|Top photo is Gas Station,|
Middle photo, Cemetery,
Bottom photo, the original house.
My husband is a huge horror fan! I mean BIG! He enjoys many types of movies, and music, but his ultimate favorite is the “Horror Genre”. Before we married his apartment was filled with memorabilia of these movies. There were posters, photos, props, action figures, and oh I forgot, a replica of “Chucky”. The posters were in frames on the walls, some were from the USA and others were foreign from Germany, Italy, and I think even a Danish one. Many had authentic signatures of the cast on them. As I began to understand him more, he started showing me his horror DVD collection of movies. They were really scary! I still do not know how I watched these movies. After we got married there were many times that we went to horror conventions. We traveled to Ohio, New York City, and Pennsylvania for some of them. Then one day my husband received an email from a fellow horror fan and was told that his favorite movie of all time was having a reunion in Texas, and we had to go. His favorite of all times is “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (the original:1974) Are you getting the picture now….yes, we went to Texas to see the cast reunion. Now we just didn’t go to the convention, and meet the cast, we had to follow the path of how they made the movie! We flew in to Austin, Texas, and rented a car. I was the navigator with a map, and we started to follow the path of this movie. The next part of this story was written by Rick, my husband as we got to meet most of the cast of “The Chainsaw Massacre.“ or as he calls it for short TCM. (Those of you that have seen this movie will know who we are talking about, sorry if you do not know the cast of the movie, now you have to watch it) This is how my nightmare begins!
|Bottom photo is myself,|
Gunner Hansen, and Rick
September 22, 2000...Austin, Texas...Our first stop is the famous cemetery where the opening shots of TCM were filmed. It's pretty impressive to see in person. The huge column where the hitch-hiker poses the corpse in front of the tombstone is awesome! Dottie took all the photos and also a video of the whole time in Texas. She was a real trooper. Next we went to see Allen Danziger. (He played Jerry, the van driver) He seemed amazed that TCM has developed such a following over the years! He happily signed ALL of my TCM memorabilia (I have tons), even though he was extremely busy. All I can say is he's really a great guy! He also acquired some fantastic pieces from TCM that were framed and hanging in his office. Now it was time to head to Houston for the reunion. It's a good 3 hour drive, and we still had to find our hotel room before the show. On the way there we found the famous gas station-BBQ from the movie. Now that was really IMPRESSIVE!! It still looks like it did in TCM except a couple small sheds were added next to it. Dottie (my wife) got all nervous as we approached it! HA!! The people that owned it now were very nice and even took me to the back room where all the action took place between Sally and the Cook. Anyone who visits Texas must go see that place! Finally made it to Houston and arrived at the Fear Factory about 7:15 p.m. There were lots of people young and old, mingling around waiting for the cast to appear. There was a radio station set up outside on the street (which was blocked off), and they were announcing to come down and meet the cast!
|Bottom photo is the 4 cast |
members with Rick on the left.
Finally, my excitement peaked as the four members of the greatest horror movie ever, arrived!! There was a tent set-up with tables, and they had many photos for sale. Everyone had to stand in line, and they'd let about 5 or 6 people at a time in to greet the cast. They are all such cool people! I'm proud to say Gunnar Hansen (Leatherface) remembered us from our meeting last year! And Marilyn Burns also knew who I was from corresponding with her! Jim Siedow (the Cook) was very friendly, and he was amazed at all the foreign posters I have that he's never seen. He told me to keep in touch with him and believe me, I will!! Ed Neal (the Hitch-hiker) was impressed that I had all ORIGINAL memorabilia and no reprints. We also discussed the possibity of purchasing some props from him from the TCM movie! He gave me his agent’s card to keep in touch. He's a real character, many times doing his best hitch-hiker impressions from the movie. Marilyn (the girl that was screaming in the movie) was a sweetheart, and she was also in awe of all the TCM things I had that she had never seen before. And of course Leatherface himself, Gunnar Hansen, was so nice, so friendly and witty! Before we left he GAVE me a sketch of himself signed by the artist. It was also a limited edition and inscribed it with, "To Rick Balin, one of the biggest Chainsaw fans in the world and one of the best!!.” I now have that framed and hanging on my wall! It was a memory I will never forget!
Thank you for stopping by on this spooky day! I hope you all have a fun, safe, and a Happy Halloween!! My recipe this week is an adult drink as you enjoy your spooky movie!
2 parts passion fruit-flavored rum
1 part tonic water
Splash of cranberry juice
Black cherry, for garnish
Shake all ingredients with ice.
Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a black cherry
Please drink responsibly and be safe on this fun night!
Till Next Time…………..
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