As if the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies weren’t terrifying enough, this American horror franchise is actually loosely based on the Wisconsin serial killer, Ed Gein. A strange, psychologically, unstable man who was raised under extreme biblical teachings and kept rather hidden away on his family’s secluded farm. Much like the famous Leatherface, Gein kept the remains of his victims to be used around the farm — especially human skin which he crafted into his own apparel. Needless to say, there are tons of other terrifying facts about the popular horror franchise.
The movie was also inspired by a Christmas shopping crowd
Although director and co-writer of the original film, Tobe Hooper did admit to writing the script somewhat based on Ed Gein, he also explained that his creative energy was really inspired after a shopping rush during Christmas at a local department store.
“There were these big Christmas crowds, I was frustrated, and I found myself near a display rack of chainsaws. I just kind of zoned in on it… and I thought, ‘I know a way I could get through this crowd really quickly.’”
It is not a true story
Clever marketing at its best. Although the film was an interpretation Hooper loosely based on Gein’s crimes, the backstory of a chain-wielding maniac who killed youth in Texas was all just a fictional creation. In fact, the Texas Film Commission financed the project, which is how the word “Texas” came to be in the film title at all.
The original film was shot on a tight budget
With a budget of only $60,000, Hooper, his crew and a group of unknown actors ventured out into an area in Central Texas to make a terrifying movie on what they called a “shoestring budget”. The filming conditions were also not the most ideal, with incredibly high summer temperatures stewing the bones and rotting meat that were used as props. Gross!
Leatherface wears three masks throughout the original film
Hooper wanted his horrific killer to have a bit of emotion behind his slaughtering escapades. He gave the character three different masks — the killing mask, the grandpa mask and the makeup-covered mask. A bit strange for a character with the word “face”, a singular noun, displayed in his name.
The notorious chainsaw was indeed, REAL
It wouldn’t have been the same movie without the revving noise of the killer’s chainsaw blade chasing victims to their own demise. Although, the teeth were removed for particular scenes due to safety purposes, there were a few shots where Leatherface tripped and fell throwing his bladed weapon forward. Luckily no one was hurt badly in the making of the film!
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