I’ve been a fan of the Leatherface franchise since seeing the original film, “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre“. On par with other psychotic characters like Jason Vorhees or Michael Meyers, I dare say that Leatherface (aka Thomas Hewitt according to “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: The Beginning“) might be the first modern movie masked psycho killer.
I’ve been to the Sawyer Gas & BBQ building in Texas (had become a thrift shop before it closed permanently), being there and knowing that I was at a significant horror movie location was awesome indeed. I thought I would share my 10 picks of the strangest things found in the movie that might easily be missed.
1) The Corpse Photos
The beginning of the movie tells the tale of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (as voiced by John Larroquette of “Night Court” fame, who later reprised the voiceover for the sequel to the remake film in 2006), followed by flashes of light and grim scenes of bones & rotting flesh. It turned out later to be police taking photographs of a desecrated cemetery. Which brings me to #2…
2) The Grotesque Sculpture
What we later learn was the work of the “hitchhiker”, this corpse was impaled on a tombstone and is holding the head of another corpse. Rather strange and disturbing as you see the rotted flesh glimmer in the light of what could be dawn.
3) The Hitchhiker’s Birthmark
I never really took a good look at his birthmark when I first saw the film (honestly I was creeped out at that point and wondered when Leatherface was going to make an appearance). It is an interesting mark to be sure that runs from the bridge of his nose to his cheek. Definitely makes the character all the more unnerving with the stuff he does and says.
4) The Camo-Netted Cars
Obviously owned by victims of the Sawyer/Hewitt clan, seeing the netting and the dusty old cars keeps with the suspense that something terrible is going to happen.
5) The Tooth!
One of the main characters (or “victims” I should say) happens upon a tooth with a filling lying on the front porch of the killer’s home. This tooth bit is used again in the film’s sequel where Drayton Sawyer claims that it is a peppercorn for his chili.
06) The Caged Chicken!
I’m sure they pulled the cage apart to put the chicken in it, but to give the illusion that the chicken was raised in such a small cage really raises the eerie factor a few notches…
07) The Bone Couch!
One of the victims stumbles across this beauty and the cinematographer takes some time to show us all the features from the “feet” and the “legs” to the “arm” rests and the “back”. A centerpiece in any macabre house of horrors!
08) The Cat!
When Sally is running through the house looking for a place to hide, she ventures in to the grandparents’ room. Grandma has long-since died, her mummified corpse still sitting in her favorite chair and at her feet is apparently her favorite cat that her grandsons had tried to stuff for her. The eaten-away face is enough to give you nightmares for a while…
09) The Chicken Statue!
Literally made from the head and feet of a (now-deceased) chicken. In some interviews with people who were on-set, this scene was one of the most horrendous to shoot because the temperature and humidity in the room was borderline unbearable on top of the smell and there is mention you can see the food & decorations actually rotting from scene to scene because it took so long to film. It’s distinct but you don’t focus in on it because of all the craziness going on in the scene…
10) The Head Light
Over the dinner table is a light made from the head of one of the clan’s victims. I surmise that the head was skinned/tanned to make a lampshade since it gives off a good amount of light. If the skull were present inside the light would not be able to illuminate and show all the features of the face…
Bonus – Leatherface’s “mom” mask!
A scene was cut from the original movie showing Leatherface looking in a mirror while applying makeup to a female mask he created. This remaining scene that was kept gives a short glimpse of the mask since the dinner scene shows him wearing his original mask. He apparently wore this mask while preparing dinner…