‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ was filmed on a microscopic budget of $60,000, the cast and crew had to work 7 days a week, 12-16 hours a day in 115°F heat in a poorly ventilated farmhouse amid rotting roadkill being used as props to finish the film
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was produced on a budget of $60,000 raised by Bill Parsley, a Texas Tech administrator and former member of the Texas Legislature who fancied himself a film producer.
Even in 1973 it was a shoestring budget (John Carpenter’s famously low-budget Halloween was made for five times that amount a few years later), which meant little pay and long hours for the cast and crew.
To make matters worse, the production endured a Texas summer with temperatures in excess of 100 degrees (including 115-degree heat for the un-air conditioned interior shots), a single bathroom shared by more than three dozen people, costumes that could not be changed because the actors only had one set of clothes, and the constant presence of the bones and rotting meat used as props.
Virtually no member of the cast went uninjured, and the heat and stench got so punishing at one point that the actors would run to the windows of the house where the dinner scene was shot to throw up and breathe a little fresh air between takes.
Years later, Hooper sarcastically referred to the experience as an “interesting summer.”