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32 Things We Learned From ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ Commentary

By  · Published on April 26th, 2012

The Commentary Commentary you are about to read is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths. Okay, not really, but there’s certainly a fair amount of slashing and running and screaming in the woods. This week we’re covering The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and everything director Tobe Hooper had to say about the production along with director of photography Daniel Pearl and Leatherface himself, Gunnar Hansen.

We chose The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, because Total Recall last week left us for something a little more happy-go-lucky, something that isn’t riddled with copious amounts of blood and body parts being ripped off. Shockingly, there’s a ton more of that stuff in the Arnold movie than here, but it’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre that makes you want to cleanse yourself after. The movie, for the lack of shown blood it has, does have a way of making you feel dirty after watching.

So grab your popcorn, because this one’s for the whole family. Cue John Larroquette’s opening narration in 3…2…

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Commentators: Tobe Hooper (director), Daniel Pearl (director of photography), Gunnar Hansen (actor)

Best in Commentary

“So you mean this film is really not about the breakdown of the American family?” – Gunnar Hansen

“I always imagined the sausages as being Jerry, because of the hair.” – Gunnar Hansen, ladies and gentlemen.

Final Thoughts

There’s a lot to take from with this commentary for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. All three commentators provide insight, anecdotes, and even a bit about technique in an extremely low budget film. The commentary really is something any would-be film maker needs to sit down and listen to. From the stories about lighting to working with only 40 feet of track to battling having to work in such intense heat, there’s plenty of knowledge here for anyone who wants to step behind the camera to soak up.

But there’s also a vibrant sense of humor between the three, all people in the film making industry who were at the very beginning of their careers and who went through the battle of getting The Texas Chain Saw Massacre finished. Even with the apparent Hell he was put through, Hansen has a very jovial attitude about it all, making light of the fact that he very nearly killed Marilyn Burns for real when Edwin Neal as the Hitchhiker told him to. But where’s the harm in a little spilt blood?

Check out more commentary commentary in the Commentary Commentary archives

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