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The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Companion Paperback – 24 Oct 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd (24 Oct. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840236604
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840236606
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 1.7 x 22 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 839,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


" complete a companion as anyone gorehound could wish for." -- SFX magazine, Review 2004, by Ian Berriman.

Refreshing ... a professionally researched, well-written, unpretentious volume, and we wish there were more horror film books like it. -- SFX Magazine, January 2004

About the Author

Stefan Jaworzyn was the Editor of Shock Xpress, the trailblazing horror fanzine, which led to a series of Shock books from Titan, and the fondly remembered 'Shock Around the Clock' 24 hour film festivals. Gunnar Hansen will forever be known for playing Leatherface in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. He is now a writer, but still makes frequent appearances at horror conventions to meet his manv fans.

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Law on 15 Mar. 2004
Format: Paperback
Stefan Jaworzyn's in-depth book gives you everything you could want to know about the TCSM films and more. Constructed largely around extensive interviews from pretty much everyone involved in the films, from Leatherface himself (or himselves) to screenplay writer and director Kim Henkel, this should satisfy the most inquisitive of horror and movie fans.
Jaworzyn, author of the queasily compelling Shock Xpress publications, also gives a brief overview of Tobe Hooper's career, as well as examining his early film-making days, and takes in the grisly legend and legacy of real-life inspiration Ed Gein.
The book doesn't hold back on the complexities of the movie-making industry, studio interference, the (lack) of budget involved or the sheer discomfort of film-making. One thing's for sure, most of the cast and crew seemed to suffer for their art... one way or another.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By woolrich01 on 12 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
Stefan Jaworzyn's 2003 guide to all things 'Chain Saw' is a wonderful and highly entertaining companion to one of the most enduring and influential series of horror films. Actually, it begins before with 'Chain Saw' director Tobe Hooper's first feature film 'Eggshells', about which less was known at the time of publication than now, so it was all new and fascinating stuff back in 2003 - and still is today. For the most part, the book takes the form of an oral biography with the creative talents giving fascinating and enlightening insights into their experiences on the film. The text is also augmented throughout by some well-chosen and often rare photographs and the author's applied knowledge and insights. The book also features information on director Tobe Hooper's career, associated films and documentaries and a chapter on the life of Ed Gein, the Wisconsin serial killer whose slayings influenced the original film. A highly recommended and essential book for horror fans and one which is 'saw very good' that your film reference bookshelf is incomplete without it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
'Chainsaw' fans: go ahead and buy it, but be forewarned. 3 April 2004
By Joseph A. Blevins - Published on
Format: Paperback
As far as I know, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Companion" is the only book entirely devoted to the legendary "TCM" series. That alone makes it an irresistible purchase to any hardcore fan of the original film. And those fans won't be entirely disappointed, since this book contains brand-new exclusive interviews with many cast and crew members, plus lots of photographs (all reproduced in B&W) and dozens of trivial tidbits. Those of you who are diehard "Chainsaw" fanatics -- and you know who you are -- go ahead and buy it. It's not expensive, and you will learn a thing or two about the films.
However, judged strictly as a book, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Companion" is merely adequate. Stefan Jaworzyn has done his homework, but he doesn't distinguish himself here as much of a writer or critic, and he doesn't bring any particular insight or wit to the subject matter. Jaworzyn's book is largely told in the oral history style, using long quotes from interview subjects and letting them tell the story in their own words. The "oral history" approach has become a cliche in books of this nature and seems a bit lazy at times, but perhaps it's for the best that it's recycled (once again) here. When Jaworzyn takes over the narration, the book seems a bit flat and lifeless. The author's worst tendency is to make bold generalizations without backing them up with evidence or explanations. For example, he says that "Psycho" is the most overrated film of the last 50 years and then doesn't explain WHY he thinks so. Similarly, he declares "Motel Hell" to be "terrible" without any explanation whatsoever and casually dismisses "Deranged" as "obvious" exploitation but doesn't explain why.
