Quantcast Edwin Neal interview

Edwin Neal of Texas Chainsaw Massacre!!!
What can we possibly say about Edwin Neal. He played the hitchhiker in the original 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' & gave us one of the most memorable psycho characters in horror history. The dude was Leatherface's brother, folks! This opening intro can NOT do any justice to this interview. So, just start reading!!! - by Robg., Mike C. 5/05

What are your earliest recollections of the horror genre?

My earliest recollection of "horror" was seeing my Aunt Perlie nekkid in da tub...

I’s only four... and I had ta pee like a racehorse @ waterin’ time ... and I run inta the john and there she is ... she’s just dropped the soap onta the floor and she’s reachin’ down ta git it ... and there’s this huge misshapen mottled boobie ... what looks like a used boot after RoundUp ... hangin’ over the side of the tub ... almost to the ground ...

Haha! ...And you thought the "Borg" had ugly images burnin’ inta yer psyche ...


Alrighty then! Haha. How'd you initially get involved with Texas Chainsaw Massacre?  Is it true you just went in for an audition you read about on a flyer?

Nah ... wadna flyer ... we were on our way to acting class and I hadn’t learned my lines for the scene I was supposed to do ... so I’d had a flagon of Cuervo for lunch so’s I could just ... uh ... "improvise" my way thru da scene ... we were walking back into the Drama Building at University of Texas when a ladyfriend comes runnin’ out da door and grabs me and squeals ... "You going to be in THE MOVIE!!" ...

So we thought it would be "amusing" to go in and clown around for these whack-jobs doin’ the auditions, who if they needed Real Actors ... wouldn’t have been anywheres near a college campus, right? ... so’s we did ...

yeah ... who knew ... ???

Now, how'd you approach the role of the hitchhiker? Is it true that you were inspired by a relative for the character?

... wahl ... I wuz gonna pattern ‘im after a Drunken Democrat that’s married to a Midget Nun Hooker ... but they said that wuz ...

"too intellectual"

for the intended target audience ... so’s my next option wuz my neff-phew who is a diagnosed Pair-of-Noids Shit-sew-phonic ... I just did all the stuff he did every time I talked to him ... and hey ... if Hooper had ever paid me, I’s gonna buy him a house with two nympho maids and a built-in bar ... but alas ...


We've heard what a difficult shoot the original Texas was.  What was one of the most difficult sequences to shoot?

That would be the infamous "Dinner Sequence" ... that squirrely stuff on da table was decomposin’ at light speed x 2 due to da hot lights and all the windows taped shut so’s ya couldn’t see the sun ... COMING AND GOING ... during the two day shoot ...

... hell. I hunted butt-rotting gooks in ‘Nam in the Triple Canopy Jungle easier than that shoot...

... guess which memory gives me MORE flashbacks ...

Wow. You're actually the only character in the film to ever refer to 'Leatherface' by that name. Was he always listed in the script as 'Leatherface' or was that something that came about while filming? What's the original of the name 'Leatherface'?

Nopers ... the original TITLE of the movie was "Leatherface" ... but was deemed not "commercial" enough ...

The origin was simply him killing people and then wearing a "leather-rized (tanned) mask" of the latest victim ...

There's a deleted scene after your character gets hit by the truck where you're face down on the road and in which you ended up burning your face, due to the intense summer heat and sun on the pavement. How pissed are you that that scene was deleted from the final film after going thru all that?

" ... YO’ ... DOG!!! ... I ERNED DAT FRIGGIN’ SEEN! AIGHT???? ... NOI’MSAYIN?????"

(oops ... sorry ... I seem to have channeled some violently disturbed ruffian from my NorthSide Houston, Texas juvy delinquentfrequent daze!)

Realllllly wished that scene could have made it into the film ... but the sun would NOT co-operate ... there was NO BREEZE AT ALL that day ... and there was this cloud that took 2 & 1ž2 hours to cross in front of the sun ... and the light NEVER matched ...

Were there any other scenes you recall filming that might not have made it to the final version?

... yeah ... there was this ONE scene ... that I most wish could have made it into our epic ... the one where I finally got to give "the oral pleasure" to my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Erskine ...

