Classic Rock Radio Dot EU - After Hours
Uncle G meets Marilyn Burns
(Portrayed Sally Hardesty in 1974's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
Was super cool meeting Marilyn Burns this past Friday night. I arrived just around opening time at Nature's Nightmare (Houston Texas), a haunted nature trail, where Marilyn was for two nights only, appearing as a special guest.
Upon arriving, and getting out to do that walk to where all the excitement was, memories of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre come to mind. Marilyn Burns played the character of Sally Hardesty. The sole survivor of a group of five young adults, the other four brutally murdered by a manic with a chainsaw, nicknamed Leatherface. Dude had this thing for cutting off the faces of people he murdered, and then wearing it as a mask. After the death of Sally's brother, the last of the four she was traveling with, she's caught, taken to the house, and then held captive. Forced into spending some quality time with Leatherface's just as insane family members. Marilyn's character Sally Hardesty manages to get free and then leaps through a window to the outdoors. Of course the family goes in pursuit, except for Grandpa. He's still busy digesting Mary's blood that he drank from her finger. Sally who seems to be struggling with every step and with the weirdos in hot pursuit, manages to make it to the road and escapes when a driver of a pickup truck passing by, stops to saves her from their menacing clutches. Have to hand it to Leatherface for he ALMOST got her. Don't feel bad for him. For Leatherface wrecks more havoc in future movies bearing the official Chainsaw title, turning the original, now iconic horror film, into a big time movie franchise.
When celebrities are doing meet and greets, the main reason I go is to secure an autograph. It's my hobby. More part time but it's been something I liked doing since I was a kid. So to me, securing a good signature is important. When there is a crowd, by best advice I can give, is to get as far ahead in the line as possible. I've been to conventions (a few) and had times when I witnessed the first few signatures given, and then looked at the autographs folks were receiving from the same entertainer, 200 people later. Usually one can detect a difference with the handwriting not looking as sharp as it did in the beginning of the festivities. Main reason of course just being a tired hand.
My time with legendary scream queen Marilyn Burns could not have been any better. A pleasure to meet, as was her companion. She kindly autographed the items I brought; DVDs of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and another Tobe Hooper film Marilyn was cast in called, Eaten Alive (1976). She then helped me pick out a very cool black n' white 8x10 of her, in character as Sally Hardesty from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I first asked her what was the most popular picture out of what she was offering for sale. I'd say she must have had around a dozen or so spread out on the table. Anyone of them, suitable for framing. So she pointed out the most popular one, saying this is the picture of her that most everyone liked. She then followed up the comment by showing me another, saying it was her favorite. That was all I need to hear. Looking at Marilyn I told her I was never one to really do what everyone else did, and gestured I'd be fine taking the one she just recommended. The lady then inscribed and signed her name leaving one of the best legible signatures you ever want to see. As an autograph collector, that's always what I want. I'd tell you some of the worse looking autographs I got over the years, but I would not want to embarrass anyone. Not that I have the best looking John Hancock myself. Marilyn then signed my DVDs, and after chatting some her companion was kind enough to snap a couple pictures of us together. The two of them even made sure that the picture(s) taken were to my satisfactory. I gave thanks, said good-bye, turned around and walked past the ones who were behind me in line, heading back toward my car. It's a cool memory. A unique experience I will never forget.
Marilyn Burns newest film is Texas Chainsaw 3D. I've recently seen it around the retail stores / Redbox machines. Now finding out Marilyn is actually in it, along with other alumni from Chainsaws past, it's on my most current DVD MUST HAVE list.
Regarding Marilyn Burns acting in the original Chainsaw, I bet actresses ever since it's release have been studying her performance. Not only the vocal, but her actions, expressions and mannerisms. It's a flawless performance. As a viewer you're a fly on the wall to witness for yourself what depths madness will travel. You feel bad for Sally as she's being tortured and you root for her as she tries to break free. It's when ones hypnotised to the scene, some even having a dialogue with it suggesting things for Sally to do to regain her freedom, like yelling "RUN FASTER" that you know the actress succeeded in making her character real. It's no wonder why almost forty years later, that fans like myself would voluntarily drive from one side of Houston to the other, in night time rush hour traffic, just to participate in a meet and greet with her.
Tobe Hooper's magnificent tale of ghastly horror, otherwise known as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, is today regarded as one of the best horror films ever made. When released it freaked a bunch of people out, and true to style, is still doing so today. Was banned in many countries including the UK, in which our station originates from. Nowadays the horror classic is a lot more accessible. Ready to scare the turds out of another new generation of young innocents. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre makes the list of many when pertaining to best horror movie. It's only a matter of time before word gets around...and it does. And then the LOUD sounds of the chainsaw, and then Marilyn screaming at the TOP of her lungs. Music to many a persons ears.
Attention: Nature's Nightmare I believe will stay open until Halloween night. They have a cool website. If thinking of going, I'd check that out first. From what I saw in person I recommend going, even without Marilyn Burns being there.
Nature's Nightmare official website link is:
And that's a wrap.....
Gary BrownAmerican Corespondent for Classic Rock Radio Dot EU