Never mind flying under the radar. Even in 1973 it was a shoestring budget (John Carpenter’s famously low-budget Halloween was made for five times that amount a few years later), which meant little pay and long hours for the cast and crew. Braving blistering temperatures, on-set injuries, and a shoestring budget, they produced one of the most terrifying motion pictures ever made. That’s the thing about The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which came out on Oct. 11, 1974: In many ways, it represents, both then and today, something larger than simply the movie on celluloid itself. Gein was called the Butcher of Plainsfield (Wisconsin) and is known to have robbed bodies from graves and taken trophies, … Born in 1906 in Plainfield, Wisconsin, Ed Gein lived most of his life as a reclusive loner. Robert Bloch used him as inspiration for his 1959 novel PSYCHO, which went on to be adapted for the screen in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film of the same name. Nothing was found and on the records, it was concluded that the massacre Sally described did not happen. It’s called the Grand Central Café, and though the owners proudly include its cinematic heritage on their website, you won’t find any human bones as part of the décor. In the summer of 1973, newbie director Tobe Hooper—who passed away on August 26, 2017 at the age of 74—and a group of unknown actors ventured out into the Central Texas heat to make a horror movie. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre True Story. So, for my answer, and it is only what I have been told secondhanded from a supposedly read newspaper article, it did indeed take place, albeit many years ago, as the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" came out in, I believe, late 1970's early 1980's. Police found the remains of 15 bodies in his home which had been mutilated and turned into different items such as bowls, drums, knifes etc. He got so smelly by the end of production that the rest of the cast and crew avoided eating around him. When I first read the part, I could see that nobody wanted this guy to be there. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a fictional story. With no real dialogue (apart from a gibberish scene that Hooper eventually cut) to drive his character, and his facial expressions hidden by a mask, Hansen had to come up with other ways to express who he thought Leatherface was. However, a second trial regarding his sanity found that he was once again not guilty by reason of insanity. Ed Gein and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre at Reel-Faces. The story is VERY LOOSELY based upon Ed Gein, a man from Plainfield, Wisconsin in the 1950's, who murdered only a few women and used parts of their bodies for clothing and furniture. Ed also went on to see his likeness portrayed in the 1974 film DERANGED, as well as in Rob Zombie’s HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES and THE DEVIL’S REJECTS. “Before I came up with the chainsaw,” Hooper said, “the story had trolls under a bridge. Nine months, a check for $28.45. Nowhere. But did “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” really happen? Hidden away on the family’s secluded farm, the family kept to themselves. Check Out This Killer Custom-Painted TEXAS CHAINSAW VCR! And he went into the morgue and skinned a cadaver and made a mask for Halloween. Certainly there was no real family of cannibalistic chainsaw murderers slaughtering people in Texas, nor any actual series of chainsaw-related killings. He used to visit screenings of the film at Austin’s Village theater, wait for his scenes to come up, and then tap viewers on the shoulder and watch them freak out. After inspiration struck, Hooper and co-writer Kim Henkel hammered out a script over several weeks and gave it the eerie title Head Cheese (named for the scene in which the hitchhiker details the process of how that particular pork product is made). In terms of ticket sales, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the most profitable films of all time. The house isn’t there anymore, but if you head west of Austin into Kingsland you can find the actual home, restored and now in use as a restaurant. “Two weeks later,” Hansen recalled, “the same guy calls and says, ‘The guy who was hired as the killer is holed up drunk in a motel and won’t come out. However, a quick check of that date reveals that the film had just wrapped four days’ prior, making it fairly difficult to base a film on an actual event that had yet to occur. The inspired events were also said to have taken place on August 18th, 1973. I just kind of zoned in on it,” Hooper told Texas Monthly. To make matters a little more difficult, though, he also dealt with an interesting character technique that his victims engaged in. The opening narration, which promised that “The film which you are about to see is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths,” certainly helped that along, as did the original poster and its promise that “what happened is true!” Despite this clever aura, the tale of Leatherface and his deranged family is still a work of fiction, despite continued