(oh wait ... someone here is reminding me that was just on super-eight from the wrap-party ... sorry!)

It rumored that you haven't spoken to Tobe Hooper since shooting the original Texas Chainsaw.  What was your relationship like with the rest of the cast and crew? Particularly Gunnar Hanson, your on-screen brother?

... the only reason Mr. Hooper and I don’t speak has been thoroughly chronicled in 8 miles of legal documents ... where-ass we find Mr. Hooper has never paid Mr. Neal for his fine services ... even though Mr. Neal OWNS a part of the film itself ...

Well ... as Johnny Ramone tole me one night as I’m introducin’ him to REAL Texas Bar-B-Que at the County Line here in Austin ...

" ... Eddie ... that’s f***ked up!!!"

As far as Mr. G goes ... he’s my "brothah-from-anutthah-mothah" as we say in NorthSide. We do a bunch of crazy stuff together ... just got back from tearing Nashville up at a Tattoo/Horror Festival !!!  (ya gotta see da pics ... oy!!!)

And we’re gonna make a cool movie later this year where he gets ta kill me!!  (hey ... better him than da criticks!!) 

What most people don’t know about him is that he’s super-smart. He’s got like a 160 eye queue and writes really cool books and stuff.
 

What can you tell us about the late Paul Partain?

My greatest sadness about Paul is that more people never got to meet him ... he was the gentlest and sweetest of men ... someone I’ve tried for years to be more like ... but I think you have to be born with what he had ... a genuine quality that transcends the basic parameters of a great many in our "biz".

We met him once. Super nice fellow.

Were you able to keep any souvenirs from the Texas Chainsaw shoot?

I was able to keep a bunch of the stuff from the shoot ... the apron ... lamps ... chairs ... knives ... masks ... obtained when Hooper didn’t pay his storage charges in Austin (insert pithy statement about "Karma" ..here..)

but alas ... because he never paid me for the film ... I have had to sell all of it off to keep from a lovely second-career at rock-breaking due to the evil and illegal machinations of an ex-wife ...

MEN ... say it with me ... "SHE WAS SO NICE WHEN WE MET!!!"

(yeah ... I know ... I can smell the screenplay from here, too ...

Marty S..call me!!)


What was your initial reaction to seeing the film for the first time on the big screen?


What impressed me the most was what an INCREDIBLE difference the addition of proper and great SOUND to the footage made ... it was night and day ... all of a sudden that WASN’T a paper-mache hammer ... it was REAL ... and summarily, I wuz skeered right along with the audience!!!

Were you asked to reprise your role in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2?

Uh ... yeah ... but when my agent asked for just "3 times scale" ... to reprise a role from the most income-producing indie film of all time ... a fee purposely kept absurdly low because we didn’t want to "price ourselves out of the film" ... she was told to her face...

"who does Ed think he is ... ???? ...’Tom Cruise’...???” ... and that’s a QUOTE ...

... (yeah ... I hear Cruise works for 3 times scale often ... roflmao ... roflamao ... rofladinslkdkllke ... )

We were told later that they weren’t about to take "that much out of the 'coke' budget"

Ahh ... ain’t the movie biz a supreme haven for the mentally challenged?? Yeppers ... only billion dollar industry that exists in the world ... that there are NO qualifications to be in ...

Crazed. Well, what'd you think about Bill Mosley's take on the hitchhiker character (referred to as Chop-Top in TCM 2)?

Bill is a super good guy and a verrrrry talented actor ... he made that character his own ... and I thought did some great stuff with it ... you only have to see some of the other stuff he’s done to know how clever he truly is.

A few years back, both you and Bill Mosley took the stage for a panel at a Fangoria Weekend of Horrors convention in New York.  What was that experience like for you?

New Yauck! Pockets full of money ... killer fresh Pasta EVERYWHERE ... Black-Haired cream-skin Italian women from Queens that sound like Fran Drescher on steroids ... what’s not to like?

... that I got to hang out with Bill the whole week-end was a real treat.

Plus ... the crowd seemed to really like the two of us together ... lotsza really cool fans in NYC.

