Vote now in the 2021 Best of San Antonio Readers Poll.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Can You Guess Texas' Most Iconic Movie?

Posted By on Tue, Oct 21, 2014 at 12:30 PM

click to enlarge A map of the most iconic movie from each state. - BUSINESS INSIDER
  • Business Insider
  • A map of the most iconic movie from each state.

Courtesy of Business Insider

Every state has that one movie about it that is engrained in everyone’s collective memory. Okay, most states have that one movie. Personally, I feel like the crew over at Business Insider was stretching a bit when listing Jumanji as New Hampshire’s iconic movie, but for the most part every other state-movie pairing is spot-on. Alabama has Forrest Gump, New York’s got Taxi Driver, Arizona has Raising Arizona, and Hawaii has Pearl Harbor.

Here in Texas, we have The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

click to enlarge marilynburnstcmjpg

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the 1974 slasher film featuring the unhinged Leatherface (played by Gunnar Hansen) and his nontraditional family of cannibals, has undergone several sequels and remakes since its premiere, but none of them can hold a candle to the original. Horrified movie-watchers are still questioning director Tobe Hooper’s “based on a true story” claim. Well, sorry to burst your bubble, guys, but Leatherface isn’t real. Ed Gein, on the other hand, was totally real and was the inspiration for the character. Gein, who skinned people and decorated his home and face with said skin, was the inspiration for Psycho’s Norman Bates and The Silence of the Lambs’s Buffalo Bill also, making Leatherface’s character seem kind of bland and overplayed. Right?

No, not right. Leatherface’s mumbling, lumbering, and chainsaw dancing are all original and terrifying. Here are a few facts you may not know about him or about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in general:

  1. The movie was filmed up near Round Rock with a budget of only $60,000.
  2. It was originally titled “Headcheese.” Ew.
  3. The actors had to endure 18 hours of shooting per day in the 100+ degree summer heat. Apparently Hansen got really smelly during shooting and no one would hang out with him. Poor Leatherface.
  4. Hansen couldn’t be more unlike his cannibalistic Leatherface who speaks only in gibberish – at the time of filming, Hansen was enrolled in graduate school for both Scandinavian Studies and English.
  5. Leatherface, despite being a constant mumbler throughout the film, was not unable to express himself. Hansen cycled through three masks during different scenes in order to convey a variety of emotions.
  6. Hooper really wanted to secure a PG rating for his film, but all the implied gore was too much for the MPAA, and the movie was stuck with an R rating.
  7. Speaking of gore, a lot of the blood on Marilyn Burns (Sally in the film) was real. Hansen actually cut her finger open during the dinner scene, hopefully by serendipitous accident.
  8. All the blood and gore in the movie scared director Guillermo del Toro into becoming a vegetarian.
  9. Sure, Marilyn had her finger cut on set, and that blood was real, but the skeleton in the house toward the end of the film is a real human skeleton, which is creepier. Hooper found that buying real human remains from India was easier than buying a plastic skeleton. So bleak.
  10. If things weren’t weird enough for you already, consider this—John Larroquette, who provided the narration at the film’s beginning, was paid in weed.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

May 5, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Join SA Current Newsletters

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2021 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation