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. “During the filming, none of them would talk to me or be anywhere near me until they were dead,” he later recalled. Born in 1906 in Plainfield, Wisconsin, Ed Gein lived most of his life as a reclusive loner. Not bad for a little film that drove the cast and crew insane during production. 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. According to Hooper, though, the light bulb moment that really ignited the film came at a department store during the Christmas 1972 shopping rush. Even this guy had to be screened by the TSA on the security line. Because of its realism and “true story” marketing, Texas Chainsaw created the opportunity for some interesting encounters between fans and cast members. The film’s menacing opening narration is an instant tone-setter, preparing the audience for a truly horrifying experience. 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. 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. Then the original Leatherface quit. In terms of ticket sales, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the most profitable films of all time. Of all the cast members, it was Ed Neal—the hitchhiker himself—who would have the most amusing reaction from fans. But did “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” really happen? The film was marketed as being based on true events to attract a wider a… This seems to be the question that will not go away. Ed Gein and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre at Reel-Faces. 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 … 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. For more information please see chainsaw safety devices. 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. Still, it’s probably not as gory as you remember. Nothing was found and on the records, it was concluded that the massacre Sally described did not happen. The idea of a mask made of human skin actually came to Hooper far more directly, and creepily. July 6, 2016. The hitchhiker, the older brother at the gas station, the girl escaping twice, the dinner sequence, people out in the country out of gas.”. 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. 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. 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. 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. Hansen—who stood six-foot-four and weighed 300 pounds—won the role from Hooper on sight. 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 best protection, even still, is experience. 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. “He announced that he was not sitting through it again,” Hooper 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. The voice providing that menace? Certainly there was no real family of cannibalistic chainsaw murderers slaughtering people in Texas, nor any actual series of chainsaw-related killings. 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. The saw landed just a few inches away. Because The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (or, as it was originally known, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre) never happened. George died on April 1, 1940 of alcohol-related heart failure. The events depicted in the movie never actually happened. DVD commentary by Tobe Hooper, Daniel Pearl, and Gunnar Hansen – 2003, suggested to Hooper and Henkel by Warren Skaaren. 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 was born in 1906 and his brother Henry was born five years before. Ed Gein found himself the subject of many interpretations. It's a work of film fiction. At its best, its horrors … Nine months, a check for $28.45. “They finally asked me not to come back anymore,” Neal said. Ed took odd jobs but remained reclusive and unsuspecting. It's a 1974 cult classic horror movie that spawned a series of sequels and remakes from 1984 to 2003. It's not even based on a true story. 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. 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. 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. 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 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. Ed was arraigned on November 21, 1957 where he pleaded “not guilty” by reason of insanity. 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. “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. “At this point I was so crazy that I just wanted to get the film over with,” he later said. Couple kids were running around when they encountered a chainsaw … Happened around the late 1920's is think. Learn the true story behind the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Psycho, and Silence of the Lambs. Today's chainsaws show all a number of safety features to protect the operator. 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. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a fictional story. 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. Hansen himself ended up with the closest near-miss of the film, though: During the chase scene in which Leatherface pursues Sally through the woods at night, Hansen slipped and fell, sending the saw flying into the darkness. 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. 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. There's Someone In The House! Police searched the family farm where they found Bernice’s decapitated body hanging upside down inside the barn. Gein's last victim was Beatrice Worden. That probably means you did something right. One of his most unnerving habits was to randomly laugh out loud as though someone had told a joke that only he could hear. 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. Where did the "REAL" Texas Chainsaw Massacre Happen? There was no real Texas Chainsaw Massacre. He got so smelly by the end of production that the rest of the cast and crew avoided eating around him. The idea actually came from a doctor I knew. “Six months, no check. Gein was called the Butcher of Plainsfield (Wisconsin) and is known to have robbed bodies from graves and taken trophies, … It feels like you’re actually watching a group of people going insane, and that’s because … well, maybe you are. The film went on to earn $12 million at the box office in its first year, according to Variety, but Bryanston ultimately claimed only about $1 million of that. Years later, Hooper sarcastically referred to the experience as an “interesting summer.". Despite this, there was an actual skin-wearing maniac that was the film’s inspiration. In 1974, director Tobe Hooper revolutionized horror with his film “inspired by a true story,” THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. Virtually no member of the cast went uninjured, and the heat and stench got so punishing at one point that the actors would run to the windows of the house where the dinner scene was shot to throw up and breathe a little fresh air between takes. It just hit me that he was whiny.”