Texas Chain Saw Massacre

With its psychosexual overtones and perverse violence, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was so sidesplittingly over-the-top when it was released that the horror film genre hasn’t been the same since. Filmed in Austin, the pioneering 1974 flick brought tasteless gore into mainstream theaters—and made it nearly impossible for most of its cast and crew to be taken seriously in Tinseltown ever again. Although Chain Saw’s director, Tobe Hooper, went on to direct low-budget features and television movies-of-the-week, he continues to fight being stereotyped as a cult-horror director; he is 58 years old and lives in Los Angeles. Screenwriter Kim Henkel became so frustrated with Hollywood that he moved back to Port Aransas in the early eighties; now 55, he teaches film part-time at Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi. Gunnar Hansen, 54, who played the chain saw-wielding maniac, Leatherface, works as a writer in Maine and makes appearances at Halloween theme parks around the country. And the scream queen? Leatherface may not have killed the beautiful Sally Hardesty in the movie, but Chain Saw essentially killed actress Marilyn Burns’s career. After starring in Helter Skelter (1976) and Kiss Daddy Goodbye (1981), she quit acting. At age 45, she sells cellular telephone service in Houston.

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