Screenshot from the 1974 Texas Chainsaw Massacre. (Contributed)

Screenshot from the 1974 Texas Chainsaw Massacre. (Contributed)

Kelowna filmmaker launches fundraiser for ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ fan movie

Donations will go towards the production of ‘The Sawyer Massacre’

If you’re a fan of the classic 1974 horror movie ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ then you may just be interested in a Kelowna-based filmmaker’s latest project.

Steve Merlo, the owner of Kelowna’s Sequanda Films, is looking to raise funds for the production of “The Sawyer Massacre,” a feature-length Texas Chain Saw Massacre fan film and an unofficial prequel to the iconic horror film.

“Texas Chainsaw Massacre was such an important film for me in my youth,” said Merlo. It was what inspired me to become a filmmaker.”

READ MORE: Film that explores themes of missing Indigenous women to screen in Kelowna

Merlo is no stranger to horror filmmaking—his short horror/thriller film ‘Unseen’ was selected by numerous festivals and won three awards including “Best International Short Horror Film” at the Los Angeles Academy of Filmmaking.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre shocked audiences in 1974, as the movie was banned in many theatres and countries. Since then, it has become a cult classic.

“I don’t plan to copy what the original did, but will use it as an influence in a stylistic way. Our film will have more blood and kills but will still be very subtle in its delivery,” said Merlo.

Merlo is crowd-sourcing funding for the project since the original was also filmed on a small budget and used a cast of relatively unknown actors. He has set an ambitious goal of $500,000 for the campaign as this would enable the highest standards of filmmaking, but he acknowledges this level may not be possible.

“I have four different budgets for this project, the lowest being $25,000,” said Merlo.

“I want to give this film as much attention and respect as I can, but I’m also realistic about the fact that this is a tough time to be fundraising.”

As a fan film, no profit will be made off the distribution of the film. Those interested in supporting Merlo’s project can do so here.

READ MORE: Central Okanagan Food Bank food drive goes virtual amid COVID-19 concerns


Daniel Taylor
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com
Follow me on Twitter

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