Frankly, a good deal of this book is padding. There's a whole chapter, for example, devoted solely to quotes from various reviews of the first "TCM" film. While it's good for a few chuckles, it hardly merits the space it takes up. Similarly, the chapter devoted to the real Ed Gein is a space-waster: a Cliff's Notes summation of information readily available on the Internet or in dozens of books. Depending upon your degree of interest in the "TCM" sequels, nearly half the book could be considered padding. The author is highly democratic in giving roughly equal coverage to all the films in the series. It's possible that fans of the original film would be tempted to merely skim through those chapters.
I hope that this book is considered a mere first step in documenting the entire "Chainsaw" films and doesn't end up being considered the "last word" on the series. It's a worthwhile read, and I'm glad it exists, but I couldn't help but feel a bit disappointed. Luckily, "TCM" fans have a variety of ways to gain real knowledge and insight into the film. First, the commentary track on the "TCM" DVD (by Tobe Hooper, Daniel Pearl, and Gunnar Hansen) is excellent. Second, there are numerous fine websites devoted to the series (several of which are mentioned in this book). And third, serious students of all things "Chainsaw" are advised to go to their local libraries and scour through anthologies of film writing and books about the history of horror movies. You'll find that numerous thought-provoking essays on "TCM" have appeared over the years, from surprisingly high-minded sources. Too bad that no one has ever thought to compile these essays into one big book.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Everything that is Saw is revealed. 2 Feb. 2004
By Chadwick H. Saxelid - Published on
Format: Paperback
Gathered in this book are the behind the scenes stories from those that were there of the making of one of the horror genre's truly legendary films and its sequels (with a passing, and mostly negative, mentioning of the 2003 remake). Author Stefan Jaworzyn lets the participants speak for themselves in almost uncommented upon interview clippings (he does step in clarify some details or to just share his unneeded opinion). The result is a far clearer glimpse at director Tobe Hooper (who gets a chapter of his own) and the trendsetting thriller he directed back in 1973. Hooper (who appears via interview clippings from other sources) comes across as an extremely talented man hampered with bad business skills and even worse luck in choosing who he does business with. Those he worked with mostly come across as an intelligent bunch of plain old folks completely caught off guard by the powerful little movie they worked on. The first TCM had a notoriously bad shoot and what happened afterward (in terms of the shafting by the film industry received by all) was a sad foreshadowing of what was to befall Tobe Hooper over the next thirty years. History more or less repeated itself with each sequel, though only the Tobe Hooper directed one receives truly in depth treatment. The chapter on Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 is tantamount to Cliff Notes and largely repeats the information from the DVD extras with nothing added. Kim Henkel's The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (or TCM: The Next Generation, depending on which video you get) is slightly more in depth, but the 'discussion' of the (at the time of writing) remake is two pages of psychic arm chair criticism that, in light of the film's box office success, seems overly harsh and a tad immature. Nonetheless, everything that is Saw is revealed, discussed, and shared and no fan of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and/or its sequels and remake will want to be without it. Highly recommended to those who proclaim the Saw as part of their family.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Doesn't get to the meat of things 25 Mar. 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I'm a huge fan of both the film and the author (check out his music!) but was pretty disappointed by this book. While Jaworzyn's choice of quotes (it's told 'oral histroy' style a la Please Kill Me, etc) certainly gives insight into things such as the process of making the film and the now legennadry financial fallout that followed, very little is told about the characters or the script. The detailed descriptions of what exactly went into filming border on the academic and may bore the bejeezus out of anyone who doesn't already have a background in filmmaking. There is very little information on the writing process - maybe it's just me, but I would have preferred to hear who inspired the Hitchhiker character, for instance, than read pages about foreign licensing and shady deals.
Lots of blood 21 Mar. 2014
By ella - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It was ok keeplots of blood you on you toes if you like horror movies we threw a lot of pop corn hide our face
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