Good ol’ boy Alex over at CHUD is reporting that Lionsgate’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D, billing itself as a direct sequel to the original (which, no one seems to remember, has been the case with every sequel to the 1974 film), is beefing up its claim by casting members of the original Tobe Hooper classic.
The original Leatherface, Gunnar Hansen, will be appearing in a cameo after famously turning down similar opportunities for the past 25 years. Hard to be cynical about this; Hansen is a horror convention mainstay, and I have a soft spot for guys like him getting a chance to make some money off their legacy that doesn’t involve posing for photos with horror nerds and Suicide Girl types.
More surprisingly, John Dugan, who was 19 and buried under a dentist’s attempt at old-age makeup in the original film, will actually be reprising his role as Grandpa. Dugan is possibly the main reason the classic dinner scene in Hooper’s film has the insane edge it does; after the laborious five-hour makeup process, he informed the filmmakers he wouldn’t be coming back the next day, helping generate a marathon 30+ hour shoot in the Texas heat. Hopefully Dugan (who, last I’d read, made his living as a waiter) will pull the same diva bullshit this time to help take some of the Hollywood polish off this edition. Original Final Girl Marilyn Burns is also slated for a cameo; she and Dugan had walk-ons in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (the fourth entry from 1993 which, legend has it, the agents of then-hot then-young then-stars Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger attempted to bury).
The coolest, most inspired bit of fanwank casting here is that Bill Moseley will be taking over for the late Jim Siedow as Drayton Sawyer (which was a name “the Cook” didn’t get until The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 so maybe this is a sequel to Part 2, but whatever). Moseley, who won the role of Chop Top in Part 2 based on his impression of TCM‘s “Hitchhiker” in a spoof called The Texas Chainsaw Manicure, worked with Siedow in Part 2, and as fans of that film will recall, Moseley busts into a pretty solid Siedow impression for a minute in that film.
None of this is any indication that the film itself will be worth a damn, but these bits of casting seem designed to get the horror community a little more engaged in this sequel. Playing to the crowd that’s probably going to see the film anyway seems questionable, but it’s got them some extra ink today, so what do I know. Good job, Lionsgate!