... Bill just did that great Tattoo/Horro Nashville show with me last month ... and more legends were scribed on papyrus/skin ...

You've been making apperances at the conventions now for the past few years. What's the convention experience like from your point of view?

Man ... all’s I can say is ... whomever you have to do to get this gig ... do ... you always get an aisle seat. you stay at really cool hotels ... they send cars for ya ... you write your name on stuff ... and they give you money!!! WOW ... if Mrs. Erskine could see me now ... she’da left her husband like I asked her to...

... I really enjoy meetin’ all the fun people who have such terrific stories of what they were doin’ when they first saw it ... who they were with ... how they were at the Drive-In ... and it was the ONLY movie they ever actually WATCHED ... that kinda thing.

Spent 5 years of my life with the most beautiful woman in the world that I met at one of these ...

I never get tired of gettin’ out and meeting folks ... this silly movie has taken me all over the world ... I’ve done Jello shots with heads of "the families" in Poughkeepsie ...

And I’ve danced on table tops in Vegas w/ the Ralona Twins … life has been kind ... wayyyyyyyy too kind ...


How'd you feel about the recent remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the absence of the hitchhiker character? (Which we think they just couldn't have possibly topped your character or performance!)

... I came up with this line that several reviewers called and asked if they could use ... I call it ...

"The 90210 CGI Version" ...

I think that about covers it (laughs)

Their film had nothing to do with us or our legacy ... it was a simple case of an LA Producer "buying into" a known-name quantity ... so’s he could make back SOME of the money he had lost on "Pearl Harbor" ... that’s all it wuz!

You have both a writing and associate producer credit on a film called 'Future-Kill'. How did you come to be involved with this?

... well ... I’m actually a perty good screen-writer but was kinda finagled into associate producing by the Executive Producer of the film ...

It was a lotta fun ... but a little too much like "real work". I’m a veryyyyyyy laid-back guy ... I’d much rather be watching "CSI" or re-arranging my ammo drawer than "working"...


There is apparently a story behind the poster artwork. What's your final word on who got HR Giger involved?

DUH!!! ... hmmm ... letz see. OH ... I know ... that would have been ... MR. GIGER! ... roflamo …

His final decision seems to be somewhere between needin’ da dough ... and really liking TEXAS CHAINSAW ...

I for one am just glad it happened ... I spent two weeks with him in Zurich getting some limited Edition posters signed and it was an experience that somewhat changed my whole life ...

The vibe comin’ off that cat is nuthin’ short of TRAN-SCENT-DENTAL ... just to be in the same space with him makes you more aware creatively that you EVER were before ... he’s the real deal ... and I’ve met a BUNCH of the pretenders.

Future-Kill was your TCM co-star Marilyn Burn's final film. Any idea why she left movies after this?

Well ... I think that was about the time her dad left her a coffee company and she tended to that for her and her family I believe. She’s a terrific gal and someone I think the world of ... I was fortunate enough to have her with us in Nashville ... she was sandwiched between Gunnar and I the whole week-end and put up with all kind of merciless nonsense from the two of us ... luckily she has a great sense of humour!

You have an extensive amount of work in voice over's. How'd you initially get involved with that?

I’ve been talkin’ "Stoopid" all my life ... funny exaggerations ... half-baked impersonations ... what the psycho-anal-ists call ... "comic diarrhea"

But boy howdy ... when they tole me they’d PAY me to talk ‘stoopid” ... I knew I’s onta sumpin’...

I have a permanent crick in my neck from lookin’ over my shoulder to see if they’re coming to take all the money back ‘cause they were only kiddin’...

How did it come that you ended up doing so much voice-over work on imported Japanese shows like "Power Rangers"?


I’ve been truly blessed!!! ... the voice-Gods somehow took a liken to my shenanigans and I’ve had a ball over the years working on such fun stuff as 'Final Fantasy', 'Devil Lady', 'Getter-Robo', 'Sakura Diaries', 'Moeyo Ken', 'Sakura Wars', 'Zaion', 'Dai-Guard', 'Nadia', 'Ninja Resurrection', 'Wedding Peach', 'City Hunter', 'Crusader', 'Lost Universe', 'Eden’s Bowy', 'Steam Detectives', 'King of Bandit Jing' (to name just a few) Heck, I even got to do Dr. Robotnik in 'Sonic the Hedge Hog'!!! That was a trip!

