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Why the Leatherface actor didn’t like the Texas chainsaw massacre remake

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was one of the most famous horror movies of the 1970s – so, of course, Hollywood did it again. Gunnar Hansen, the actor who played Leatherface in the original film, didn’t like the remake for two specific reasons. This raises an interesting question: which version did the public prefer?

Leatherface on the Texas Chain Saw Massacre poster
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre poster | LMPC via Getty Images

Leatherface actor opens up about ‘the Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ remake

Hansen was an actor whose career was defined by his role as Leatherface. With that in mind, it makes sense that he has a lot of opinions about horror movies. For example he said IGN modern horror films are too postmodern and ironic for their own good. Additionally, he opened up about his feelings towards the 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Well, on many levels I wasn’t happy, Hansen said. I was disappointed with the movie. I probably would have liked more if I didn’t compare it to the original. Afterward, he explained why he didn’t like the portrayal of Leatherface in the film.

A Leatherface cosplayer with a chainsaw
A Leatherface cosplayer | Joe Kohen / WireImage

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Gunnar Hansen on What’s Wrong with Leatherface in the Remake

I think my big issues were that – well, the worst part for me was the fact that they explained Leatherface and unmasked it, because once they did that they downsized Leatherface, Hansen said. Now it is no longer a mystery. I think the reason he’s such an attractive and scary character is that in the movie he’s almost human, but not quite, and he’s unknowable. Now he’s just a young man that had a skin disease when he was a kid and takes revenge, so he’s really shrunk once you do that. It is this idea that the mystery is always much greater than the solution of the mystery. In addition, he felt that the directors of the film had not kept their promise for the film.

Hansen noted that the filmmakers had said they would make a dark, psychological horror film, not a bloodbath. However, they ultimately made a bloodbath – a much bloodier film than the original film and arguably its sequels. The remake was produced by Michael Bay, a director who isn’t known for his subtlety, so it’s no surprise that his side of the story is being judged. The remake disappointed Hansen – but did it disappoint audiences?

Leatherface with a chainsaw
Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre | LMPC via Getty Images

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How the audience reacted to the two films

According to Mojo ticket office, the original version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre made $ 30 million at the box office. Considering the film was a low budget affair with no stars, this is impressive. However, the remake fared much better. Mojo ticket office reports that the remake grossed over $ 107 million at the box office. The original version’s gross would be significantly higher if adjusted for inflation, but that wouldn’t detract from the remake’s box office appeal. Hansen didn’t like the remake very much – but it was a good time for many fans.



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