The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (franchise)

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Texas Chainsaw logo.png
Created byKim Henkel
Tobe Hooper
Original workThe Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
Years1974–present
Print publications
Book(s)Chain Saw Confidential (2013)
Novel(s)The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2004)
ComicsThe Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Films and television
Film(s)List of films
Games
Video game(s)The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1982)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is an American horror franchise consisting of eight slasher films, comics, and a video game adaptation of the original film. The franchise focuses on the cannibalistic serial killer Leatherface and his family, who terrorize unsuspecting visitors to their territories in the desolate Texas countryside, typically killing and subsequently cooking them. The original film was released in 1974, directed by Tobe Hooper and written by Hooper and Kim Henkel. Hooper and Henkel were involved in three of the later films.

The film series has grossed over $252 million at the worldwide box office.

Films[edit]

Film U.S. release date Director(s) Screenwriter(s) Producer(s)
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre October 11, 1974 Tobe Hooper Kim Henkel & Tobe Hooper Kim Henkel & Tobe Hooper
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 August 22, 1986 L.M. Kit Carson Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus
Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III January 12, 1990 Jeff Burr David Schow Robert Engelman
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation March 12, 1995 Kim Henkel Kim Henkel Robert Kuhn and Kim Henkel
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre October 17, 2003 Marcus Nispel Scott Kosar Michael Bay, Mike Fleiss, Kim Henkel, and Tobe Hooper
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning October 6, 2006 Jonathan Liebesman Sheldon Turner Michael Bay
Mike Fleiss, Kim Henkel, Tobe Hooper, Brad Fuller, and Andrew Form
Texas Chainsaw 3D January 4, 2013 John Luessenhop Adam Marcus and Debra Sullivan Mark Burg and Carl Mazzocone
Leatherface October 20, 2017 Julien Maury &
Alexandre Bustillo
Seth M. Sherwood Christa Campbell, Lati Grobman, Carl Mazzocone, and Les Weldon

Overview[edit]

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre story chronology
Original continuity
Remake continuity
Alternate continuity

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, released in 1974, written and directed by Tobe Hooper, was the first and most successful entry in the series. It is considered to be the first of the 1970s slasher films, and originated a great many of the clichés seen in countless later low-budget slashers. Its plot concerns a family of cannibals living in rural Texas, who abduct customers from their gas station. The film's most notable character, Leatherface, is one of the most well-known villains in cinema history, notable for his masks made of human skin, his blood-soaked butcher's apron and the chainsaw he wields.[1] Although the film is marketed as a true story, it does not depict actual events, and is instead (as with the film Psycho) inspired by notorious killer Ed Gein, who acted alone and did not use a chainsaw.[2] The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) is set 13 years after the events of the first film. Although it managed to recoup its relatively small budget, the film was not considered a financial success. Since its initial release, however, it has developed a cult following of its own. Unlike its predecessor, which combined minimal gore with a documentary-style nature, the sequel is a comedic horror film, filled with black humor and various gore effects created by make-up maestro Tom Savini. The film features an appearance by novelist Kinky Friedman as well as film critic Joe Bob Briggs. Briggs' cameo appearance was originally cut in editing, but was restored for the director's cut version of the film when it was released on DVD.

Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III is a 1990 follow-up to the previous two films. It stars Kate Hodge, Ken Foree, and Viggo Mortensen and was directed by Jeff Burr. At the time, this was considered to be the first of several sequels in the series to be produced by New Line Cinema. However, it was not a commercial success, and New Line had no further involvement in the series. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1995) is the fourth and final film in the original series. Though it was shelved by Columbia Pictures after initial screenings, the film was released in 1997 after stars Renée Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey gained notoriety.

