Chainsaws, Slackers, and Spy Kids: Thirty Years of Filmmaking in Austin, Texas chronicles the transformation of the Third Coast from myth to reality by recreating Austin’s colorful movie history. Based on revealing interviews with Richard Linklater, Robert Rodriguez, Mike Judge, Quentin Tarantino, Matthew McConaughey, George Lucas, and more than 100 other players in the local and national film industries, this book explores how Austin has become a proving ground for contemporary independent cinema.
Chainsaws, Slackers, and Spy Kids begins in the early 1970s with Tobe Hooper’s horror classic, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and it follows the development of the Austin film scene through 2001 with the production and release of Rodriguez’s $100 million blockbuster, Spy Kids. Each chapter explores the behind-the-scenes story of a specific movie, such as Linklater’s Dazed and Confused and Judge’s Office Space, against the backdrop of Austin’s ever-expanding film community. In Chainsaws, Slackers, and Spy Kids, former film critic Alison Macor weaves together these and many other stories to craft a lively narrative that tells the rollicking history of moviemaking in Austin, Texas.