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Things You Probably Didn’t Know about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Leatherface. Poster for Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Poster

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Horror fans are unlike any other breed of cinephile. We go to great lengths to unearth obscure details about our favorite feature films. Because of that, it’s a challenge to find trivia that will pass fact checking and surprise dedicated fans. But, in spite of that, we have taken it upon ourselves to attempt to unearth some lesser-known trivia about Tobe Hooper’s grindhouse, horror film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Read on for things you probably didn’t know about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

The film was originally titled Head Cheese

Thankfully, the title was later changed to the more marketable The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Leatherface was also considered as a possible title for the picture before the filmmakers settled upon The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Paul Partain, who plays Franklin, was a dedicated method actor

According to the film’s commentary, Partain spent his days on set complaining (which his character does for the entire time he is onscreen) and subsequently irritated the other cast members to the point where there was no love lost when his scenes were wrapped.

Gunnar Hansen drew real blood from Marilyn Burns in the dinner scene

The cast and crew had been shooting for over 24 hours and the blood tube was malfunctioning. In response to exhaustion and delirium, Hansen drew real blood rather than waiting for the effect to work properly.

The animal corpses used in the film are real

The animal carcasses were reportedly borrowed from a veterinarian in the area. When they were no longer needed, someone lit the corpses on fire to dispose of them, rather than going through proper channels.

John Larroquette, who did the narration for the opening scene claims he was never given a check for his involvement with the film

He says that rather than being compensated financially, he was instead paid with a joint.

Tobe Hooper fought with the MPAA for a PG rating due to the lack of actual onscreen bloodshed

The MPAA originally slapped the film with an X-rating, however. Upon revisiting the film, it’s apparent that there is actually very little blood spilled in the film. But the MPAA wouldn’t grant the film anything less than an R-rating, even after cuts were made from the original version that was submitted to the organization.

The Human skeleton in the film was real

The skeleton was reportedly purchased from India because going that route was less costly than purchasing a fake skeleton for use in the film.

Gunnar Hansen couldn’t see clearly when he was wearing the Leatherface mask

Due to limited visibility, Hansen actually knocked himself out by hitting the doorframe on the way into Leatherface’s workshop.

At least two Canadian theaters were forced to pull the film from their lineup

The police forced two theaters in Ottawa Canada to cease screening the film or risk being brought up on morality charges.

Gunnar Hansen wore the same shirt over four consecutive weeks during filming

Since there was only one shirt and it had been dyed, it was never cleaned. This caused the garment to emit a terrible odor during the course of the production.


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Written by Tyler Doupé
Tyler Doupe' is the managing editor at Wicked Horror. He has previously penned for Fangoria Mag, Rue Morgue Mag, FEARnet, Fandango, ConTV, Ranker, Shock Till You Drop, ChillerTV, ComingSoon, and more. He lives with his husband, his dogs, and cat hat(s).
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