The 2003 remake, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, directed by Marcus Nispel, written by Scott Kosar and produced by Michael Bay, is based on the events of the first film, however, for the most part, it follows a different storyline. A major difference between the two films, for example, is that rather than picking up Leatherface's psychotic hitchhiker brother, the group instead come upon a traumatized survivor who shoots herself in their van. The film gives Leatherface's background, a real name (Thomas Brown Hewitt), as well as a possible reason for his wearing masks, namely a skin disease which has caused his nose to rot away. The remake received a mixed critical response upon release, but was financially successful enough to lead to a prequel. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, which takes place in 1969, is the 2006 prequel directed by Jonathan Liebesman, written by Sheldon Turner and produced by Michael Bay. It explores the roots of Leatherface's family and delves into their past. Leatherface's first mask is featured, as well as the first murder he commits using a chainsaw. It grossed less than its predecessor and has received largely negative reception from film critics.

The seventh film, Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013), is a direct sequel to the original 1974 film, and makes no reference to the events of the other sequels. The film was directed by John Luessenhop, and written by Adam Marcus, Kirsten Elms, and Debra Sullivan. Texas Chainsaw follows a young girl named Heather, who is travelling to Texas with her friends to collect an inheritance from her deceased grandmother, whom she had never met. There, Heather discovers that she is part of the Sawyer family, who were killed by the townspeople following the events of the 1974 film, as well as a cousin of Leatherface. According to Seth M. Sherwood, writer of the prequel Leatherface (2017), the eighth film is part of a continuity that consists of Leatherface, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), and Texas Chainsaw 3D.[3]

Future[edit]

Following the release of Leatherface, the producers had the rights to make five more Texas Chainsaw Massacre films. In April 2015, producer Christa Campbell stated that the fate of the potential films would largely depend on the financial reception and perceived fan reactions regarding the 2017 prequel.[4][5] Campbell clarified in December 2017 that Lionsgate and Millennium Films had lost the franchise rights due to the time it took to release it.[6]

In August 2018, it was reported that Legendary Entertainment was pursuing the rights with interest in developing television and film projects.[7][8] The following year on September 19 it was revealed that Fede Álvarez will produce the next film.[9][10] In November 2019, Deadline Hollywood reported that newcomer Chris Thomas Devlin will write the reboot.[11]

In February 2020, brothers Ryan and Andy Tohill were hired to direct the next installment.[12] The film's plot will focus on Leatherface who is now 60 years old and it will take place 47 years after the events of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The story will revolve around two sisters: Melody and Dreama. Melody is a "25-year old San Francisco moneymaker who drags her younger teenage sister with her to Texas on a business trip, out of fear of leaving her alone in the city". The younger sister, Dreama, is an amateur photographer, a wheelchair user who is "presumably disabled".[13] On August 24, the Tohill brothers were fired a week into filming and were replaced with David Blue Garcia.[14] By March 2021, production on the film was said to be completed, according to Álvarez.[15][16]

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

When comparing The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to the other top-grossing horror film series – A Nightmare on Elm Street, Child's Play, Friday the 13th, Halloween, the Hannibal Lecter series, Psycho, Saw, and Scream – and adjusting for the 2011 inflation,[17] The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the eighth highest grossing horror film series in the United States, with a combined gross of $304.6 million,[18] only outperforming the Child's Play film series with approximately $203 million.[19] The series is led by Friday the 13th at $687.1 million,[20] A Nightmare on Elm Street with $592.8 million,[21] the Hannibal Lecter film series with $588.7 million,[22] Halloween with $557.5 million,[23] Saw with $457.4 million,[24] Scream with $442.9 million,[25] and the Psycho film series, with $376.3 million.[26]

Film Release date (US) Budget Box office Reference
United States International Worldwide
1. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) October 11, 1974 $80,000–140,000 $30,859,000 N/A $30,859,000 [27][28]
2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 August 22, 1986 $4,700,000 $8,025,872 N/A $8,025,872 [29][28]
3. Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III January 12, 1990 $2,000,000 $5,765,562 N/A $5,765,562 [30][28]
4. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation September 22, 1995
August 29, 1997
$600,000 $185,898 N/A $185,898 [31]
5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) October 17, 2003 $9,500,000 $80,571,655 $26,500,000 $107,071,655 [32]
6. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning October 6, 2006 $16,000,000 $39,517,763 $12,246,643 $51,764,406 [33]
7. Texas Chainsaw 3D January 4, 2013 $20,000,000 $34,341,945 $12,900,000 $47,241,945 [34]
8. Leatherface October 20, 2017 N/A N/A $1,476,843 $1,476,843 [35]
Total $50,340,000 $199,258,695 $53,123,486 $252,391,201

