The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a horror movie classic – but the real horror took place behind the scenes! A warts-and-all look at the process of creating the beloved gorefest in Texas Monthly describes the nightmarish things that happened on set…
Forty cast and crew worked in the baking Texas heat… and there was only ONE bathroom. The stench got so bad that crew members started walking out.
Guts & Gore
Hooper and co. carefully created Leatherface’s ‘cannibal house’ from real animal parts, involving ‘eight dead cows, two deer, three goats, one chicken, an armadillo, and two human skeletons, one real and the other made of plastic.’
The grim array included organs, meat and bones – in other words, things that rot in the sun. Actor Edwin Neal told Texas Monthly that the smell was so bad:
“We would do a scene and then all run to the window so that we could throw up”.
In the scene where Leatherface cuts Sally’s finger to feed Grandpa was real! Listen to the commentary below:
Let the Unclean Thing Crawl
The story of Texas Chainsaw Massacre takes place within 24 hours, and budget constraints meant that continuity proved difficult. To keep consistent, Hooper kept every actor in the same clothes. Every day. For the entire five week shoot.
Five weeks of 16-hour days in the roasting Texas heat. Leatherface actor Gunnar Hansen said:
“I’m a big man and we were afraid to send my clothes to the dry cleaners because we didn’t want to lose the butcher’s blood on the apron. I was running and sweating the entire time. By the end of the shoot, no one would sit next to me at lunch”.
This post was written by Nadia Vella