From 1970-90s, a number of suspenseful movies tried to define the horror genre. In 1974, with release of Texas Chainsaw Massacre the horror genre was changed for always. The movie although didn’t have any popular stars or even known actors, but it still impacted the genre and the movie industry greatly. The movie has gained a Cult Classic Status over time, Being defined as “most purely horrifying horror movie ever made.” Apart from the murders and gruesome slashings, the antagonist of the movie, Leatherface became a very iconic villain to look out for.
Read on to know the origin story of this popular villain and what was his reason behind various killings.
Based on a true story
The character of Leatherface was based on a real life thief and murderer Ed Gein from Plainfield, Wisconsin. He devoted his life to a very controlling mother as they lived together. But after her death, he noticed a grave deterioration in his mental state. Director Tobe Hooper claims to have seen a similar character in his nightmare. But in reality the actual villain’s origins lie in a true story.
Ed Gein was popularly known as ‘The Butcher of Plainfield’. He killed a bunch of people in his hometown and stored their organs in glass jars. After a thorough search of his house, masks made out of human skin were also found.
Other than Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre, other gorey suspenseful horror movies were also based on Gein’s life like Psycho and Silence of the Lambs. It is believed that the events of Hooper’s movie were fictional despite the fact that it says it was based on a true story.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: The Beginning offered an explanation as to why he was called the Leatherface. We know the origins lie in the fact that he covered his face with the skin masks he made. But let’s dive deeper into the ‘why’ of it all.
There are various speculations about the original back story of his gruesome villain. Some movies suggest that he was born with a facial deformity and skin disease. He used to wear a mask to hide the same and protect himself from bullies. But on the other hand, we see his mother playing a huge role in tipping him over the edge of madness. We see her encouraging Jackson Sawyer to give in to violence and mutilate the Sheriff’s daughter.
Leatherface: The Movie
The latest 2017 movie Leatherface explores the character in a fuller aspect. His back story, family experiences and the ultimate turning point are showcased to give a comprehensive overview of the grotesque villain. Currently the latest installment of movie ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ is streaming on Netflix.