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Good Documentary
Michael_Elliott10 February 2012
Flesh Wounds: Seven Stories of the Saw (2006)

*** (out of 4)

At the start of this documentary director Michael Felsher gives a text saying that THE Texas CHAINSAW MASSACRE has had countless documentaries, articles and various other information done on it but they're going to try seven "new" stories. "Chainsaw Cameraman" is an interview with cinematographer Daniel Pearl who talks about his work on the film as well as the remake. "This Old House" has TCM fan club owner Tim Harden taking us on a tour of the original house. "The Famous Mr. Ed" is an interview with the Hitchhiker himself Ed Neil as he talks about how he got the job and what it has done for his career. "In Memorium" pays tribute the members of the crew who have passed away and this includes Paul Partain, Jim Siedow and Robert Burns. "The Good Doctor" interviews Dr. W.E. Barnes who did the make-up work on Grandpa. "Frightmares and Wastelands" takes a look at a Texas film festival as well as the Cinema Wasteland 30th Anniversary cast reunion of the film. This segment also features brief comments from Caroline Williams, Lou Perryman, Tom Savini and Terry Lofton (director of NAILGUN MASSACRE). "Life After Leatherface" is an interview with Gunnar Hansen who talks about his love of writing and how he didn't realize that the film had become such a huge success until the late 80s. While this documentary isn't as good as TCM: A FAMILY PORTRAIT or TCM: THE SHOCKING TRUTH, as it says in the start, there's really not too much more that can be told that we don't already know. There's certainly nothing great here but I think all seven segments are rather entertaining and especially the stuff dealing with the fan conventions. The tribute section is very short but it too was nicely done.
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An interesting and informative retrospective documentary
Woodyanders29 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This nifty 72 minute documentary offers seven segments which cover various aspects of the legendary 1974 cult horror classic "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre." Cinematographer Daniel Pearl talks about how he got started in the film business and attributes the lion's share of his success to "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre;" he admits he learned his craft while shooting the picture and is justifiably proud of his expert use of the dolly track (amazingly, Pearl went on to shoot the 2003 remake as well!). Tim Harden, the president of the movie's official on-line fan club, takes us on a tour of the farmhouse which has now been converted into a restaurant. The funny and witty Ed Neal happily discusses playing the Hitch Hiker; he patterned his portrayal of this crazy character after a nephew who was mentally unstable and does several spot-on sidesplitting celebrity impressions. There are touching tributes to deceased cast and crew members Robert A. Burns, Paul A. Partain, and Jim Siedow. Noted plastic surgeon W.E. Barnes talks about the lengthy and complex process of creating Grandpa's make-up. Moreover, we get lots of nifty footage of the Cinema Wasteland and Texas Frightmare Weekend horror conventions complete with interviews with famous make-up artists Tom Savini and Tom Sullivan (they both discuss the first time they saw the movie). Saving the best for last, affable and articulate Leatherface thespian Gunnar Hansen makes for an extremely charming and engaging interview subject as he cheerfully yaks about how he treated playing Leatherface as an interesting summer job, his aspirations to become a successful writer (he's penned various scripts, books, and even poems), moving to Maine after finishing the movie, his belated realization that the picture had become a massive cultural phenomenon in the late 80's, and returning to acting after playing the main villain in the enjoyably campy schlock gem "Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers." Russell Clepper's twangy score hits the harmonic spot. The sharp cinematography by Stephen Toland and Matthew Talesfore likewise does the trick. Of course, there's a wealth of choice clips and cool stills from the movie as well. Highly recommended to fans of the film.
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