On August 21st, Cinema Salem hosted a special screening of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with actor Gunnar Hansen, who played Leatherface in the 1974 original classic, in attendance. The print was newly-restored 4K restoration print that will be used for the upcoming 40th Anniversary Edition blu-ray due next month.
Hansen entertained the capacity house with a fun Q&A session that followed the screening, in which he shared stories of what happened to the house used in the film (it’s now a restaurant), how director Tobe Hooper came up with the idea to use a chainsaw as weapon of choice (he was stuck in line at a Montgomery Ward and wondered what could get him through the line quicker) as well as how Steven Spielberg and Oliver Stone, both big fans of the original, were fascinated by a particularly tricky tracking shot.
I was lucky enough to hang out with Mr. Hansen for about twenty minutes prior to the Q&A and we talked about a variety of film business-related stories. Mr. Hansen was great to talk to, extremely nice and funny and a great storyteller to boot. It was honor to meet him and talk to him.