This weekend marks the release of Leatherface, the eighth installment in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre cinematic universe, so it’s time to review the exploits of our favorite chainsaw-wielding super-killer.
Since he first picked up a chainsaw in 1974, Leatherface has generally been stuck on Texas back roads, but his tale has taken more turns than a way out of the Sawyer family cellar. The new Leatherface modernizes the character’s history by portraying him as a young man who has just escaped from a mental institution, and it is set before the date of the original murders.
Here is a summary of what Leatherface (and his family) have been up to over the years in case you haven’t recently reviewed your TCM legend.
We’ll start with Tobe Hooper’s original from 1974 and move through the subsequent films, addressing inconsistencies within the same universe about the make-up of the Sawyer family and whether or not they are deceased.
Three timelines that originate from the original massacre date of August 18, 1973, add to the confusion: Three are shown: one in TCM ’74, one in the 2003 sequel (in which the Sawyers are renamed the Hewitts), and one in the 2013 film Texas Chainsaw (which is a revived but also an updated version of the Hooper timeline from ’74). We have a lot of insanity to cut through, so fill up the chainsaw with petrol right away.
Is Texas Chainsaw Massacre a True Story?
Director of the Texas Chain Saw Massacre Tobe Hooper has said that serial killer Ed Gein’s killings served as inspiration for some of the crimes’ specifics, such as Leatherface’s infamous skin mask. Gein is thought to have committed his killings between 1954 and 1957, however, his base of operations was in Wisconsin, not Texas.
“My family who lived in a town adjacent to Ed Gein told me these horrifying tales of human skin furniture and lampshades, among other things. Hooper, a native Texan, stated, “A little bit of grave-robbing, I guess. I grew up with Gein as a bogeyman figure in “campfire tales, “but his knowledge of the murderer’s true narrative was limited.
Edward Gein: America’s Most Bizarre Murderer, a book about the case written by Judge Robert H. Gollmar, who presided over Gein’s trial, describes the horrors discovered in Gein’s home, including heads, bones, and bodies of murder victims; human skulls; and masks, bowls, chair covers, leggings, and lampshades made of human skin.
Gein, a serial grave robber, was ultimately only tried for and found guilty of two genuine murders, raising doubts about whether the remains found in his home came from the bodies he had forcibly unearthed or from more victims who were never found.
After being adjudicated legally insane, Gein was sentenced to life in the Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s been credited as the model for the Leatherface character from Texas Chainsaw, as well as Norman Bates from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs.
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Exists a Real-Life Leatherface?
Although the Film’s Marketing Claimed It Was Based on A “true Narrative,” It Would Be More Correct to State that It Was Motivated by The Actual Murders Committed by Wisconsin-Based Killer and “body Snatcher” Ed Gein, Also Known as “the Butcher of Plainfield,” in Real Life.
the Moment in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Where One of The Protagonists Stumbles Into a Room Full of Furniture Made of Dead People and Is Eventually Impaled on A Meathook Was Definitely Inspired by Gein, Who Was Renowned for Exhuming Bodies from Graveyards and Crafting Keepsakes with Their Bones and Skin.
After Being Convicted of Killing Hardware Shop Owner Bernice Worden in 1968, Gein Was Finally Institutionalized Due to His Severe Mental Illness. Sheriffs Discovered Worden’s Headless Body in A Shed. They Also Discovered a Variety of Terrifying Skin-Based Things While Investigating Gein’s Home, Including Masks, Which Is Significant Given that Leatherface Wears a Mask Made of Human Skin in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
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And if That Weren’t Troubling Enough, Gein Was Also Preoccupied with His Late Mother; After She Passed Away, He Maintained Her Room Immaculate Even While the Rest of The Home Fell Into Disrepair. It seems that His Goal Was to “actually Crawl Into Her Skin.” Ah!
If These Details Are Giving You Flashbacks, You Won’t Be Surprised to Find that Gein Served as The Inspiration for Other Fictional Characters in Addition to The Killer from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Aspects of His Case Are Also Included In the Backstories of Characters from American Horror Story, Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs, and Norman Bates from Psycho. In American Psycho, Patrick Bateman also makes a reference to him.