Sunday, November 08, 2015
RIP GUNNAR HANSEN (THE FIRST AND BEST LEATHERFACE)
Sad news today as we find out that Gunnar Hansen, the actor who played Leatherface in the original (and ONLY) Texas Chainsaw Massacre, passed away after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 68.
Hansen made his film debut in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 1974 and instantly became an iconic horror figure. He went on to become a poet and author not long afterwards. His role as Leatherface followed him through the years, and he embraced his legacy by taking acting roles in several horror films later in his life.
The list will vary from day to day if you ask me what my favorite films are, but the top three (in no particular order) are consistently The Godfather, Blood Feast, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I first saw Chainsaw at a slumber party when I was 14 and it scared the living crap out of me. It has this reputation as an extremely bloody film, but there's very little blood. There's TONS of extreme horror, however. All these current Texas Chainsaw films are such sad interpretations of the original that's it heartbreaking. I do, however, recommend the recent 3D one. It's a laugh riot.
Gunnar wrote a great book about his Chainsaw experience called Chain Saw Confidential, and it's a must read for fans of the film. Here's a fun video of him recording the audio book version of it.