Wednesday, February 7, 2024

[Review] — Gunnar Hansen's "CHAIN SAW CONFIDENTIAL"

With the recent "rumored" reports of another reboot sequel to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre spreading online, it occurred to me that I should write a review for the reprint of Gunner Hansen's Chain Saw Confidential (available to purchase on *Paperback and *Kindle), which was released by Dark Ink, a division of AM Ink Publishing, last year, featuring a new cover design by Alicia Adkins. (*Paid Link)

For the non-horror enthusiast, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, the first Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie, was co-written and directed by the late Tobe Hooper. It debuted in theaters in October 1974 and gave rise to eight further movies, including remakes, reboots, prequels, and sequels. In the first movie, Sally Hardesty (portrayed by the late Marilyn Burns), her friends Jerry, Pam, and Kirk, as well as her disabled brother Franklin, go on a road trip around Texas. While driving a van, they take in a crazy hitchhiker who sets off a series of alarming occurrences that result in their encountering the Sawyer family, including Gunnar Hansen's character, Leatherface, who uses the skin of his victims as a mask and taunts and murders them with a chainsaw.

Leatherface himself, Gunnar Hansen (1947–2015), wrote Chain Saw Confidential, first published by Chronicle Books in 2013, and chronicles the narrative of the production of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. In 2021, Slash Film reported that the book would be adapted into a "dark comedy" by David DuBos and produced by Shaun Redick and Yvette Yates Redick, but there have been no more updates.

The World Horror Convention Grand Master Award-winning author Ray Garton writes a "foreword" to Chain Saw Confidential. Twenty chapters plus an introduction comprise this book—telling the story of how The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, a horror movie that revolutionized the genre in 1974, came to be. Actor Gunnar Hansen, who played Leatherface, provides firsthand recollections of the events.

Listen, if you love the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, particularly the first one, you'll enjoy Chain Saw Confidential, which shows you the ins and outs of making a low-budget horror film that became a classic. To understand why people get drawn to horror, Gunnar Hansen touches on other topics, including Gothic literature, Greek theater, Gilgamesh, and his life.

Overall, I enjoyed Chain Saw Confidential; it was a quick read due to my love of horror. I strongly suggest it to other readers. ╌★★★★✰

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