Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Though The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was loosely based on the activities of a real serial killer (Ed Gein) responsible for several grisly murders in the 1950s, the title 'character' was Tobe Hooper's own creation:

"I was in a department store around Christmas, standing in the hardware department," he recalled. "There were so many people, and I was so tired and frustrated, and my focus pulled to the rack of chain saws. Immediately the idea occurred of how to get out of this crowd... I called my writing partner, Kim Henkel, and we churned the script out in two or three weeks."

[The film, which cost about $140,000 to make, grossed more than $20 million. Among the film's early working titles? Head Cheese, Scum of the Earth, and Leatherface.]

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