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Texas Chainsaw Massacre:
The Beginning

Oct. 6, 2006

Lee Tergesen plays a biker named Holden in this prequel to the cult horror film series.

The original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" was made in 1974, became a cult horror classic and spawned several sequels. In 2003, producer Michael Bay created a remake of the original. He has followed that up with "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning" -- a prequel to the remake. Got that?

The story was set up to answer questions about the psycho character "Leatherface" and the cannibalistic Hewitt family. The filmmakers want to explain why Leatherface uses a chainsaw and how his mask originated.

This prequel is set in 1969 and features Lee in a "small but pivotal role." It was filmed in Austin, Texas, in October-November 2005 and was released Oct. 6, 2006.

Lee's first scene in the theatrical release is a brief appearance in a dusty roadside store in rural Texas, where the main foursome of teens has made a stop. He's having drinks with his girlfriend, Alex (Cyia Batten), and he's really just part of the scenery at this point. In the unrated DVD version, released Jan. 16, 2007, they actually get some dialogue: Alex mutters threats and Holden tells her to settle down.

Also, in the unrated DVD version,  Lee-as-Holden makes an earlier appearance, as the bikers harass the foursome in their Jeep. 

In an interview in October 2005, Lee likens that scene to a movie he saw as a kid called "Chrome and Hot Leather": "The first scene is this biker gang driving around this car with two girls in it. They have all sorts of things and theyíre banging on the car -- so the first scene where you see me, itís sort of a scene like that."

Back at the store, the girls, Chrissie (Jordana Brewster) and Bailey (Doira Baird), are spooked by the large pack of bikers in back of the store and hustle to the Jeep meet up with their boyfriends, Eric (Matthew Bomer) and Dean (Taylor Handley), and hit the road.

Holden's biker chick, Alex, follows them with the idea of robbing them. But that plan goes very wrong, starting with a collision with a stray cow and culminating with a run-in with the faux Sheriff Hoyt (R. Lee Ermey).

After arriving on the scene of the accident, Hoyt hauls the kids back to the Hewitt family estate in his ill-gotten police car. Alex "rides shotgun." Literally. She was instantly blown away by the bad sheriff, and he puts her in the front passenger seat. Bloodied Dean, Bailey and Eric are in the back seat. Chrissie was thrown free of the accident, and attempts to rescue her friends from the clutches of pure evil.

About halfway through the movie, Lee makes a more substantial appearance. In seeking help, Chrissie flags down a biker on the roadway -- it turns out to be Holden. He's a scruffy but welcome sight. He's got long hair, a dark beard and a big gun. His denim jacket is emblazoned with his biker gang's emblem, out of El Paso.

Chrissie leads him through the woods back to the Hewitt household, where Sheriff Hoyt is supplying his nephew Tommy/Leatherface (Andrew Bryniarski) with fresh meat to butcher. In this case, it's Alex.

Although Chrissie is interested in rescuing her friends, Holden tells her she's on her own. He's just there for his girlfriend. He doesn't know she's dead (and dismembered) yet.

He has the element of surprise, initially, but then Hoyt gets a hold of him. Holden wants to see "the girl." So Hoyt shows him Bailey, who's bound and gagged. Wrong girl. Then, just about everything else goes wrong.

Holden scuffles with Hoyt, and winds up falling on top of the chainsaw. Hoyt holds down Holden and encourages Tommy/Leatherface to rev up the chainsaw, telling him that Holden's like the kids in school who used to torment him. After a few fruitless pulls on the cord, the chainsaw starts up, and Leatherface ruins that nice biker jacket of Holden's. And everything in between.  (Click for a pic of the jacket, courtesy of Deelitefulee, who won it in a memorabilia auction conducted by New Line.)

Lee said of his final scene, which is the first-ever chainsaw kill in Leatherface lore: "It was just fucking grueling ...  it was brutal Every angle, constantly screaming. It was tough." 

That's not quite the last we see of Holden. Part of him appears during a gruesome dinner scene with Hoyt, his mother, Uncle Monty (just call him "Stumpy") and three of the remaining teens.

While Mama Hewitt is dishing up dinner, she drops some fingers on the floor. Apparently the five-second rule applies in cannibalism, too, and the fingers go back in the stew. Then, she examines another piece of meat on a fork. "Whose tongue is this?" she wonders. Hoyt replies, "It's from that asshole biker." Cut back to Mama Hewitt, sticking her tongue out at the tongue in a very Lee-esque manner.

So, just like in "Desert Heat," Lee plays a biker whose tongue becomes the main attraction. Or, in this case, the main course.

In an interview at Bloody-Disgusting.com  Lee describes how he got the part in the "Chainsaw" prequel: 

"I actually went and met with Michael Bay and talked about it. ... I had just finished working on 'Wanted' ... and it sort of worked into my time schedule. Iíve always been a big fan of horror films, I love a good scary movie. And I have friends down in Austin and I didnít have to cut my hair, so it sort of all worked together."


Click for larger image
of image above
(from trailer)

Movie Gallery

Click here
66 screencaps
from DVD

DVD Extras

Images from behind-
the-scenes features:
(Thanks to RhymePhile!)

Interview on the set
That's all folks!
Falling on the chainsaw
Holden's a dummy

Video clip
Lee's bits in
the DVD extras

"Making of" 
feature on Cinemax

Hoyt holds Holden
Holden's doomed?
Two Lees on the set
(R. Lee Ermey &
Lee Tergesen)

Video clip
of scenes above

Photo above from 
Entertainment Weekly

Related Links

IMDb // Wikipedia

Available on DVD:
Unrated version and Theatrical release version

Official movie site

Interview with Lee
on the set

Set report
from IGN.com

Filmmonthly article
about the original