Perhaps the trait that mostly links Ed back to Leatherface was his fondness for turning human skin into apparel. When Hooper wanted the character to “squeal like a pig,” Hansen went out into the country and studied a friend’s pigs. The blade of the saw was just inches from actor William Vail’s head for the scene in which Leatherface begins carving up Kirk’s body, and Hooper and Pearl had to carefully dance around Hansen to shoot the film’s final moments as Leatherface swings the saw around. Augusta’s strict biblical teachings were extremely instrumental in shaping Ed’s attitude towards women. The full extent of what he was up to on his family farm would not be revealed until over ten years later. The then-dilapidated farm house originally sat on Quick Hill Road during the July–August 1973 filming of the movie.The original site is where La Frontera is now located, in Round Rock. Then it was changed to the menacing working title of Leatherface. 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. The real-life model for terrifying horror movie psychos like Leatherface, Buffalo Bill, and Norman Bates was a man named Ed Gein, whose actual exploits were even more shocking than the movie plots they inspired. 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. Despite its reputation for gruesome mutilation and gore, much of the violence in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is suggested rather than directly depicted. Ed Gein found himself the subject of many interpretations. 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. 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.”. In 1974, director Tobe Hooper revolutionized horror with his film “inspired by a true story,” THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. “Before I came up with the chainsaw,” Hooper said, “the story had trolls under a bridge. There has never been a "chainsaw massacre" in Texas committed by a family of degenerate cannibals. But not quite. 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. His mother was overbearing. Gein was called the Butcher of Plainsfield (Wisconsin) and is known to have robbed bodies from graves and taken trophies, … 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. 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. Check Out This Killer Custom-Painted TEXAS CHAINSAW VCR! Never mind flying under the radar. Born in 1906 in Plainfield, Wisconsin, Ed Gein lived most of his life as a reclusive loner. Even this guy had to be screened by the TSA on the security line. 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 … 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. 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. Austin Chronicle : It's been 24 years since The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was released, and in that time it's become … 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 scene in which Sally’s finger is cut so that her blood can be fed to Grandpa was supposed to rely on a very simple special effect. 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. With no idea where the deadly power tool would land, Hansen just covered his head and hoped for the best. This behind-the-scenes observance actually produced some intense onscreen results. 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. 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. “Three months, no check,” Ed Neal, who played the hitchhiker, later recalled. He may not have had a chainsaw, but serial killer Ed Gein was a key inspiration for the infamous Leatherface. Ed remained on the family farm, boarding up his mother’s room to ensure that it would remain just as she had left it on the day she died. "You didn’t have to stay in character all the time. Though its teeth were removed for some shots, the saw Hansen wielded in the film was indeed a working chainsaw, and it sometimes put cast members in real danger. “I’ve had people say ‘I knew the original Leatherface,’” Gunnar Hansen, who played the killer character, recalled. The saw landed just a few inches away. 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. “During the filming, none of them would talk to me or be anywhere near me until they were dead,” he later recalled. Since Vortex only owned half the film, with Parsley owning the other half, their shares were all sliced in half, which many of them apparently didn’t realize at the time. Found mentally incompetent, Ed was sent to the Central State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Not outside of a series of movies, anyway. However, Gein lived in Wisconsin and he operated alone. Hidden away on the family’s secluded farm, the family kept to themselves. Homeless Person Living In Person’s Cabinet, The Strange Surreal Sculptures Of Shary Boyle. Certainly there was no real family of cannibalistic chainsaw murderers slaughtering people in Texas, nor any actual series of chainsaw-related killings. 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. Allegedly because Bryanston’s owners—Joe and Lou Peraino—were members of the Colombo crime family. 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. This seems to be the question that will not go away. He was buried at the Plainfield Cemetery where his grave was routinely vandalized. That said, Texas is a big state and, sadly, we do have our share of serial killers, wackos, and dysfunctional families. The hitchhiker, the older brother at the gas station, the girl escaping twice, the dinner sequence, people out in the country out of gas.”. They fought for and ultimately got the moment, and it remains the most beautiful composition in the film. Nowhere. Although never proven, many suspect Ed played a role in his brother’s death. Although represented as a true story involving the ambush and killing of a group of pals on a cascade through rural while encountering a family of cannibals in Texas, the film is actually a work of fiction. The Texas Chainsaw House is located in Kingsland, Texas, on the grounds of The Antlers Hotel. We decided Leatherface would have a different human-skin mask to fit each of his moods.”. 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. The idea actually came from a doctor I knew. “As you watch the film, notice there’s probably about two ounces,” Hooper later joked. And, while Gein was convicted of murdering two women, most of his crimes had to do with the fact that he stole corpses from the local cemetery. Today's chainsaws show all a number of safety features to protect the operator. 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. I remembered that he’d once told me this story about how, when he was a pre-med student, the class was studying cadavers. 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. For more information please see chainsaw safety devices. 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 NOT a true story. Ed's father, George, was a hard working farmer. Confining himself to a room off of the kitchen, Ed became obsessed with reading about Nazis and cannibals. The cemetery from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre in November 2011 The cemetery scenes were filmed at the Bagdad Cemetery in Leander, Texas, at the intersection of North Bagdad Rd at Old Farm to Market Rd 2243, Leander, TX 78641. “They finally asked me not to come back anymore,” Neal said. DVD commentary by Tobe Hooper, Daniel Pearl, and Gunnar Hansen – 2003, suggested to Hooper and Henkel by Warren Skaaren. “I thought he was going to have a coronary,” she said. Then the original Leatherface quit. It just hit me that he was whiny.”