The Texas Chain Saw Massacre -- The Idea For The Chainsaw Came From Christmas Shopping
New Line Cinema
The original Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a grimy, low-budget classic which gave the world an iconic movie killer in Leatherface -- a man so evil that he murders teens and feeds them to his family, but so sensitive that he ends his rampage by dancing to a particularly beautiful sunset.
New Line Cinema
New Line Cinema Get you a cannibal murderer who can do both.
A big part of what makes the movie work so well is Leatherface's weapon of choice: the chainsaw. Had it been called The Texas Sock Full Of Nickels Massacre, the box office wouldn't have been so great. Writer and director Tobe Hooper first landed on the idea of making a movie starring a chainsaw-wielding maniac while in line to buy stuff to put underneath his Christmas tree. While making his way through the hardware section of a large department store during the holiday season, Hooper had to contend with a sea of thousands of aggressive Christmas shoppers. Like everyone who's ever gone Christmas shopping, his mind immediately turned to murder. His eyes then landed on a display of brand-new chainsaws for sale.
New Line CinemaHe's making a list. He's checking it twice. Gonna find out if you're naughty or nice.
Hooper gleefully daydreamed that even revving up that big chainsaw would send people fleeing. Then, on his way home, the idea hit Hooper that a chainsaw -- spinning, smoking, roaring -- had all the ingredients to be the perfect cinematic weapon. After that, all the pieces for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre quickly fell into place.
So next year, let's all remember what Christmas is really about. Not the presents, not the department store rush, but the birth of a very important man.
New Line Cinema "I think we've learned the true meaning of ChristmaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"
J.M. McNab co-hosts the pop culture nostalgia podcast Rewatchability, which can also be found on iTunes. Follow him on Twitter @Rewatchability.
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