It's debatable but there may not be another Horror film to embed itself so deeply in pop culture urban legends than Tobe Hooper's 1974 classic, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. It is safe to say that at least one time in your adolescent life you had a friend that had a friend that had a friend that swore they had been to the house in Nowheresville, Texas where Leatherface had claimed his victims and turned them in to gore couture.
Two reasons for this: One: The film used what may be the original viral marketing technique in passing itself off as "Based On True Events" and touting the tagline "The film you are about to see is true." Two: It was in fact based on true events but very loosely. In fact, TCSM's Leatherface, Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho/Norman Bates and The Silence of the Lambs/Buffalo Bill are all based on the real life serial killings of Ed Gein, who used the skin and body parts of his victims to make masks, clothing, furniture, and dinnerware. By saying the film was based on true events (no matter how much or how little the plot closely resembled those events), people began to take it as...true.
And thus, the legend was born.
Side note: Not to mention a pretty decent remake in 2003, which seemingly kicked off the Platinum Dunes-led '70s/'80s Horror remakes that don't seem to be stopping anytime soon.
Whether that belief in the film's events went as far to help or hurt tourism in Round Rock (right outside of Austin) where it was filmed or caused Yankees to give us Texans suspecting looks, like we were all backwoods inbred chain saw-wielding mass murders...well, that's another story! Speaking of tourism, what would you rather do in the house that Leatherface built than eat meat?! Now you can Horror fans, because the 1900s farmhouse they used for filming was relocated to Kingsland, Texas and is now, yep, you guessed it, a restaurant!
Most Memorable Scene: Who would have ever thought the simple sliding shut of a door could be both so terrifying and iconic? But that's exactly what it is when it marks the first appearance and disappearance of what would become one of Horror's all time greatest villains.
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The Mixmaster's Horror Movie Countdown October 1: Halloween October 2: Antichrist October 3: Student Bodies October 4: Poltergeist October 5: Jaws October 6: Suspiria October 7: Scream October 8: The Fly October 9: Dead Alive October 10: Drag Me to Hell October 11: Se7en October 12: Rosemary's Baby October 13: Friday the 13th October 14: The Thing October 15: Audition October 16 and 17: The Exorcist and The Exorcist III October 18: The Omen October 19: Paranormal Activity October 20: Changeling October 21: Hellraiser October 22: 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later October 23: A Nightmare On Elm Street