Tuesday, February 26, 2013

PRETTY WOMAN, TEXAS CHAINSAW STYLE


On Sunday, I posted a review of HORRORHOUND #39. One of the features in this issue is a retrospective of the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE franchise. Included is a page on the history of the three different masks that Leatherface wore in the movie. Two of them were sold by Heritage Auctions.

I tracked down the information at Heritage. Here are images of the "Pretty Woman" and "Kitchen/Old Lady" masks as they were sold. Also pictured is the "Leatherface Apron", and "arm lamp" and "bone chair" props used on screen. The accompanying text is from the auction descriptions.


The "Pretty Woman" mask sold for $9,200.
 
Leatherface "Pretty Woman" mask from "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Bryanston, 1974). - In the annals of film history, there are several masks that can be considered classic: the mask worn by the Phantom of the Opera to hide his disfigurement, or that worn by Zorro to conceal the identity of the wealthy Don Diego de la Vega. Batman's mask is known to million's worldwide, while Jim Carrey's verdant visage in the aptly titled 1994 feature, "The Mask", is similarly well-known. Of all the masks ever worn upon the silver screen, however, the most disturbing and possibly the most unforgettable, are the faces worn by actor Gunnar Hanson in director Tobe Hooper's classic horror film, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." Created by art director Bob Burns for the low-budget classic, this is the "Pretty Lady" mask (so named because it is decorated with grotesque lipstick, eye shadow, and a horrendous black wig) worn by the character Leatherface during the dinner scene in the latter part of the movie. Art Director Bob Burns reportedly made the mask from a fiberglass material (which is no longer manufactured) and latex. One of only two masks used in the film (the other is the infamous "Killing Mask"), Burns has claimed that there were no duplicates made of either prop, making this a unique piece of film history. In an e-mail received shortly before Burn's death, the artist said, "I was amazed to find out this mask was still in existence. I had thought it had been discarded 25 years ago. It's always a thrill when my work pops up somewhere like this." The mask, along with several other key props, was kept in a storage room in Austin Texas until the unit was abandoned by the renter. At that point, the contents of the storage room were sold on a blind bid basis to a furniture store in Austin. From there, the contents were acquired by Ed Neal (the "Hitchhiker" in the film), who has kept possession of them until consigning them to this auction. According to Neal, "This mask really creeped me out the first time I saw it on the set. Bob Burns did such a great job creating it, and Gunnar Hansen really brought the thing to life. Even more than the Killing Mask, this is the face that still gives me nightmares. I hate to part with this, but I have faith that it will find a good home with some devoted fan." The mask, which is mounted on a styrofoam head form, is in delicate condition, and has not received any conservation or restoration work of any kind. It has been authenticated by both the creator, Bob Burns, and by Ed Neal.

The "Kitche/Old Lady" mask sold for $3,737.50.
 
 Leatherface "Kitchen/Old Lady" Mask from "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (Bryanston, 1974). Art Director Bob Burns created three separate and distinct masks for Tobe Hooper's 1974 nightmare classic, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." The "Killing" mask, which Gunnar Hansen wears in the climax of the film, was sold by Burns several years ago. The "Pretty Woman" mask, worn during the infamous dinner scene, was sold at auction by Heritage on July 17, 2004 for $9,200. Offered here is the is final mask of the set, the "Kitchen/Old Lady" mask. This grotesque face is worn by Hansen during much of the film, particularly during the scenes where he is seen in the kitchen. The bottom of the face is missing, as that part was stitched on separately to give Leatherface an even more horrific appearance. Made of a fiberglass material (which is no longer manufactured) and latex, Burns acknowledged that there were no duplicates made of any of these masks, and that these were the actual props that were used on-screen. In an email received shortly before Burns' untimely death in 2004, he said, "I was amazed to find out that this mask was still in existence. I had thought it had been discarded 25 years ago. It's always a thrill when my work pops up somewhere like this." The mask, along with several other key props, was kept in a storage room in Austin, Texas, until the unit was abandoned by the renter. At that point, the contents of the storage room were sold on a blind bid basis to a furniture store in Austin. From there, the contents were acquired by Ed "The Hitchhiker" Neal, who has kept possession of them until consigning them to this auction. The mask, which is mounted on a styrofoam head form, is in delicate condition and has not received any conservation or restoration work of any kind. It is a truly historic artifact from a landmark film.