I’m currently doing 105 episodes of 'Gatcha-Man' ... the old "G-Force" series... landed the lead part of Berg Katse ... but the fun part is that I’ve done to date 15 DIFFERENT voices in the series ... they said we’re probably going to set an industry record for "voices by one actor" in a major series!!!  ... (Mrs. Erskine... CALL ME!!! ... it’s not tooooo late!!!)


You're listed as being part of the cast of 'The Forest', Tom Savini's first directorial feature since his 'Night Of The Living Dead' remake. What's the status of this project; can you tell us anything else about it?

Man ... I’ve worn out THREE sets of prayer beads hoping this gets funded! What a cool trip it would be to work with Mr. Savini ... Bill Moseley and a whole host of other fine folks ... (check out the whole cast on IMDB ... Wowsers! ... dream group!!!)

You've worked with our buddy Felissa Rose on a number of films recently. How'd you two becomes friends?

Ahhhhh!!! Da Rose!!! The only truly Dark Days are ones where she ain’t in the room! On the set of "Satan’s Playground" and once in the presence of such beauty AND talent ... I commenced to immediately ‘over-act’ ... the problem wuz ... I was carrying a 14” BOWIE Knife in our scene and almost splayed her into a quick DOZEN ‘Roses’...

They hosed me off w/ cold water... showed me a pic of my Aunt Perlie and I was able to calm down..

She forgave me and we been plotting madness ever since...

Lemme break it down for ya ... actors are often asked ... "Who would you take a cut in pay to work with?!? Who’s on THAT list?"

I’ve got a list like that ... it’s short ... very short ... Da Rose is on it...


She recommended you for Dante Tomaselli's Satan's Playground. What was working with Dante, an openly big fan of yours, like?

Sir Dante has what a lot of people in our business are missing ... a True passion for what they’re doing ... money be damned ... time be damned ... sleep be damned ... but NOT ‘project’ be damned ... if you know what I mean...

I’ll go back into the jungle with just nail clippers anytime with a cat like that...

Write it down ... cut to a few years from now ... he’s gonna have his own row at BlockBuster ... and they’ll all be checked out.

 
What can you tell us about your character 'Boy' in Satan's Playground?

"Boy" sleeps in the basement on a straw bed ... he doesn’t do well "Upstairs" ... I don’t think we’re really sure he’s ... uh ... housebroken.

His needs are few and he only has two pairs of jeans and 3 shirts ... all brown ... all torn in the elbows...

His favorite thing in the whole world is his Bowie Knife ... he practices slicing things with it and has found that if you twist it jeeessssst right. So at the correct angle ... you can go thru the ulna in a heart-beat ...

He has "strange stirrings" when Felissa stands next to him ... (doesn’t every one???) ... but doesn’t understand them ... lucky for her ...

In short ... he was like a lot of guys back on the block where I came from ... (did I mention there are a LOT of power lines in North Houston??)


Is it true you have an extensive and large movie poster collection? What are among some of the prizes in your collection?

Almost all of my favorite posters are from Poland before 1990. Back before Communism fell, some of the world’s greatest artists all did poster art for American/ Asian/ Czech/ French/ Russian/ Polish films ... They are fantastic in concept and stunning in execution.

Realize ... Poland is the only country in the world that has a National Museum for posters ... they take the Poster ... seriously.

You’d have to see some by my favorite artist A. Pagowski.  I spend many a happy evening showing them to the uninitiated.

One of my favorite American Film posters is  'King Creole' wit Da King. I always tell people ... "Hey... I’m straight... but I’da done ‘im!"

Edwin... THANK you so much for talking to us. We love ya, man.

Thanks Kidz! For yer time …

See ya at the Premiere!



Other TEXAS CHAINSAW Interviews!

Special thanks to Dante Tomaselli!!!
Visit: Satan's Playground The Movie.com





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