Leatherface’s House

It’s Wild-Card Wednesday, the day you never know what you’ll get.  Because I am guest posting at David N. Walker’s blog this Friday, I’ll share something a little freaky today.

I’ve wanted to do a post on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre house for a while, but it’s not really true crime…and certainly not supernatural.  Thus, I figured a Wild Card Wednesday would be a good time to share this information.

Never heard of this gem?  Here’s the trailer:

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) changed the landscape of horror movies.  It had a visceral, gritty feel…like it could have all been real.  Since 1974, many filmmakers have tried to re-create the horror of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  It is believed The Texas Chainsaw Massacre laid the groundwork for movies like Halloween, Dead Alive, and The Blair Witch Project.

The cultural and political landscape of the early 1970s inspired Tobe Hooper to create this horror classic.  I bet you’re saying, “Wait a minute.  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is based on a true story.  How could it be inspired by culture and politics?”

The “inspired by the true story” thing was a blatant lie–but it did attract crowds to see the film.  Hooper stated in an interview that the based on a true story thing was his answer to the government’s lies about events like Watergate, the 1973 oil crisis, and the Vietnam War.

The crimes depicted in the The Texas Chainsaw Massacre are very similar to those of Ed Gein, an American murderer and body snatcher.  The the crimes in the film, however, were inspired more by the crimes of Elmer Wayne Henley.

[Note: Elmer Wayne Henley is serving six life sentences for his role in a series of murders that took place in Houston, Texas.  These crimes involved the rape and murder of no fewer than twenty-eight men and boys.  Henley lured the victims to the home of Dean Corll, who was the ringleader of the murders.  Henley shot Dean Corll dead and later confessed all the crimes to police.]

If you want to purchase The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, it’s available at Amazon.com.

So the house.  That’s what we set out to talk about.  Most of the filming for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was done in a 1900s farmhouse located on Quick Hill Road near Round Rock, Texas–where the La Frontera development is now located.

In 1974, this house was un-airconditioned.  The temperatures during filming reached one hundred degrees some days.  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was a low budget film, and the crew filmed seven days a week to keep costs low.

The furniture seen in the film was made of animal bones and a latex material designed to resemble human skin.  The walls were splashed with animal blood obtained from a local slaughterhouse.  Decomposing remains of animals were used to litter the floor of the house.

In 1998, the house was cut into seven pieces and reassembled in Kingsland, Texas (Llano County) as a restaurant.  It has served food under a few different names.  It currently operates as The Junction House.   The menu looks pretty good.

If you’re visiting the Texas Hill Country, it might be an interesting stop.  The Junction House is located at 1010 King Street, opposite The Antlers Hotel–which has an interesting history in its own right.

Have you ever visited a former filming location of a well-known movie?  Tell me about it.  Y’all know I’m always trolling around for something interesting to do.

I hope you enjoyed reading this free article. I am sorry, but there will be no updates, corrections, or expansions to the content you’ve read. The non-fiction article writing part of my career is over, which is nice because it paid $0. I am currently focusing on my fiction writing career. If you’re interested in seeing what I write, please check out the My Fiction page on this website or visit my Amazon Author Page on amazon.com. 

31 thoughts on “Leatherface’s House

  1. I would bet that Leatherface’s mask had an impact on the later use of the hockey mask (and facial featuring) of Jason Vorhees. The cult following that this movie received was unbelievable. I was pretty young at the time but I remember it being one of those know it or you’re out of the childhood clique pieces of information.

    The Junction House sounds fun, although, is “hunk of flesh” on the menu in the place of steak :)

    Great post, Catie!

    • I agree with you about the popularity of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And I did see it as a kid. I didn’t appreciate how nightmarish it was until I saw it again as an adult. There’s really something there that not many horror movies are able to do.

      The Junction House: I’ve read that the only nod they have to the movie is a Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie poster in the upstairs restroom. I guess some people would be put off. I’m obviously not one of them. :D Next time we go out to the Hill Country, we’re going to The Junction House.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I’ve never visited a movie location, but The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of my favorites. It does feel like it could have been real, and it’s truly scary despite its gore. I knew the ‘based on a true story’ thing wasn’t true, but I didn’t know it was the filmakers answer to the government’s stance on that stuff. Very cool.