. Police searched the family farm where they found Bernice’s decapitated body hanging upside down inside the barn. John Larroquette, then an unknown actor who was referred to Hooper by a friend. July 6, 2016. Where did the "REAL" Texas Chainsaw Massacre Happen? Ed was the returned to the Central State Hospital for the Criminally Insane where he died on July 26, 1984. 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. One of his most unnerving habits was to randomly laugh out loud as though someone had told a joke that only he could hear. During the shoot, Burns and the other kids who would eventually fall prey to Leatherface avoided Hansen because they didn’t want to hang out with their killer. With the addition of an extra investment to help him finish post-production, Hooper had made the film for a little more than $80,000, and Bryanston acquired it for distribution for $225,000. The story of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is loosely based on two real-life events (it's more of a melding of both events). The film follows a group of friends who fall victim to a family of cannibals while on their way to visit an old homestead. If there ever was any "chainsaw massacre" of any kind, anywhere, it is totally unrelated, completely coincidental and had no bearing or impact on Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel's creative process during the production of their 1974 film. "There were these big Christmas crowds, I was frustrated, and I found myself near a display rack of chain saws. There's Someone In The House! When I first read the part, I could see that nobody wanted this guy to be there. “I did a rack focus to the saws, and I thought, ‘I know a way I could get through this crowd really quickly.’ I went home, sat down, all the channels just tuned in, the zeitgeist blew through, and the whole damn story came to me in what seemed like about 30 seconds. There’s the plain killing mask he wears for most of the film, the “grandma” mask he wears while preparing dinner to show his “domestic side,” and the makeup-covered mask he wears to sit down to dinner, complete with a suit in the Southern tradition of dressing up for the evening meal. Now, I’ll be honest and state I did actually like both of these films. This is because Hooper was hoping for a PG rating so that the film could reach a wider audience (there was no PG-13 at the time) and was told by the Motion Picture Association of America that he could help his cause if he limited the amount of onscreen blood. 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. 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. There was no real Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Additional Sources: It's a work of film fiction. In the film, the character Leatherface was influenced by real life killer and grave robber Ed Gein. We changed that to the character who eventually became Leatherface. “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. It's not even based on a true story. 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. Ed Gein and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre at Reel-Faces. 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. So, basically, the cannibal crew in Texas Chainsaw Massacre is actually an amalgamation of lots of creepy IRL men, which definitely makes the entire movie much more … 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. For as much information I have poured into this web site, people still e-mail me asking me where/if it really happened. Ed took odd jobs but remained reclusive and unsuspecting. According to Hooper, though, the light bulb moment that really ignited the film came at a department store during the Christmas 1972 shopping rush. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is actually a true story! On November 7, 1968, doctors determined that Ed was capable of standing trial, and he was found guilty on November 14th. Gein's last victim was Beatrice Worden. The inspired events were also said to have taken place on August 18th, 1973. 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. 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. 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. Ed was born in 1906 and his brother Henry was born five years before. I just kind of zoned in on it,” Hooper told Texas Monthly. “He announced that he was not sitting through it again,” Hooper said. See pics of the real Leatherface, Ed Gein, and watch the movie trailer. For example, when Jerry (Allen Danzinger) discovers Leatherface’s slaughter room and then meets the man himself, the scream he lets out is genuine. 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. Classmates remember Ed as being reclusive with strange habits. 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). The brothers were also reminded on an almost daily basis that they would never be loved by a woman. “Six months, no check. We were angry.". 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. “At this point I was so crazy that I just wanted to get the film over with,” he later said. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a HUGE urban legend known by many people around the world. For the role of Franklin, Sally’s wheelchair-bound brother who draws the ire of the audience when he grows angry with his more able-bodied friends simply because he can’t share in their fun, actor Paul Partain opted to take a very Method approach to his work. However, a second trial regarding his sanity found that he was once again not guilty by reason of insanity. Sort of. Both Henry and Ed were strictly forbidden from having visitors and were punished for even making friends. 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. The Shockingly Disturbing Story of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. Leatherface, the chainsaw-wielding maniac who would go down in history as one of horror cinema’s greatest villains, shows obvious Ed Gein influence thanks to his mask crafted from human skin, but Gein was not the character’s only precursor. 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. Couple kids were running around when they encountered a chainsaw … Braving blistering temperatures, on-set injuries, and a shoestring budget, they produced one of the most terrifying motion pictures ever made. The 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has been touted with the tagline “Inspired by a true story,” leading many horror fans to wonder whether the … The concept for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre came to Hooper in the early '70s, as he was directly inspired by much of the … 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. “I was a young, inexperienced actor who didn’t realize that it wasn’t like theater," Partain later 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. 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. In 1974, director Tobe Hooper revolutionized horror with his film “inspired by a true story,” THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. He got so smelly by the end of production that the rest of the cast and crew avoided eating around him. Hansen—who stood six-foot-four and weighed 300 pounds—won the role from Hooper on sight. In the end, the cast saw very little money for their work. 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. The events depicted in the movie never actually happened.

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