protestations from fans even decades later. Now, I’ll be honest and state I did actually like both of these films. Sorry, there is/was no such person as "Leatherface", nor was there ever a real Texas Chainsaw Massacre in Texas or any other location in the world for that matter. At its best, its horrors … Despite this, there was an actual skin-wearing maniac that was the film’s inspiration. The idea actually came from a doctor I knew. There's Someone In The House! Frustrated and exhausted (this was during the 27-hour shooting marathon), Hansen ultimately stripped the tape off the knife when no one was looking and cut Burns for real. When he first heard that the film was being made, Hansen—then a graduate student in Austin—was told he’d be “great” for the role, but that it was already cast. Of all the cast members, it was Ed Neal—the hitchhiker himself—who would have the most amusing reaction from fans. The original location used as the house of Leatherface and his family was located in Williamson County, Texas, in what is now the Round Rock area. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a HUGE urban legend known by many people around the world. See pics of the real Leatherface, Ed Gein, and watch the movie trailer. Happened around the late 1920's is think. The knife blade used in the scene was dulled by a piece of tape which also held a rubber tube attached to a “bulb” full of fake blood concealed in Hansen’s palm. George died on April 1, 1940 of alcohol-related heart failure. The story of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is loosely based on two real-life events (it's more of a melding of both events). Because of its low budget, many of the stars of Chainsaw took ownership shares in the film rather than a salary, but their shares were actually percentages of Vortex, the company set up by Henkel and Hooper to produce the film. After the November 16, 1957 disappearance of hardware store owner Bernice Worden, police began to suspect Ed, who was the last person to see her alive. The producers eventually took Bryanston to court, but by then the distributor’s financial situation was so dire that they had no demonstrable assets to sue for. Because of its realism and “true story” marketing, Texas Chainsaw created the opportunity for some interesting encounters between fans and cast members. Fond of preaching from the Old Testament, Augusta instilled the fear of God as well as a fear of sexuality and a general mistrust of women in Ed and his brother Henry. The film was marketed as being based on true events to attract a wider a… There’s a lot of bad karma surrounding this movie, and I’m quitting.’ So I called [art director] Bob Burns and told him I was interested.”. Then it was changed to the menacing working title of Leatherface. The events depicted in the movie never actually happened. In addition to the excessive heat and odor in the dining room during filming, the sequence was given another challenge: It had to be completed in a single day because John Dugan, the actor who played Grandpa, refused to endure the 10-hour process of getting his makeup applied a second time. Ed took odd jobs but remained reclusive and unsuspecting. The film’s menacing opening narration is an instant tone-setter, preparing the audience for a truly horrifying experience. According to Hooper, though, the light bulb moment that really ignited the film came at a department store during the Christmas 1972 shopping rush. Despite their abusive relationship, Ed was devastated by his mother’s death. This behind-the-scenes observance actually produced some intense onscreen results. On November 7, 1968, doctors determined that Ed was capable of standing trial, and he was found guilty on November 14th. And he didn't get in a chainsaw duel with Dennis Hopper, as Leatherface does in the so-bad-it's-bad Texas Chain Saw Massacre 2 (above), which also claims to be based on "real events." The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was produced on a budget of $60,000 raised by Bill Parsley, a Texas Tech administrator and former member of the Texas Legislature who fancied himself a film producer. Allegedly because Bryanston’s owners—Joe and Lou Peraino—were members of the Colombo crime family. No this did not happen, though the story was based off of a killer named Ed Gein who robbed graves for recently dead body's and also killed at least 2 women. Augusta’s strict biblical teachings were extremely instrumental in shaping Ed’s attitude towards women. 