REEL FACES content below is slightly graphic in nature as
the real individual is separated from the movie's fictional
elements. Reader discretion is advised.
Questioning the Story:
How much of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is based
on the real life murderer Ed Gein?
being heavily touted as "inspired by a true story,"
both Tobe Hooper's original 1974 film and the 2003 Marcus
Nispel remake are only lightly based on the real-life murderer
Ed Gein, who is suspected to have taken several victims
between 1954 and 1957. Perhaps the most recognizable similarity
is the film's house, whose gruesome content was similar
to that found in Ed Gein's home (above right) in 1957.
Did the real Ed Gein ever wear a human's face as a mask
like Leatherface did in the film?
real Ed Gein did wear a human's scalp and face. The real
Ed Gein did this however, to help quell his desire to be
a woman, not because of a skin disease as with Leatherface
in the film. Also included in his uniform, Ed Gein wore
a vest of skin complete with breasts and female genitalia
strapped above his own.
Did the real Ed Gein use a chainsaw to kill his victims?
both of Ed Gein's identified victims, Mary Hogan and Bernice
Worden, were shot with a pistol. In November of 1957, police
found Bernice Worden hanging from the rafters in a shed
behind Gein's house. Her body had been gutted like that
of a deer, and the head had been removed. Ed Gein was also
the suspect in several other missing persons. The element
of the chainsaw that was added for the film's story once
again emphasizes the loose connection of the film to Gein.
Who exactly was Ed Gein and why did he commit such atrocities?
Gein was the son of Augusta and George Gein. Augusta was
a deeply religious woman, who preached the Bible to Eddie
and his brother Henry on a daily basis. She warned them
about the dangers of loose women, in an effort to keep them
from being cast down to hell. She was a strict, hard woman,
who never wavered from her own beliefs, which she ingrained
into the family. Eddie's father, George, was an alcoholic,
and Augusta viewed him as being worthless. She began a grocery
business in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and when she had saved
enough money she moved the family away from the sin of the
city to a farm in Plainfield, Wisconsin. Eddie grew up shy
and was ignored by the other kids at school, who saw him
as quiet and feminine. If he did try to make friends, his
mother scolded him. As a result Eddie turned inward and
began to reside in the dark corners of his mind.
He worshipped his mother, and grew upset when his brother
Henry criticized her. On May 16, 1944, while fighting a
brush fire near the farm, Eddie and Henry split up and went
in different directions. After the fire had been extinguished,
Eddie grew concerned because his brother had not returned.
When police arrived Eddie lead them directly to his "missing"
brother Henry, who was lying dead in an area untouched by
the fire with bruises on his head. The shy and seemingly
harmless Eddie was quickly dismissed as a suspect, and the
coroner listed asphyxiation as the cause of death. -crimelibrary.com
Were any other films based on Ed Gein?
Both Norman Bates from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho
(1960) and Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs
(1991) were also loosely based on Ed Gein:
Norman Bates, the main character in Alfred Hitchcock's
masterpiece, was loosely based on Ed Gein. Hitchcock
had adapted Psycho from a story by author Robert
Bloch, who had modeled the character of Norman Bates
after Ed Gein. The main similarities include the feminine
qualities of both Norman Bates and Ed Gein, as well
as both individuals' attachments to their domineering
· The Silence of the Lambs (1991):
The movie famed killer from The Silence of the Lambs,
Buffalo Bill, perhaps most closely resembles Ed Gein.
Buffalo Bill as well desired to be a woman, and he displayed
actions that could categorize him as a transvestite.
They both skinned their victims and enjoyed parading
around in garments of flesh. They both also preyed on
women. However, Buffalo Bill chose somewhat younger
women for his victims than Ed Gein did.
many Chainsaw films are there and have there been
Including 2003's remake, there are a total of five Texas
Chainsaw Massacre films. The first four are The
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - directed
by Tobe Hooper, The
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) - directed
by Tobe Hooper and starring Dennis Hopper, Leatherface:
Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990) - directed
by Jeff Burr,
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation
(1994) - directed by Kim Henkel and starring Matthew McConaughey
and Renée Zellweger.
course there have been spin-offs, including 1988's Hollywood
Chainsaw Hookers (right), which is about
a private eye named Jack Chandler who stumbles upon a cult
of chainsaw wielding prostitutes in his search for Samantha
the runaway. The biggest star of this B-movie is the original
Leatherface himself, Gunner Hansen. He plays the master
of the women, who serve him the fresh limbs of their victims.
Oh, and what's the tagline for Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers?
"They charge an arm and a leg."
Narrative of the 1974 film, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre:
to the Monologue (video)
film which you are about to see is an account of the tragedy
that 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
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 Chainsaw Massacre." - August 18th,
to Learn More:
CHAINSAW MASSACRE (2003) / K.Lang's Review
Gein at CrimeLibrary.com's Most Notorious
Gein's Crimes in Detail - at Seize the Night
Gein Biography and Profile
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - A Visit to the Film Locations
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) Movie Site
the Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movie Trailer:
Message Board (Discuss the Film):