran wrap didn’t help the situation.
Realistic Set Pieces
In a disturbing turn of events, it has come to light that real animal remains were used in the production of the original movie, including the famous dinner table scene. However, even with the decaying remains of cattle that were used in the scene, it is not as disturbing as the fact that the crew also used actual human skeletons due to budget constraints.
The bones were sourced from various medical supply companies and used to create a gruesome atmosphere on set.
The Saw Was Real
The chainsaw used by Gunnar Hansen in the original movie was, for the most part, real, and posed a danger to the cast In some scenes, the blade came dangerously close to the heads of the actors, and in one chase scene, Hansen slipped and the saw flew out of his hand, narrowly missing him.
Even the film's director and cinematographer had to carefully maneuver around Hansen during the final scenes in which he swung the saw.