The Leatherface apron sold for $10,350.
 
Leatherface Apron from "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Bryanston, 1974). - Providing vittles for a large family can be a messy affair, and no one knew that better than Leatherface, the "hero" of Tobe Hooper's horror classic, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." Those victims can be so uncooperative: squirming, screaming, spurting blood all over the place. What's a modern, fastidious serial killer to do? Why, wear an apron, of course! And now, for the very first time, you can own this massive killer's own clothes-protecting garment, the authentic, one-of-a-kind apron used on-screen in 1974's "Saw". Part of a cache of props kept in a storage room in Austin, Texas, this and other items (including the "Pretty Lady" mask offered separately in this catalog) were eventually sold to a furniture store when the owner tired of paying the storage fees. These important movie artifacts were later acquired by actor Ed Neal (the Hitchhiker in "TCM"), who has graciously consigned them to this auction. According to Art Director Bob Burns, the budget on "Saw" was so low that all props were one-of-a-kind (as opposed to many films, where multiple props are the rule), making this a unique and significant item. Ed Neal confirmed, saying, "To my knowledge, this is the only apron ever worn by Hansen in 'Saw'. Just like with the masks, the original budget of the film was so low, we didn't have the luxury of duplicate props. There are still some of the original blood marks on the apron! Whose blood it is, I can't quite tell." The apron is in excellent condition and measures approximately 43" x 33" overall. There is a clean tear in the lower right side that measures approximately 2.25", but this is the only visible defect. To the best of our knowledge, this apron has never before been offered for public sale, making this a unique opportunity to acquire an important and recognizable movie artifact with an impeccable provenance.

The "arm lamp" sold for $5,175.

 
 Screen-Used Arm Lamp from "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (Bryanston, 1974) Have you ever said to yourself, "Boy, I could really use a hand here?" Well, now you can not only have an extra hand, but the whole arm as well! Fans of the immortal horror classic, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," filmed on a shoestring budget by Tobe Hooper in 1974, will immediately recognize this prop from the film. This "disarming" piece was part of a collection of props from the film that was kept in an Austin, Texas storage locker until the owner tired of paying the storage fees. Sold to a local furniture store, they were later acquired by Ed Neal, who played "The Hitchhiker" in Hooper's opus. Ed kept them safe and sound for years, and has now graciously consigned them to this auction. This prop, like all the others, was created by Art Director Bob Burns, who authenticated the collection shortly before his death in 2004. The lamp stands approximately 16" tall on a 5" x 1.25" base, and is wired to hold a standard lightbulb. If you bid on this piece, you'll not only have an opportunity to win a rare and unique piece of horror movie history, you'll also be supporting your right to bare arms

The "bone chair" sold for $3,737.50.


 Screen-Used Bone Chair from "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (Bryanston, 1974). After a long, hard day of killin' and cookin', nothing says "comfortable" like this hand-made, one-of-a-kind bone backed chair used in Tobe Hooper's 1974 horror-fest, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." Can't you just imagine yourself curling up in this little beauty waiting for your son to serve up a heapin' helpin' of head cheese and lady fingers? Sure you can! Created by Art Director Bob Burns, this prop, along with several other important pieces from this landmark film, were kept in a storage locker in Austin, Texas until the owner tired of paying the storage fees. Sold to a local furniture store, these pieces were later acquired by Ed "The Hitchhiker" Neal, who has authenticated them and consigned them to this auction. The chair has a height of approximately 16", with a seat measurement of about 16.5" x 16". The bone back rises approximately 28.5" from the ground, the arms are approximately 13.5" long and the back measures approximately 18" wide. This chair can be seen in the infamous "dinner" scene, wherein Marilyn Burns is brought to the table as a reluctant guest. This piece is sold as an historic artifact only; we cannot vouch for its functionality as a piece of furniture.

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