The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the most famous horror movies of all time. It played to packed houses everywhere and set new precedents for new horror movies. It is also the basis of many movie urban legends. Some of them seem outrageous but many of them are based on true events.
The Movie Was Based On A True Story In Texas
Many people swear that the movie was based on an incident in Texas. Stories range from incidents in Roth to Childress, Texas. The movie was actually based loosely on Ed Gein who was a serial killer in Wisconsin in the 1950’s. Kim Henkel, the producer, has stated that the characters forceful attitude was based on Elmer Wayne Henley the serial killer in Houston in the 1970’s.
Leatherface Actually Cuts Sally’s Finger
Gunnar Hansen who plays Leatherface has gone on record to say that he actually cut the finger of Sally in the movie at the dinner scene. He said that the tubing that was supposed to send out the fake blood kept getting clogged and after several attempts, he gave up and used the knife for real.
Gunnar Hansen Has Degrees In English Literature
Gunnar Hansen, Leatherface, majored in English and mathematics as an undergraduate at the University of Texas. He completed graduate school studying both Scandinavian studies and English. He wanted a career as a writer but realized that he could be both a writer and an actor at the same time.
It Is One Of The Most Profitable Of All Time
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was made on a budget of only $80,000 but reportedly made $30 million at the box office making it one of the most profitable movies of all time. Many insiders say that the movie most likely made between $60 and $100 million due to the fact that the distributing partners tried to hide the profits.
Tobe Hopper Stopped Eating Meat After The Movie
There was a lot of reference to cannibalism in the movie although it was never outright shown. Although the movie is about a family of killers terrorizing some travelers, the movie does center on butchering and processing meat. Tobe Hooper has gone on record saying that he gave up eating meat during the filming of the movie.
The Original Title Of The Movie Was Headcheese
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre went through several title changes before the final name was decided upon. At one point, the working title was indeed Headcheese.
The Human Skeleton Toward The End Of The Movie Is Real
In the 1970’s a fake skeleton cost more than a real one could be imported. The makers of the film imported a real skeleton from India to save money.
Tobe Hooper Wanted a “PG” Rating For The Movie
Tobe Hopper actually filmed the movie expecting it to get a “PG” rating. The small amount of blood and onscreen gore does suggest that. The film ratings board saw differently and gave it an “R”. Several countries banned the movie unless cuts were made. Some countries waited almost 25 years before the ban was lifted.
John Larroquette Was Paid with Marijuana For The Opening Narration
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was John Larroquette’s first speaking role in a movie although he only did narration. He has been quoted as saying that he was paid with a joint for doing the movie. It has also been said that he did the narration as a favor to Hooper. The latter is the most likely story although he probably was passed a joint at sometime during filming.
The Distribution Company Stole All The Profits
The Bryanston Distribution Company was the original distributers of the movie. They used the movie to launder the profits made from a previous movie, Deep Throat. They lied about the revenues all during the theatrical run and Tobe Hooper realized that they were being ripped off when they only received $405 apiece. The cast and crew of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre sued the company and were awarded $25,000 each. They finally received the money from New Line Cinema in 1983 when the company purchased the rights to the franchise.