Τετάρτη, 16 Ιανουαρίου 2013

Origins and inspiration for the Texas Chainsaw Massacre film (Tobe Hooper, 1974)


Origins and inspiration for the The Texas Chainsaw Massacre film (Tobe Hooper, 1974)


“Who will survive and what will be left of them?”


The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974) is one of the most significant and box office successful horror films. Texas Chainsaw Massacre is an independent film written, produced and directed by Tobe Hooper the majority of film makers and actors   were students from University of Texas at Austin. The film Texas Chainsaw Massacre has a huge impact on film industry and it’s considered that redefined the “last girl” horror film concept.



Tobe Hooper's  inspiration for Texas Chainsaw Massacre



Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a “meat movies” according to a large number of very well established film critics and academics because the main concept of the film beyond the title! The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is not a film about Chainsaws and not a film about a massacre.  It’s a film about a cannibals family in Texas fictionalizing  the most bizarre crimes in American history through camera lens using “cinema verite” (documentary) film making style.

In the beginning of cinema the act of cannibalism was not shown on camera, films like “Dr X” (Michael Curtiz, 1932) and “Sweeney Todd:The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”  (George King, 1936) were the first films about fictional stories of cannibals.

Four decades later, in 1963 HG Lewis a southern independent filmmaker filmed the prototype for the gore, the legendary film “Blood Feast” and for the first time in cinema audience watched the cannibalistic intentions of fictional characters but there are restrictions to limb – lopping and tongue – pulling aplenty and there is no “human flesh consumed”. In 1972, Gary Sherman directed in London the film “Death Line” (in USA it was distributed) under the title “Raw Meat”. The plot structure of the film is based around the history of the “Man” a fictional character who was cannibal and he killed his victims in the tunnels around Russell Square tube station. In 1973 Fassbinder protégé Ulli Lommel directed the film “Wolves” / “Zaerlichekeit Der Voelte” the story of the film is about a true – life case of cannibal killer Fritz Haarmann.

Tobe Hooper’s idea about Texas Chainsaw Massacre                     


One Christmas during Tobe Hooper’s early life, the teenager Tobe Hooper was trapped in the hardware department of Montgomery Ward’s by the throng of seasonal shoppers. Tobe Hooper was looking around to find a way to escape he saw a chainsaw and immediately realized that the only way to get out from his trap was to use the chainsaw – the broad outline of the film’s plot and feel followed soon after.

The real crime case (cannibal case) of Wisconsin grave ripper and ghoul Edward Gein influenced the creation of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Kim Henkel co written the script of the film and during one interview she revealed that a local real crime case known as “Candyman Murders” influenced the script development and the creation of the film Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Also, Tobe Hooper said that EC Comics influenced him for the creation of plot structure. 


You can see a Tobe Hooper interview about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre film series  




Elias Stoikos


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