CHAINSAW SET VISIT
Fango just returned from Austin, Texas after visiting the set of the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE remake, helmed by Marcus Nispel. Skepticism (remake? why?) has turned to optimism as conversations with the cast and crew reveal a communal knowledge of and passion for Tobe Hooper?s original classic, and the fact that the crew includes cinematographer Daniel Pearl, who lensed the 1974 original. Pearl has worked on numerous music videos and commercials with Nispel, who says, ?When I asked him?well, begged him?to do the movie, I thought, ?What would make it worth it for someone like Daniel, who has done it before, to do it again?? I felt only for something completely new and different. We looked at the original story that TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE is based on, the Ed Gein story, and we went much deeper into that.?
Pearl is excited to have a bigger budget this time around, which gives him the opportunity to use more light-sensitive film and better lighting all around. ?This will be scary, but with a higher style,? he says. ?Will this be grimy and gritty like the first one? No, I did that already; I don?t think I should do the exact same thing 29 years later. I?m approaching this almost as if I didn?t do the original. This movie has different things, it?s for a different audience.?
Bigger budget also means bigger-name cast, which includes Jessica Biel, Eric Balfour, Erica (BLAIR WITCH 2) Leerhsen and R. Lee Ermey, among others. Don?t let any of those names fool you, though; this cast is more than willing to get down and dirty. Fango tends to dispute Pearl?s assertion that TCM2003 won?t be grimy and gritty; maybe not in its camerawork, but after seeing and hearing about blood, brains, dirt, snot and vomit on the set, we?re ready to believe otherwise. The settings are also more about real creepiness than any slick, Hollywood imagining of what is scary, as they are all ?found? locations, pre-existing in Texas farmland. While only getting to hear the TCM2003 team talk about the house with the dungeon and the slaughterhouse sets, Fango did witness some highly charged scenes being filmed in an abandoned cotton gin.
The fear factor was certainly upped by the presence of chainsaw-wielding legend Leatherface, aproned and masked and tearing after a screaming cast member with his weapon of choice. The face behind that mask is not the role?s originator Gunnar Hansen, but instead a musclebound and ponytailed veteran of the silver and small screens whose name is being kept from the public at this point. No matter; the important thing is that he filled that stitched mask with gusto, demonstrated perfectionism in his performance and looked terrifying doing so.
Remake TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE? Well, call it a revisiting, and based on this set experience, it?s one trip Fango is actually looking forward to making. Look for lots more coverage in upcoming issues and on this site.
Courtesy of Fangoria