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Horror Movie Facts and Trivia: “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974) I

Halloween is upon us in just a few short months. Expect a collection of horror-related and scary articles that focus on some of the most iconic movies of the genre. While there were two notable versions of the movie, this article will focus on the one that started it all , the first time we meet the highly disturbed character named Leatherface. With hidden family secrets and a notorious prop, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre is an unforgettable classic.

The Plot

While on their way to visit the grave of their grandfather, five teenagers drive past a slaughterhouse and make the mistake of picking up a hitchhiker. After quickly separating from the hitchhiker and stopping at a roadside gas station, the teens end up at the home of an old family. They have no idea that they are about to meet up with one of their worst nightmares. They’ve happened upon a family of cannibals who use torturous means of making their guest feel welcome.

Facts and Trivia: “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974)

The first Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie was released on October 1, 1974.

In 1976, Tobe Hooper, who directed and co-wrote the first movie, won the Critics Award at the Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival.

The main character, Leatherface, was played by Gunnar Hansen, who went on to appear in thrillers and horror films , some of which centering on a chainsaw , like Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988).

Working and alternate titles for the first movie included “Headcheese,” “Leatherface,” and “Stalking Leatherface.”

While the film hit theaters across the world in 1974, Australians did not get to experience the wrath of Leatherface until the early 1980s.

While cast and crew endured a heat wave sweeping across Texas, they worked every day of the week , putting in 16-hour days.

Where did the idea of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre come from? The director claims that while standing in the hardware section of a crowded store, he brainstormed how he would escape the crowd and the chainsaws caught his eye.

Gunnar Hansen’s dentist specially made prostheses for him to wear while playing Leatherface.

The film was so disturbing that moviegoers left sneak previews when it was about to be released.

Dead animals and rotting food were actually used in the dinner scene at the end of the movie.

To avoid a potential lawsuit, the chainsaw used in the film (called a Poulan 306A) had the logo covered with a piece of black tape.

According to “Entertainment Weekly” magazine, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre was the second scariest film ever made , right behind the 1973 hit, The Exorcist.

For more facts and trivia concerning the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, check out the second part of this article, which touches upon the budget and where the movie was filmed.