Other media[edit]

Books[edit]

Comics[edit]

The cover to Leatherface #1, the first in a series of comics based on the film series

Several comic books based on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre films were published in 1991 by Northstar Comics entitled Leatherface.[36] They were licensed as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Avatar Press for use in new comic book stories, the first of which was published in 2005.[37] In 2006, Avatar Press lost the license to DC Comics imprint, Wildstorm, which has published new stories based on the films. However, in June 2007, Wildstorm changed a number of horror comics, including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, from monthly issues to specials and miniseries.[38]

The series of comics featured none of the main characters seen in the original film (Topps Comics Jason vs. Leatherface series is exempt) with the exception of Leatherface, however, the 1991 "Leatherface" miniseries was loosely based on the third Texas Chainsaw Massacre film. The writer of the miniseries, Mort Castle said, "The series was very loosely based on Texas Chainsaw Massacre III. I worked from the original script by David Schow and the heavily edited theatrical release of director Jeff Burr, but had more or less free rein to write the story the way it should have been told. The first issue sold 30,000 copies."[39] Kirk Jarvinen drew the illustrations for the first issue,[40] and Guy Burwell finished the rest of the series. The comics, not having the same censorship restrictions from the MPAA, featured much more gore than the finished film. The ending, as well as the fates of several characters, were also altered. An adaptation of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was planned by Northstar Comics, but never came to fruition.[41]

Video games[edit]

In 1982, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a mass-market video game adaptation of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was released for the Atari 2600 by Wizard Video.[42] In the game, the player assumes the role of Leatherface, and attempts to murder trespassers while avoiding obstacles such as fences and cow skulls.[43] As one of the first horror-themed video games, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre caused controversy when it was released due to the violent nature of the video game and sold poorly as many video game stores refused to carry it.[42][44] Wizard Video's other commercial release, Halloween, had a slightly better reception,[45] however, the limited number of copies sold has made both games highly valued items among Atari collectors.[46]

All American Massacre[edit]