    • Glad you enjoyed this. All this research was the result of an argument I had with someone about the Texas Chainsaw Massacre being “based on a true story.” The person I argued with *insisted* it was. I’d heard it wasn’t.

      The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (to me) has a dreamlike quality. And it feels so real. The original was filmed, of course, in The Hill Country. Out in the Hill Country, once you get out of the city there’s nothing but rolling hills, short trees, and big sky. You feel like you’re in the middle of spaghetti western. I think the remake of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre was filmed around the Dallas area. It’s very flat and sparse, but it’s like the Hill Country. You feel so isolated once you’re out of the city. Knowing the areas was part of what made it feel so real–so nightmarish–to me.

  3. Catie, you are a delight first thing in the morning. Started today with a stroll down memory hill. I went and saw the movie in high school. I was paranoid for a couple of weeks. Especially when a couple of boys had watched the movie before and knew where the best special effects were to scare the living daylights out of us. Don’t even get me started on Carrie and a hand on you knee at just the right time :) Great post.

    • Carrie was and is freaky. I wasn’t as crazy about the remake as I was the original. It was scary, scary, scary. The book, if you’ve never read it, is a masterpiece…if you love being scared as much as I do. Stephen King has a real talent for pinpointing the human condition. He’s observant, and he knows how to take what he observes and weave it into a made-up character. Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for stopping by.

  4. I wonder if it was difficult to act in scenes surrounded by decomposing remains and animal blood.

    *shudder*

    • I read that the cast and crew were miserable. Can you imagine the smell? And that doesn’t even get into some of the other stuff. Ewww!

  5. Wow! Done it again, Catie – scared the crap out of me! I never saw Chainsaw because I thought it would be too gory for me. By the way, I went to Blockbuster to rent Farmhouse the other day and the didn’t have it to rent but I could buy it for $9.99 OR 5 DVD’s for $20! So, because of you, I now have 5 very cool movies that I can watch, one of them being Farmhouse! I can’t wait. Anyway, I’m actually now going to promise myself to try to watch Chainsaw and see what I think. The trailer kind of scares me away, but I love being scared, so what the heck, right?
    Patti

    • Now I want to know what other four movies you got. We no longer have Blockbuster or Hollywood Video. It’s all been taken over by Red Box. We do most of our renting on iTunes.

      If you like horror, you should really watch The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It won’t shock you much because you’ll see techniques in it that are now common in horror. It is a great classic, though. It was filmed in 16mm, and the film quality is grainy. It sort of looks like a home movie. To me, this just adds to the horror aspect.

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

      • 127 Hours, It’s Complicated, Bounty Hunter, and The Backup Plan are the four others. I had wanted to see James Franco’s acting since I think he was mentioned or nominated for an Academy Award, and I love Jennifer Anniston and the other actors. They aren’t scary, except for Farmhouse.
        Have you seen any of them?
        Patti

        • We’ve seen 127 Hours. The cinematography is amazing. I mean…just jaw-dropping. I found the story very interesting. That took both determination and endurance. My husband was especially touched by 127 Hours. I haven’t seen the others. I hope you enjoy them all. :D

  6. on ,
    Texanne said:

    How do you find out about this stuff, Catie? Remind me never to make you mad at me–you’d learn all my secrets in no time!

    As for the question . . .

    Have I ever visited the location of a well-known movie? When you take the backlot tour of–I think it’s Universal Studios, you see a lot of sets: the Bates Motel, the Red Sea where Moses crossed, and so forth. That’s not nearly as interesting as the house where a wildcat horror flick was filmed. So, setting aside LA, I don’t think I ever have—–wait! This just in: part of Logan’s Run was made in Fort Worth, featuring buildings like the Continental National Bank, one of the first mirror-clad high rise buildings. A tornado came through a few years ago and ruined that building and some others. As far as I know, it has never been, probably will never be, restored. But for quite a while, every time I took my business receipts to the bank, or went to lunch at a certain restaurant, which was inside the bank building, I visited a former movie set.

