Based on a true story?

The house from the infamous film has made for one of the nicest, and creepiest restaurants.  The Grand Central Cafe is located in Kingsland, Texas

Steven Osburn

The house from the infamous film has made for one of the nicest, and creepiest restaurants. The Grand Central Cafe is located in Kingsland, Texas

The article you are about to read is an account of the misinformation created by one film.  In particular, a 1973 classic and its 2003 remake. It is more tragic that a young group of actors was put through a brutal series of events that would lead to the creation of the most terrifying film ever made. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”.  “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” was released to major audiences in 1974 with the claim that the film was based on true events in which a terrible series of grave robbing and murders happened in the late summer of 1973. It suggested that a cannibalistic family had resided in Texas for some time, and one of them in particular was rather menacing for he wielded a chainsaw and wore human skin over his face. To this day, I have heard claims as to where this event happened and how somebody’s cousins friend worked in the prison the infamous Leatherface was held in. 

The movie took inspiration from a real crime, yes, but not from the 1970’s, not in Texas, not involving a family and not with a chainsaw. 

It was in Plainfield, Wisconsin that resided a lonely man who would later be called the “Butcher of Plainfield.” His name was Edward Gein. He had committed acts of grave robbery throughout the 1950’s, and was apprehended in 1957 after the body of Bernice Warden was discovered in his shed gutted like a deer. Many grisly artifacts would be found in his home, including a full body suit made of female flesh made so he could wear.

Tobe Hooper, the director of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, heard stories about Gein from a young age, and was scared to death. He later used his gruesome crimes as a template to create the twisted family in his film. But this information was not relayed to audiences in the 1970’s. It claimed it was true to get people into the theater, a trick which would work with many horror films afterward, including “The Amityville Horror”, “The Conjuring”, and the remake of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”.

Other films do not have to stretch so far. “Titanic”, 1997, is a Romeo and Juliet story, but set on the historical ship. This had three effects. People either believed Jack and Rose were real people or they think the entire film is a work of fiction. However, the best outcome is for those who decided to learn more by researching the subject themselves.

There are a few ways to tell if a movie is more fiction than fact. Firstly, if a horror title says “Based on a true story,” or something along those lines, be skeptical. They may be overselling what happened to make it scarier. Secondly, it is important to research. Not extreme finals paper research, just a few google searches to discover more information the movie either left out or made up. 

Film can be used to convey truthful information about history, but it is important to do a little digging because, more often than not, the real event might be much more interesting.



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