Movies You’d Never Expect To Be Based On A True Story, But Are
Few films have impacted their genre as much as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” impacted the slasher horror genre. The film is responsible for many of the tropes you see in slasher movies today, as well as giving the world one of the most iconic slasher villains of all time in the form of the chainsaw-wielding maniac Leatherface.
And yet, the movie wasn’t originally intended to be typical slasher horror. When director Tobe Hooper co-wrote the screenplay with Kim Henkel, they were following the blueprint of movies like “Psycho” and “The Silence of the Lambs,” which are more interested in exploring the psyches of killers than hoarding numbers. body. In their creation of the world of Leatherface and his deranged, cannibalistic family, Hooper and Henkel were inspired by real murderers.
“I really studied [Ed] Gein,” Henkel explained to Texas Monthly (via Yahoo). “But I also noticed a murder case in Houston at the time, a serial killer you probably remember named Elmer Wayne Henley.” Gein, well sure, was one of the world’s most infamous serial killers, notorious for guarding his victims’ skin and bone trophies. This became Leatherface’s founding characterization in Hooper and Henkel’s film, and the base of the character’s famous face mask.