There were lots of great features of this past DAYS OF THE DEAD convention in Indianapolis which included a collection of evil puppets (which you can see HERE), the appearance of the elusive Ace Frehley from KISS (my meeting with at the first DOTD HERE), and two notable film reunions. One of these was for POLTERGEIST and the other was THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE!
The TEXAS CHAINSAW reunion saw cast members and Leatherfaces from several of the film’s franchise including Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns, Allen Danziger, Edwin Neal, Teri McMinn, John Dugan, Ed Guinn, and William Vail from the original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. While Gunnar Hansen was the first to play the iconic Leatherface (see our meeting with him HERE) he wasn’t the only Leatherface present.
Also on hand at DAYS OF THE DEAD was TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE II‘s Bill Johnson, and TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE III‘s R. A. Mihailoff!
Thanks to our friends and honorary “Terror Daves,” Ron and Angela Urban, we are able to share some great tidbits from the panel!
*In the original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, the budget was so low that the legendary chainsaw was actually borrowed from a private owner! Since the owner’s name was written on the tool, black tape was used to cover it up for filming. And, yes, that chainsaw was returned after production, sending one of horror’s most famous treasures into obscurity.
*In contrast to the original chainsaw, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE II utilized 30-40 chainsaws during filming which certainly illustrates the difference in budgets between the two films. One of TCM II’s chainsaws can be seen on display at New York’s Planet Hollywood!
*During TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE II, the scene where Leatherface “sings” is NOT Bill Johnson. Mr. Johnson had taken ill and was in the hospital when the scene was filmed.
*Ed Guinn was a last minute addition to the original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. Die hard fans will note that Guinn was the truck driver who was a virtual godsend to the terrorized Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns) at the end of the film. The budget -challenged crew needed a truck and Guinn (who owned one) just happened to be at the right place at the right time!
*Marilyn Burns confirmed that all those cuts and bruises shown in the film were, indeed, real! In the scene where her finger gets sliced for “Grandpa,” Burns had assumed that it was due to a prop malfunction. Years later she discovered that it was not a fake knife as she’d been led to believe, explaining the very real blood!
*When asked what he thought about how other actors portrayed Leatherface, Gunnar Hansen explained that it was never really up to him nor the other actors to create their own Leatherface. He stated that that credit should always go to the film’s writer.
*It was revealed that a new TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 3D is in production and slated for a 2013 release! Don’t be surprised if some of the actors mentioned in this post find their way in it.
Ron & Angela Urban~