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The ‘intolerably putrid’ making of ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’

“The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” directed and co-written by Tobe Hooper and released in 1974, set the standard for the slasher-film genre with its depiction of a family of sadistic cannibals who torture and murder a group of interlopers. In the film’s most horrifying scene, a woman is tormented at a dinner table, tied to the arms of a corpse as she’s threatened with imminent death by the ghoulish clan. It wasn’t all acting. Behind the scenes, the making of the film was a real-life horror show. “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: The Film That Terrified A Rattled Nation,” by Joseph Lanza (Skyhorse Publishing), recalls how that scene, filmed in one 26-hour marathon, took place in a farmhouse in Round Rock, Texas, where the merc ...
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