This past Friday, May 12th, the Cinefamily hosted a special midnight screening of LEATHERFACE: TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE III as part of their Friday Night Frights programming series, in collaboration with Blumhouse! And it’s safe to say, the event was a smashing success!
Special guests included screenwriter David J. Schow, actors Ken Foree and William Butler. Sean Farina was just a kid when his dad produced the infamous “lady in the lake” teaser trailer. Thankfully, someone had a print of the trailer and that kicked off the evening!
Sean came up first to discuss his memories of the filming of the teaser, which apparently took place right in Pasadena, long before the sequel went into production. He also brought two full-on chainsaws from the flick for photo ops. One was used in the teaser trailer, the other was a great replica of Leatherface’s classic “The Saw Is Family” saw.
Then, hosts Ryan Turek and Josh Miller brought up Schow, Foree and Butler for a pre-screening Q & A. Schow kicked it off by announcing “this was considered the worst of the Chainsaw sequels… until the next one!”
We got to hear a bit about how everyone got involved in the project, what the shoot was like in Valencia, California and some other fun memories from set. Butler has car pooled every day with his then roommate and co-star Viggo Mortensen (who was asked to join tonight, but was in Spain at the moment) and Kate Hodge. Ken didn’t audition, he was asked to play the part and gladly accepted. He enjoyed tussling with the film’s main baddies, and confessed to accidentally breaking Viggo’s ribs in their big fight! He talked a bit about the reshoots which (spoiler) allowed his character to survive and hopefully return for another sequel, which sadly never happened.
After the end credits rolled, Foree got back up to thank the audience for joining us. He obviously still has fond memories of the film, and appreciates the love for Benny that fans have shown through out the years. (Maybe someone can bring Benny back in a sequel comic book? Anyone?) I was reminded how much was cut from the final theatrically released version. I strongly recommend watching the unrated version on the DVD, but seeing it theatrically still holds up as a fun time.
It’s surreal to think back to my first time seeing this film on the big screen when I was 14 years old, and all these years later, I get to enjoy it with a sold out audience. Who would’ve thought when I bribed a couple back in 1990 to pretend to be my guardians just so I could get into a Rated R movie that 27 years later, I’d be dueling chainsaws with the writer?! Surreal indeed!