Articles for Horror: “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre”

A plot summary of the brutal 1974 slasher.

Leatherface doing what he does best: severing people.


Leatherface doing what he does best: severing people.

Autumn Castle, Staff Writer


Who was Leatherface?

Leatherface was the main antagonist from “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” horror film series. He wore masks made of human skin from his murders. He would chop up and eat his victims with the rest of his inbred family. 

Leatherface’s family used the bones of the people he killed to add to the inside of their house. What they didn’t use to decorate, they processed the flesh into food, which the oldest brother, Drayton Sawyer, sold at the “Last Chance” gas station.

He was considered one of the first significant slasher film villains, along with Michael Myers and Norman Bates. Murderer Ed Gein, who did similar things as Leatherface, inspired the character.

What was “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre?”

Five people drove in their van on a road trip through Texas: Pam, Jerry, Kirk, Sally, and Sally’s handicapped brother, Franklin. As the group drove past a slaughterhouse, Franklin thought about his family’s history with animal slaughter. 

They picked up a hitchhiker who said that his family also had animal slaughter experience. When everyone refused to pay the hitchhiker they picked up for a photograph, he attacked Franklin and smeared a bloody symbol on the side of the van as he was tossed out. The van stopped at a station that had no gas available for them. The group then explored a nearby abandoned house, which was owned by Sally’s family.

Kirk and Pam left the others behind and they discovered another nearby house that ran on gas-powered generators. Kirk entered the house hoping to ask for gas they could use. A man that wore a mask made of skin attacked Kirk with a hammer, killing him. 

When Pam walked into the house, she found the living room covered with human and animal bones. The man found Pam after killing Kirk and grabbed her, impaling her on a meat hook, and started up a gas-powered chainsaw to dismember Kirk’s body as Pam watched. 

Later on, Jerry looked for Pam and Kirk. When he walked into the other house, he found Pam, who was nearly dead, with her body spasming in a chest freezer. The masked man then killed Jerry with a hammer.

At night, Sally and Franklin start to walk toward the house. The masked man came after them immediately and killed Franklin with a chainsaw. The masked man chased Sally as she ran into his house, where she saw a very old man and a woman’s rotting corpse. Sally ran out of the house back towards the gas station, where he chased her before he vanished. Sally stopped in the station to rest for a moment, though while she was resting, someone new came up and overpowered her; he then loaded her into his pickup truck. 

He drove to the other house, and the hitchhiker appeared. The man yelled at him for grave-robbing at the cemetery nearby. As they entered the house, the masked man reappeared, dressed in women’s clothing. The hitchhiker referred to the masked man as “Leatherface.” The hitchhiker brought the old man down the stairs and cut Sally’s finger so that the old man could suck her blood as Sally fainted.

The next morning, Sally woke up. The men taunted her and resolved to kill her with a hammer. Sally waited until the men were distracted and broke free, proceeding to run onto the road in front of the house, and was followed by Leatherface and the hitchhiker. A truck accidentally ran over the hitchhiker, killing him. The truck driver attacked Leatherface with a wrench, hurting him, and ran on foot. Sally was covered in blood, but flagged down a passing pickup truck and climbed into the back of the truck as she barely escaped Leatherface.

As the sun rose, Leatherface flailed his chainsaw in anger.

How successful was “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre?”

The original film was directed and produced by Tobe Hooper, and was written by Hooper and Kim Henkel. The film grossed more than $30 million in the United States and Canada, and the rest of the series grossed over $252 million at the worldwide box office.