In 1998, filming began for All American Massacre, an installment which would have served as both a sequel and prequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.[47] The film was initially conceived as a 15-minute short, but was expanded to a 60-minute feature.[48] It was directed by William Hooper, son of Tobe Hooper.[47][48] Bill Moseley reprised his role as the character Chop Top, who would have been revealed to have survived the events of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and been in a Texas psychiatric hospital for a number of years.[47] The plot of the film would have centered on Chop Top detailing his past in an interview with a news crew, before carrying out a new series of murders.[47] A trailer for All American Massacre was released on the internet, but the film itself was never released.[47]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hooper, Tobe; Henkel, Kim. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Leatherface. Script City.
  2. ^ Rockoff, Adam. Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film, 1978-1986. McFarland.
  3. ^ McGrew, Shannon (May 22, 2017). "Interview: Writer Seth Sherwood Talks Origins of Leatherface". iHorror. Retrieved May 29, 2017.
  4. ^ Zimmerman, Samuel (April 8, 2015). "Sequel Talk: Flipping It Follows, More Leatherface". ComingSoon.Net. Archived from the original on November 13, 2017. Retrieved November 13, 2017.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. ^ Walkuski, Eric (2015-04-10). "EXCLUSIVE: LEATHERFACE PRODUCERS TALK HARDCORE PREQUEL AND DAY OF THE DEAD!". JoBlo. Retrieved 2017-06-19.
  6. ^ Campbell, Crista (December 25, 2017). "christa campbell on Twitter". Twitter. Archived from the original on December 28, 2017. Retrieved December 27, 2017.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  7. ^ Miska, Brad (August 24, 2018). "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre' Franchise Carving Out Television Series, New Film Deal [Exclusive]". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  8. ^ Sprague, Mike. "Texas Chainsaw Massacre TV Series coming via Legendary Pictures?". Joblo.com. Mike Sprague. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  9. ^ Miska, Brad (September 19, 2019). "Fede Alvarez Producing Next 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' Film! [Exclusive]". Bloody Disgusting.
  10. ^ Lattanzio, Ryan (19 September 2019). "'Don't Breathe' Helmer Fede Álvarez to Produce 'Texas Chainsaw' Sequel". IndieWire.com. IndieWire. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  11. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (November 2019). "'The Girl In The Spider's Web' Helmer Fede Alvarez Inks Overall Film Deal With Legendary, Will Direct D.C.-Set Horror Pic". Deadline.com. Deadline. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  12. ^ Burwick, Kevin (February 7, 2020). "New Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movie Finds Its Directors". MovieWeb. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
  13. ^ Timberlake, Braxter (May 6, 2020). "New Texas Chainsaw Massacre Reboot Details Reveal An Older Leatherface And Fresh Supporting Cast: Exclusive". The Illuminerdi. Retrieved May 7, 2020.
  14. ^ Fleming. Jr, Mike (August 24, 2020). "'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' Bloodbath: Directors Chopped Along With Early Scenes As Pic Shuts One Week In And David Blue Garcia Takes Reins". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  15. ^ Fuge, Jon (March 22, 2021). "'Don't Breathe 2' & 'Texas Chainsaw' Sequel Are Finished and Fantastic Teases Producer". MovieWeb. Retrieved April 8, 2021.
  16. ^ Weiss, Josh (March 19, 2021). "Shut Your Mouth! Fede Álvarez Says 'Don't Breathe 2' 'Quite Different' From the First Movie". Syfy. Retrieved April 9, 2021.
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  19. ^ "Child's Play box office rankings". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
  20. ^ "Friday the 13th box office ranking". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
  21. ^ "A Nightmare on Elm Street box office rankings". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
  22. ^ "The Hannibal Lector series box office rankings". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
  23. ^ "Halloween box office rankings". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
  24. ^ "Saw box office rankings". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  25. ^ "Scream box office rankings". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
  26. ^ "Psycho box office rankings". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
  27. ^ "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  28. ^ a b c "Texas Chainsaw Massacre Franchise Box Office History". The Numbers. Retrieved 2020-11-07.
  29. ^ "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  30. ^ "Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  31. ^ "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1995)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  32. ^ "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  33. ^ "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  34. ^ "Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb.
  35. ^ "Leatherface". Box Office Mojo. Box office Mojo. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  36. ^ "Movie Maniac Comic Books". Icons of Fright. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
  37. ^ "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Avatar Press. 2005. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
  38. ^ "DWildstorm Updates Publishing Plans for Horror/Movie Titles". Newsarama. March 13, 2007. Retrieved 2008-08-21.
  39. ^ "MortCastle". Glasshouse Graphics. Archived from the original on 2009-02-21. Retrieved 2008-06-01.
  40. ^ "Kirk Jarvinen". Comic Book DB. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
  41. ^ Mort Castle (w). "Hunters in the Night" Leatherface 4: 1/Introduction (1991), Northstar Comics
  42. ^ a b "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Atari game". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2009-02-01. Retrieved 2008-06-01.
  43. ^ " Texas Chainsaw Massacre overview". Allgame. Retrieved 2008-06-01.
  44. ^ "Classic horror movies on the Atari 2600". BavaTuesdays.com. April 27, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
  45. ^ "Halloween for the Atari 2600". Rogue Cinema. April 1, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
  46. ^ "Halloween". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  47. ^ a b c d e Squires, John (August 29, 2017). "Bill Moseley Played Chop Top in a 'Chainsaw 2' Sequel We May Never See". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  48. ^ a b Jaworzyn, Stefan (2004). The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Companion. Titan Books. p. 235. ISBN 978-1840236606.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]