Most pictures of Marilyn Burns you'll find on the netweb show her crying, screaming or generally looking goddamn mortified. Have I ever told you that 1974's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is my favorite horror film of all time? Because it is. One of the reasons is the acting. If you know a little bit about the production of the film, you know that the cast wasn't really acting during the punishing scenes of dire torture. Due to a combination of ectoderm-baking heat and unseemly working hours, the people in front of the camera "eased" into a groggy delirium. That's why the performances ring true.
In my opinion, Sally Hardesty is the quintessential final girl. I felt that way before I learned of Marilyn's passing, and I can only hope that her death impels younger horror buffs to reassess her standing in relation to other slasher heroines (or at least the virtues of TCM itself). I'm speaking to her worth as an actress, but of course, those who knew her on a personal level will grieve this loss more than I ever could. I wish I had the chance to meet her. Rest in peace, Marilyn.
PS-She also appeared in Tobe Hooper's Eaten Alive, and while it was a sigh-inducing gator roll, Marilyn was perfectly perky (resist those urges, Dom). I still need to see Kiss Daddy Goodbye, wherein she contends with psychic brats.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 10:22 PM