R.I.P Leatherface: Remembering Gunnar Hansen with 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' Trivia | Fanboys Anonymous
hansen leatherface massacre texas chainsaw horror movies actor star scary effects maskIt seems the horror movie fandom has lost another legend. Gunnar Hansen, who played the original Leatherface in the 1974 Texas Chainsaw Massacre, passed away this Saturday of pancreatic cancer at his home in Maine. He was 68.

In honor of Hansen's amazing interpretation of a chainsaw-wielding lunatic, Fanboys Anonymous has compiled a list of 10 interesting facts you need to know about the original Texas Chainsaw. Read these while enjoying some deep-fried-non-human-meat.

There were real human remains on set.

The skeleton used in the house at the end of the movie was real because, according to IMDB, "a human skeleton from India is far cheaper than a fake plastic skeleton."

There was real blood.

Marilyn Burns, whose character was chased by Leatherface through the undergrowth, hurt herself badly on the branches, so a lot of the blood on her body and clothes was real.

There was also real blood in the dinner scene, where they cut Sally's (Burns) finger and try to feed the blood to Grandpa. According to Hansen, the tube that shot the fake blood kept malfunctioning, and, finally, after several takes without the tube working properly, Hansen simply sliced Marilyn Burns' finger open. "And the reason was," he explained, "at this point, we were insane."

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Burns had her finger sliced, for real.
The soundtrack is truly scary.

It contains the sounds one would hear inside a slaughterhouse.

Real animal corpses were used.

The animal carcasses were reportedly borrowed from a local veterinarian. When they were no longer needed, someone burned them in order to dispose of them.

It actually stank in there.

Aside from the smell of rotting animals, actor John Dugan lived in his makeup for over 36 hours (five of which which took to put the makeup on) during a "brutal summer heat wave where the average temperature was over 100 degrees." While filming the dinner scene, the stench from the rotting food, animals, and body odor was so dreadful some crew members passed out or became sick. Edwin Neal who played the hitchhiker stated: "Filming that scene was the worst time of my life... and I had been in Vietnam, with people trying to kill me, so I guess that shows how bad it was."

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Edwin Neal
The movie was slightly based on real events.

Though it wasn't based on any chainsaw killings, the movie was inspired by the events surrounding Ed Gein, a real-life killer and grave robber who fashioned himself a suit made out of human skin.

Hansen did not have fun.

When asked if the shot was a fun experience, Hansen replied:
Not a bit of it. I think it was one side or the other of 100 degrees for almost all of the shooting and it was Central Texas, which means it was quite humid. For me I think it was also bad because I wore a mask. And that mask was made out of latex. So even though I could breathe through it fine, it was tight up against my skin, so I was always soaking wet under it. And then I had a wool suit and wore wool trousers the whole time.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was not the original title.

The movie was almost called Leatherface or Headcheese.

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Hansen's costume was not comfy.

Hansen had to wear the outfit 12–16 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 4 weeks. There was only one costume, and it was never washed throughout the production. Hansen recalled he smelled so bad that nobody wanted to stand next to him. The boots he wore had been fitted with three-inch heels so that he could appear taller than the rest of the cast.

Director Tobe Hooper wanted the movie to get a PG rating.

He believed that, by implying the violence instead of showing it, the movie should have gotten a PG rating. However the Rating Board gave it an easy "R."

Hungry for more? Check out Hansen's book Chainsaw Confidential, which details his experiences on set and beyond.

Did any of these facts surprise you? Let us know by leaving your comments below!

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