. 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. 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 full extent of what he was up to on his family farm would not be revealed until over ten years later. 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. 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. I just kind of zoned in on it,” Hooper told Texas Monthly. 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. “I was a young, inexperienced actor who didn’t realize that it wasn’t like theater," Partain later said. John Larroquette, then an unknown actor who was referred to Hooper by a friend. 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. 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. I remembered that he’d once told me this story about how, when he was a pre-med student, the class was studying cadavers. 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.”. Ed was the returned to the Central State Hospital for the Criminally Insane where he died on July 26, 1984. Some even say that they knew Leatherface for themselves or they knew the victims. Found mentally incompetent, Ed was sent to the Central State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. 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. 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. 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. 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 … However, a second trial regarding his sanity found that he was once again not guilty by reason of insanity. Never mind flying under the radar. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Homeless Person Living In Person’s Cabinet, The Strange Surreal Sculptures Of Shary Boyle. 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. He was buried at the Plainfield Cemetery where his grave was routinely vandalized. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is NOT a true story. When I first read the part, I could see that nobody wanted this guy to be there. The brothers were also reminded on an almost daily basis that they would never be loved by a woman. "You didn’t have to stay in character all the time. 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. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a HUGE urban legend known by many people around the world. 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 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. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre True Story. Hooper will present The Texas Chainsaw Massacre this Friday, October 30 at the Alamo Drafthouse as a benefit screening for the Austin Film Society. Why the discrepancy? 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. This behind-the-scenes observance actually produced some intense onscreen results. Confining himself to a room off of the kitchen, Ed became obsessed with reading about Nazis and cannibals. 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. 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. Although never proven, many suspect Ed played a role in his brother’s death. Classmates remember Ed as being reclusive with strange habits. 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. 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. Now, I’ll be honest and state I did actually like both of these films. Ed Gein was one of two sons born to George and Augusta Gein. And he went into the morgue and skinned a cadaver and made a mask for Halloween. All these features are not a 100% guarantee that the operator is not harmed. 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. Partain’s commitment worked just as well behind the camera as it did in front of it. They fought for and ultimately got the moment, and it remains the most beautiful composition in the film. The Shockingly Disturbing Story of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. 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. Perhaps the trait that mostly links Ed back to Leatherface was his fondness for turning human skin into apparel. 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. 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. Austin Chronicle : It's been 24 years since The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was released, and in that time it's become … But not quite. 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. Hidden away on the family’s secluded farm, the family kept to themselves. Regardless, this left Ed as the only outlet for his mother’s insane devotion until her death on December 29, 1945. 1974's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was loosely inspired by a number of real-life events that caught the attention of Hooper. Not outside of … 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. “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. The concept for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre came to Hooper in the early '70s, as he was directly inspired by much of the … In 1974, director Tobe Hooper revolutionized horror with his film “inspired by a true story,” THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. 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. The film does make a connection with the crimes of Ed Gein. 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. There has never been a "chainsaw massacre" in Texas committed by a family of degenerate cannibals. 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. Nowhere. 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. 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.. 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. We changed that to the character who eventually became Leatherface. We were angry.". Check Out This Killer Custom-Painted TEXAS CHAINSAW VCR! 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. 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 … We decided Leatherface would have a different human-skin mask to fit each of his moods.”. 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