    Whew. Thought I was going to strike out on that one. :)TX

    • You know we vacation in the Hill Country a lot, right? It’s my job to find interesting places for us to go. That’s how I find these places. LOL

      I have never visited Universal Studios. I’d love to see all this stuff. If I ever went to LA, I’d take that Dearly Departed tour that Scott Michaels puts on. It’s right up my alley, if you know what I mean. :D

      Very cool about Logan’s Run. What a shame that the buildings will never be restored. You may not know this movie, but Boys Don’t Cry was also filmed around the Dallas area. (That’s the movie about Brandon Teena, the transgendered woman who was murdered in a hate crime.)

      Thanks so much for visiting. :D

  7. You find the most interesting information! Wow.
    Um I’ve gone to Old Tucson Studios- and I stopped by places where Necromentia was filmed- a friend was working on it.

    • Well, I had never heard of Necromentia. I had to look it up. It looks pretty interesting…and weird. And you know I like weird. LOL Thanks for stopping by.

  8. This was fascinating. That movie scared the holy doo-doo out of me when I was in junior high at a girls’ sleepover. In fact, because it was so low budget, you didn’t have any mood music to warn you when something bad was going to happen and then BOOM! there it was on the screen and stuck in your head for eternity. (Woman on hook. Aaarrrgh!) I think that visiting that house would still creep me out. I don’t know if I’ve ever been to a film location, but it seems like horror movie locations would be particularly unnerving. Then again, that All You Can Eat Fried Chicken plate at the Junction House looks pretty darn good. Great post, Catie!

    • Anything fried is good. We’ve never eaten there, but the best down-home restaurant I know in the Hill Country is Hill Country Cupboard in Johnson City:

      http://www.hillcountrycupboard.com/

      They had the best chicken fried steak. My husband got a fried pork chop and said it was out of this world. Their vegetables were even good. They had bacon in them. Mmmmm.

      Thanks for stopping by. :D

  9. You always teach me something exciting! I had no idea that I could go to Llano and eat at Leatherface’s House!

    I’ve taken the tour of all the homes used in Steel Magnolias in Natchitoches, Louisiana….it’s not far from the East Texas border…eat a famous meat pie if you go!

    • Isn’t Natchitoches neat? I grew up in a town not too awfully car from there. We’d hit Natchitoches at Christmas and watch the fireworks on the river and eat those delicious meat pies. Mmmm.

      I’ve made up my mind that we are eating at Leatherface’s house next time we’re in Llano county. LOL

      Thanks for visiting.

    • I saw Jaws when I was about six years old. I am 38 now and will not swim in open water. Believe me, I understand. Thanks for visiting. :D

  10. Eerie! You know, my best friend’s great aunt was one of the social workers/psychologists to meet Ed Gein. Creepy. He also influenced Silence of the Lambs. So, now that it’s after midnight and I’m going to bed, thanks for making me check all the windows and doors again.

    • I’d have to wonder what meeting someone like Ed Gein is like. Very cool (but creepy) that your aunt had to work with him. I knew Ed Gein influenced Silence of the Lambs. This was when I first learned about Ed Gein’s women suit. The woman suit was one thing in the Silence of the Lamb’s movie. It was a whole other thing to realize that thing was real. I’ve also read Robert Bloch used him to write Psycho (which became one of Hitchcock’s most well-known movies).

  11. What a hoot. I always thought it really was based on a true story. The joke with my friends back in the day was “The New Mexico Hack Saw Massacre” because everything takes longer in New Mexico, a.k.a. the Land of Manana. Thanks for a great blog, Catie.

    • Learning that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was not based on a true story is what inspired me to research every “based on a true story” movie I see. It has become a game of sorts for me.

      Very interesting info about New Mexico. I never knew it as The Land of Mañana. We’ve driven through a couple of times, and I’ve always wanted to look around. We never have, though. Thanks for stopping by. :D

  12. Cool story, Catie! About the house that is. :) Never saw TCM but that would cool to goo to the restaurant. The closest movie shoot location around here is Lebanon OH, where Harper Valley PTA was done in the late 70s. The new Avengers movie is going to be partially shot in nearby Wilmington. Hopefully we’ll get more of these, since state congress recently approved a tax break for shooting movies in OH.

    • Very cool about the Harper Valley PTA. That song and movie were so iconic when I was a kid. Maybe more movies will start being filmed in Ohio. I know quite a few movies are filmed in Louisiana, but I don’t know about other states. I think it would be a good boost for the economy, though. :D

      Thanks for stopping by.

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