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The Original Texas Chainsaw Massacre Callback That The Producers Worked Hard to Bring To Netflix Sequel

Leatherface holding chainsaw through car window in Texas Chainsaw Massacre
(Image credit: Netflix)

With the Halloween franchise having enjoyed a successful storyline-adjusting quasi-reboot trilogy, thanks to David Gordon Green and Danny McBride, it’s opened the door for more classic horrors to return. Now as a Netflix Original, Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the next genre standout to return to fans with something of a revisionist bent. From The Evil Dead reboot director Fede Álvarez and Tejano helmer David Blue Garcia, the Netflix-produced sequel is something of a direct follow-up to Tobe Hooper’s 1974 original, with the nightmarish Leatherface back to his old habits of ending people’s lives via a roaring chainsaw. And with this newest franchise entry comes the return of a vital element from the original film and its 2003 namesake: veteran TV actor John Larroquette as narrator. 

Though most fans’ go-to memories of 1974’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre no doubt center on the bonkers introductions of Leatherface and the Sawyer household, it’s impossible to forget the indelible way the film starts off, with John Larroquette’s masterful voicework complementing the text scroll that sets up the violence and mayhem to come. It only made sense for him to return for the latest entry, and while promoting Netflix’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre during press interviews, director David Blue Garcia talked with CinemaBlend about bringing the Night Court legend back once more, saying:

Yeah, I wasn't there for the behind the scenes of bringing back John Larroquette, but I know [the producers] were working really hard on it over at Bad Hombre. And I think once he heard that the project was still going on - you know, I got to talk with him - he was slightly amused that the first job he had when he landed in Hollywood back in the 70s was doing a favor for his friend, Tobe Hooper. [That] it just became such a legendary series of films, and that we still wanted him to be a part of it. Because he's got such an iconic voice, and he's such a big part of the way that first movie begins, and just kind of sets the tone, that it was great to get him back.

To be sure, David Blue Garcia was absolutely into the idea of bringing John Larroquette back into the franchise-narrating fun, though he likely didn’t have the proper communication channels to work through in the way that Fede Álvarez’s production company Bad Hombre did. However things went with the phone calls and the emails, the end result is what horror fans care most about, and the Netflix movie marks Larroquette’s third vocal appearance as the narrator.

Considering how much of an icon he became during the ‘80s and ‘90s, it’s delightful and almost quaint to think about John Larroquette getting his first big Hollywood break by describing the terror that Sally Hardesty, her brother, and her friends all felt during what was meant to be a fun road trip. The actor followed up on his voiceover work with roles in TV shows such as Sanford & Son, Kojak and Doctors’ Hospital, to name but a few, and he amusingly also reteamed with Tobe Hooper as the narrator for the 1985 flick Lifeforce. But 1984 was a marquee year for Larroquette, as that’s when fans could watch his work on both Night Court and in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. (He’s even returning for the upcoming Night Court revival with The Big Bang Theory’s Melissa Rauch.)

Speaking to how much of a stalwart professional Larroquette is, David Blue Garcia shared the amusing story below about when the actor recorded his lines:

And I remember, we did a recording session with him, and he read the lines the first time, and I don't think he practiced; maybe he practiced at home. But, like, he just did it perfectly on the first take. And as a director, I just have to say, 'One more for safety.' That's just something that you have to do as a director, and John just started laughing, and he goes, like, 'I'll give it to you, but you don't need it.' And I'm pretty sure we use the first take at the end of the day.

It's pretty easy to imagine the exact tone and facial expression John Larroquette utilized when gamely agreeing to record his lines again, knowing full well that it was more of a technicality than a necessity. Now if only all of the characters in Texas Chainsaw Massacre were as good at surviving chainsaw-wielding madmen as Larroquette is good at line readings. 

Texas Chainsaw Massacre will make its streaming debut on Netflix (opens in new tab) on Friday, February 18. While waiting to see how bloody things get in the new one, check out our ranking of all the previous films, as well as where they can all be found for viewing purposes. And stay up to date with all the other Netflix movie premieres coming in 2022

Nick Venable
Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.