Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather's grave in Texas fall victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths.

Director:

Tobe Hooper

Writers:

Kim Henkel (screenplay by), Tobe Hooper (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
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1,169 ( 499)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marilyn Burns ... Sally
Allen Danziger ... Jerry
Paul A. Partain ... Franklin
William Vail ... Kirk
Teri McMinn ... Pam
Edwin Neal ... Hitchhiker
Jim Siedow ... Old Man
Gunnar Hansen ... Leatherface
John Dugan ... Grandfather
Robert Courtin Robert Courtin ... Window Washer
William Creamer William Creamer ... Bearded Man
John Henry Faulk ... Storyteller
Jerry Green Jerry Green ... Cowboy
Ed Guinn ... Cattle Truck Driver
Joe Bill Hogan Joe Bill Hogan ... Drunk
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Storyline

En route to visit their grandfather's grave (which has apparently been ritualistically desecrated), five teenagers drive past a slaughterhouse, pick up (and quickly drop) a sinister hitch-hiker, eat some delicious home-cured meat at a roadside gas station, before ending up at the old family home... where they're plunged into a never-ending nightmare as they meet a family of cannibals who more than make up in power tools what they lack in social skills... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

can you survive ...it happened See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Herschell Gordon Lewis' splatter movie The Gruesome Twosome (1967), which is actually an early slasher movie, bears more than a passing resemblance to Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which obviously drew upon the earlier Lewis film for inspiration. Both were considered gory for their time; although ironically Gruesome Twosome is much gorier than Chainsaw, which came out 7 years later! Both have to do with a serial killing family preying on young teens in the area; pretending to have some sort of shop or service; and then they kill the teens and use their body parts. In Texas Chainsaw Massacre a family of cannibals operates a barbecue beef stand by the highway. They also run a gas station and one of the brothers is a sheriff in town. Between all these differently staged tourist traps the family winds up kidnapping many young people in the area and turn them into fricassee. Similarly the matriarch in Gruesome Twosome has a wig shop and that lures young women into the family's lair. As does an ad for phony "rooms to rent." The slick and eccentric shopkeeper mother, who is the mastermind and puppet master behind all of this, sends all the young women: the prospective customers into a back room; where her mentally deranged son attacks the women; scalps them; and then the hair is used for the mother's wig shop. This is all like Texas Chainsaw Massacre. In fact, the family of deranged rednecks who attack local teen tourists under the guise of a hotel or a shop or a highway barbecue stand; and then somehow use their body parts for their twisted purposes; this is actually a well worn trope in the horror genre; which goes all the way back to 1800s and the legend of Sweeney Todd. Tourist Trap, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Gruesome Twosome, Psycho, Vacancy, Motel Hell, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Little Shop of Horrors, Buckets of Blood and Sweeney Todd are all example of this classic subgenre. Gruesome is actually gorier than most of these movies; it's more sexually explicit than Texas Chainsaw as well; in terms of suggesting sexual assault of these deranged predators on their victims. Both Gruesome and Chainsaw have a bossy older family member who sets up the plans but does not execute them; they manipulate their relatives to commit the crimes so that they can use the body parts. They are presented as manipulative as relatively articulate. This puppet master parent character is the oldest brother Sheriff in Chainsaw, and the mother shopkeeper in Gruesome Twosome. And both movies have mentally disabled monstrous youngest son who actually commits these crimes; it's the son in Gruesome Twosome; and Leatherface in Texas Chainsaw Massacre. In Both movies we see body parts used as furniture or decoration. In Both movies the characters talk to inanimate objects; and in both taxidermy is used to a shocking degree. It's easy to see how the son in Gruesome Twosome was a prototype for Leatherface in Texas Chainsaw Massacre; along with characters like Norman Bates of course. Both movies have a bunch of teens investigating the horrific scenario; a la Scooby Doo and the Mystery Machine; and both have a final girl who exposes the horrific secret behind the Mystery; and then wind up fleeing from the crazy family at the ending. A a matter of fact all of these kindly neighbor who turns out to be a killer and turns into food goes all the way back to the Hansel and Gretel myth. See more »

Goofs

When they get to the gas station early in the film, it constantly changes from overcast skies to the sun brightly shining with each different camera angle. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: The film which you are about to see is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths, in particular Sally Hardesty and her invalid brother, Franklin. It is all the more tragic in that they were young. But, had they lived very, very long lives, they could not have expected nor would they have wished to see as much of the mad and macabre as they were to see that day. For them an idyllic summer afternoon drive became a nightmare. The events of that day were to lead to ...
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: The film which you are about to see is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths, in particular Sally Hardesty and her invalid brother, Franklin. It is all the more tragic in that they were young. But, had they lived very, very long lives, they could not have expected nor would they have wished to see as much of the mad and macabre as they were to see that day. For them an idyllic summer afternoon drive became a nightmare.

The events of that day were to lead to the discovery of one of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of American history, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

AUGUST 18, 1973 See more »

Alternate Versions

Swedish version removes the scene where Leatherface hangs the woman on a meathook. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Reaper: Greg, Schmeg (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Feria de las Flores
Los Cyclones
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User Reviews

 
A classic simply put
25 May 2003 | by MetalCasketSee all my reviews

This movie set the stage for the onslaught of classic modern horror of the late 70's and early 80's. Tobe Hooper's vision paints a drab and disturbing picture of a family of cannibals who hunt their victims using any means necessary for survival. Caught up in this whole mess is a group of young people, unaware of what lurks down an old back road of Texas. Hunger is our most probable urge as human beings, and this family takes this idea to the extreme. Each family member is their own character with their own feelings and their own personalities. One such character, Leatherface, stands out for the fact that he was born without a face, thus using human skin to gain an identity. This is what sets him apart from other slashers such as Michael Myers and Jason Vorhees for they hid behind masks. It's safe to say he's not the only insane one in this bunch. Every one of them are one fry short of a happy meal and I am sure they like it that way. Gunnar Hansen did a great job of playing Leatherface, sculpting a faceless killer who slew not for fun but for survival. His perfect killer image was later destroyed by other actors in later sequels. Many people refuse to watch this movie in the first place because of what they've heard and because of the title. Strangely, some even walked out of the theaters on the previews for this thing. That's just how strong this movie actually is. There's really a lot less gore in this movie than most people think. It's Tobe Hooper's great directing that pelts the viewer with suspense. The last 10 minutes of this film are some of the most exciting, terrify shots ever put on film. All because of Leatherface, many people's nightmares will be dominated by the hum of a chainsaw.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 October 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Headcheese See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$30,859,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$30,860,378
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Vortex See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (new longer Version) | (Unrated Edition)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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