Gunnar Hansen's book chronicling the making of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, called Chainsaw Confidential, is essential reading for fans of Tobe Hooper's film, and I take a close look at it in my new "Fear of the Velvet Curtain" column over at Trailers from Hell. Hansen's book begins by conflating the mythology behind the making of the film-- out-of-control set, disastrous shoot, drug-addled actors, psychological damage suffered by the guy playing Leatherface (that'd be Hansen, of course)-- and then proceeds to gently deflate that mythology with the clarity and intelligence of first-person observation. Here's but a taste of what you'll get when the curtain parts this week:
"The book is beautifully organized with chapter headings derived from the movie’s dialogue (“If I Have Any More Fun, I Don’t Think I Can Take It,” “There’s Them That Laughs And Knows Better,” “It’s a Good Picture—You Can Pay Me Now”) that cleverly reflect or connect to the author’s focus. And Hansen makes the wise decision early on to assemble his anecdotal approach to reflect the chronology of the movie’s story rather than the order in which the film’s scenes were actually shot. It’s a move made, as Hansen puts it, “for the sake of clarity and my own sanity,” but it also lends Chain Saw Confidential, for readers intimately familiar with the movie at least, something of the buildup of tension and anticipation that informs the movie."
There's also an Oscar postscript in which I apologize for my lame Oscar predictions and make some snarky comments about the show itself. My last words of any kind on Oscar 2014, I promise!
See you at Trailers from Hell for this week's Fear of the Velvet Curtain!