On October 1, 1974, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre shredded all previous standards of cinematic intensity when it premiered at Austin-area theaters and drive-ins. It would shortly thereafter go on to conquer the world—a million screams at a time.
Made by fledgling director Tobe Hooper and film students from the University of Texas at Austin, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (TCM) introduced a backwoods cannibal family dominated by a hulking human butcher named Leatherface, who wears a mask made of human skin and specializes in wicked amputation techniques involving the tool of the title.
For TCM’s 40th anniversary, the film has been meticulously restored and is playing at midnight hows and Halloween screenings all over the country, particularly in college towns. TCM’s birthday is also the focus of heavy metal rocker Phil Anselmo’s three-day Housecore Horror Film Festival right where it all began, deep in the bloody heart of Austin, from October 23-26.
To celebrate horror filmdom’s most notorious Lone Star State slaughter, here are 20 Things You Didn’t Know About The Texas Chainsaw Massacre–or maybe a little more than 20, because we get carried away…