Monday, March 17, 2014

HORROR FUN FIND: Tobe Hooper Shares the Grimiest of Stories From The Set of TCM

For those of you unaware, the great The Texas Chain Saw Massacre recently underwent an extensive make over and was debuted at this year's South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, TX. The original 16MM prints were taken and digitally transferred, color corrected and presented in a new and spiffy 4K transfer, as well as the audio, which was remixed into 7.1 Dolby Digital. From everything I've read, it's jaw droppingly beautiful (the film will see a theatrical release this summer). 

Tobe Hooper was at the festival, and according to Bloody Disgusting, he had quite the story to share with the mass of fans who turned out for the screening. TCM is known as one of the grimiest horror films of all time, and a lot of that has to do with the conditions in which it was filmed. In sweltering heat in the middle of a Texas summer, this cast was coated in sticky, home made fake blood and dealing with real rotting meat is one thing, but what Hooper went on to reveal is a whole different thing entirely. Read on for the story: 

The last day of shooting went on for like 26 or 27 hours. Maybe even longer because I had to shoot an actor out. And it was the last prosthetic job on Old Granpa, and he was melting. The lights were so damn strong that the bones [they were using as props] started cooking. So every time I’d say cut everyone would run to the window and puke, throw up. A doctor had to come out and administer dramamine to help settle people’s stomachs. 

This family was into death art, it was a hobby. And we needed animals. The city pound had done their due for the month and they came out with a dump truck, I was in the house I didn’t even know it has happening. Anyway they pulled up about 20 meters from the house and dumped about 500 lbs of dead animals out front. I came out and looked at it and realized it was over the line, that a domestic animal is like a child so seeing all those dead cats and dogs would ruin the movie. So I said, “get rid of these.” And then I went back inside and I was shooting.

The house was tinted because we were shooting the dinner table scene, which takes place at night but we were shooting part of it in the day. But when I told them to get rid of it, someone got 5 gallons of gasoline and poured it over all of those dead animals and set fire to them. I guess they were thinking that they were going to disappear or go up into ashes. The house was bad enough with the bones cooking and everyone throwing up, but then all of this smoke [from burning fur and flesh] started coming in through the house. That’s when everyone really started losing it.

Yup. And believe it or not, this is what I love about horror. 

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