1974's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was loosely inspired by a number of real-life events that caught the attention of Hooper. It was apparently the first time he had seen Hansen in full costume. The answer to these questions is that the leading character in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is loosely based on the real life man, Ed Gein. Born to an alcoholic father, George, and a fanatically religious mother, Augusta, Ed Gein suffered heavy psychological and physical abuse at the hands of his parents. As a large man who had to work every day in triple-digit heat while wearing a wool costume that he couldn’t change out of, Gunnar Hansen already had it rough while making The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The concept for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre came to Hooper in the early '70s, as he was directly inspired by much of the … Partain’s commitment worked just as well behind the camera as it did in front of it. The dinner scene near the end of the film in which Sally (Marilyn Burns) is terrorized by Leatherface and his family is one of the most intense sequences in all of horror cinema. It wasn’t until a week before shooting was set to begin that the eventual title arrived, suggested to Hooper and Henkel by Warren Skaaren, then head of the Texas Film Commission, who’d helped the project get financing. Though his name would suggest a singular horrifying visage, Leatherface actually wears multiple masks in the film—the rationale being that they were the only way he could truly express himself. Couple kids were running around when they encountered a chainsaw … Ed was arraigned on November 21, 1957 where he pleaded “not guilty” by reason of insanity. Ed's father, George, was a hard working farmer. He may not have had a chainsaw, but serial killer Ed Gein was a key inspiration for the infamous Leatherface. The full extent of what he was up to on his family farm would not be revealed until over ten years later. It stars Marilyn Burns, Paul A. Partain, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow and Gunnar Hansen, who respectively portray Sally Hardesty, Franklin Hardesty, the hitchhiker, the proprietor, and Leatherface. Today's chainsaws show all a number of safety features to protect the operator. Homeless Person Living In Person’s Cabinet, The Strange Surreal Sculptures Of Shary Boyle. The Shockingly Disturbing Story of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. Yet, the isolationism, the overbearing nature of his parents, and Ed’s desire for accessorizing in human flesh will always most notably connect him to Leatherface. On a further search of the property, authorities also found various human remains including a trashcan made out of a human skull, chairs covered in human skin, and skull bedposts. Determined that would not happen again, his follow-up effort, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), would shake up the world of cinema, forever change the face of horror, and spawn a billion dollar franchise. In the summer of 1973, newbie director Tobe Hooper—who passed away on August 26, 2017 at the age of 74—and a group of unknown actors ventured out into the Central Texas heat to make a … Ed Gein was one of two sons born to George and Augusta Gein. His mother was overbearing. “Six months, no check. DVD commentary by Tobe Hooper, Daniel Pearl, and Gunnar Hansen – 2003, suggested to Hooper and Henkel by Warren Skaaren. However, Gein lived in Wisconsin and he operated alone. We changed that to the character who eventually became Leatherface. Though the real crimes of Ed Gein did influence Hooper and Henkel in their writing, the idea that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is itself based on a true story is something that grew out of the marketing of the film. Some even say that they knew Leatherface for themselves or they knew the victims. It's not even based on a true story. In 1974, director Tobe Hooper revolutionized horror with his film “inspired by a true story,” THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is actually a true story! Additional Sources: Why the discrepancy? Classmates remember Ed as being reclusive with strange habits. “Three months, no check,” Ed Neal, who played the hitchhiker, later recalled. Four years later, brother Henry would die under mysterious circumstances revolving around a fire on the family farm. Even this guy had to be screened by the TSA on the security line. Alas, the film’s intensity ultimately meant it earned an R rating. Regardless, this left Ed as the only outlet for his mother’s insane devotion until her death on December 29, 1945. The brothers were also reminded on an almost daily basis that they would never be loved by a woman. At one point he and Burns stopped speaking to each other between takes, and Hansen later recalled that Franklin was the only character he was actually happy to kill. “He announced that he was not sitting through it again,” Hooper said. Thanks to the rural location of the home, and it's natural eerie look, the house was a shoe-in for the 2003 Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake and it ended up playing the part of Leatherface's abode. This 1900s Victorian house was featured prominently in the 1974 film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre as the home of Leatherface and his cannibalistic family, before it was moved to this location from Williamson County in 1998. As a result, the cast and crew worked for 27 straight hours to finish a scene that takes up only a few minutes of the film’s runtime. “I was a young, inexperienced actor who didn’t realize that it wasn’t like theater," Partain later said. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) & Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006) The poster for the 2003 remake was sinister, dark and had genuine menace despite the somewhat sad eyes of Leatherface, this time played by Andrew Bryniarski in both movies. Though it's easy to think of the film as a straight-up horror movie, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre also belongs to the New Hollywood movement … “As you watch the film, notice there’s probably about two ounces,” Hooper later joked. Hooper asked Larroquette to imitate Orson Welles for his reading, and while he didn’t quite get that, what the actor ultimately provided worked wonders. According to both Hooper and Pearl, producers (namely Parsley, who visited the set often and feared the film would be a disaster) didn’t want them to spend time on the shot, as it was not a part of the storyboards they worked from for much of the film. The six bedroom house was built in Austin in the 1850's then moved by train in the 1930's and rebuilt brick by brick where it now sits. The best protection, even still, is experience. Among the other remains, the police also found a corset, leggings, masks, and a dress all made from the skin of young women. The brothers apparently got into the film business in the first place after muscling away the rights to another classic ‘70s cult film: Deep Throat. It’s hard to imagine anyone but the massive Gunnar Hansen, who passed away in 2015, behind the Leatherface mask in the original film now, but he was apparently not the first person cast in the role. “At this point I was so crazy that I just wanted to get the film over with,” he later said. While shooting at Leatherface’s house, Hooper and cinematographer Daniel Pearl conceived a shot that would track under the swing in the yard and follow Pam (Teri McMinn) at a low angle as she walked toward the house, which would grow menacingly in the background until it towered over her. To make matters more complicated, Bryanston Distributors—which acquired the film for release in late 1974—was declaring revenue for the film was much, much lower than the millions it raked in at drive-ins and midnight shows. Found mentally incompetent, Ed was sent to the Central State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. That probably means you did something right. From marathon shooting days to flying chainsaws to mafia money problems, here are 20 facts about one of the greatest slasher films of all time. "You didn’t have to stay in character all the time. More than four decades after its release, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre still shocks and thrills audiences with its realistic imagery, unhinged tone, and “based on a true story” marketing—and its status as one of the ultimate cult classics shows no signs of fading. Still, it’s probably not as gory as you remember. The inspirations for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre are surprisingly diverse, ranging from director and co-writer Tobe Hooper’s attempt to make a modern retelling of Hansel and Gretel to real-life Wisconsin murderer and corpse defiler Ed Gein. “I thought he was going to have a coronary,” she said. Almost immediately after the film’s release, rumors began to circulate that there was an actual chainsaw wielding madman living with his deranged family in the town of Poth, Texas. To make matters worse, the production endured a Texas summer with temperatures in excess of 100 degrees (including 115-degree heat for the un-air conditioned interior shots), a single bathroom shared by more than three dozen people, costumes that could not be changed because the actors only had one set of clothes, and the constant presence of the bones and rotting meat used as props. Confining himself to a room off of the kitchen, Ed became obsessed with reading about Nazis and cannibals. The Texas Chainsaw House is located in Kingsland, Texas, on the grounds of The Antlers Hotel. A severe alcoholic who could not hold a job, Ed’s father, George, was despised by his wife, creating a heavy amount of tension in the home. McMinn once recalled picking up a hitchhiker with a friend (which is ironic, given the film’s relationship to hitchhikers) and listening to him describe how scary the film was to her until she asked if he recognized her. One of his most unnerving habits was to randomly laugh out loud as though someone had told a joke that only he could hear. As he dragged the knife across Burns’s finger, Hansen was supposed to squeeze the bulb and pump the blood out to simulate the cut, but the tube kept clogging in take after take. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a 1974 American slasher film directed by Tobe Hooper and written and co-produced by Hooper and Kim Henkel. While The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is often seen as one of the most disturbing horror movies of the ‘70s, Tobe Hooper originally wanted the picture to be rated PG.Since the PG-13 rating wasn’t invented until 1984, Hooper wanted his film to be PG so that it could reach a wider audience.. Then, to capture the mental instability of the character, he went to an Austin mental hospital and studied the movements of the patients there, which he then incorporated into his performance. 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