The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a 1974 film directed by Tobe Hooper. It is widely believed to be a true story (possibly because of the intro), but is not. The closest it comes to it is that the antagonist, Leatherface, is loosely inspired by serial killer Ed Gein, who wore the skin of his victims.
The film opens with an eerie prelude, including an introduction and a radio broadcast about several gruesome graverobbings. Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns), her wheelchair-bound brother Franklin (Paul A. Partain), Sally's boyfriend Jerry (Allen Danziger), her best friend Pam (Teri McMinn) and Pam's boyfriend Kirk (William Vail) are driving to an old homestead in Texas. On the way, they stop at a local cemetery so Sally can relieve her concerns of her grandfather's grave being vandalized. The group later picks up a strange-looking hitchhiker (Edwin Neal) who bumbles incoherently and crazily. He takes a picture of the gang, cuts himself with a razor and then cuts Franklin. The group shoves the crazy man out of the van and drive off, after the hitchhiker smears blood all over the van.
The teenagers arrive at a gas station where the proprietor (Jim Seidow) tells them the tanks are empty and the gang sets off to the home, barely managing to make it to the plantation mansion. Tired of Pam and Kirk's annoying foreplay, Franklin tells the couple about a nearby lake and the two set off. But instead, they find a house with a running generator. Pam sits outside while Kirk explores inside the house. Upon entering a secret room, he comes face-to-face with a large man wearing a mask made out of human skin-Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen). Leatherface murders Kirk via blow to the head with a sledgehammer and drags him into the back room. Pam goes into the old house where she stumbles upon a room filled with bones and live chickens. She flees the house, but Leatherface catches her on the front porch and drags her back inside, where he hangs her on a meathook in the back room. She then is forced to witness Leatherface dismembering Kirk with a chainsaw.
Evening falls, and Jerry goes to look for Kirk and Pam. He finds the house, and he goes inside and enters a back room where he discovers Pam locked in a freezer, barely alive. Leatherface appears and bashes Jerry with a sledgehammer. Night comes soon, and Sally tries to push Franklin along the uneven forest trail in the darkness. All of a sudden, Leatherface leaps from the shadows and murders Franklin with a chainsaw. Sally flees into the dark woods, Leatherface in pursuit. She endlessly is chased through the woods by Leatherface wielding the chainsaw (in one of the most remarkable chase scenes in movie history) until Sally finds the house where all of her friends were butchered. She races inside and upstairs, she finds the remains of an elderly couple, the man barely alive and the woman, dead and mummified. Sally then is attacked by Leatherface and she leaps through an upstairs window to escape. She runs into the woods again until she comes upon a gas station.Inside, the proprietor consoles her and then beats her with a broom, ties her up and shoves her in his truck where he drives her to the house. Sally is tied up at the dinner table and it is revealed that the hitchhiker, the proprietor and Leatherface are all one cannibalistic family. Sally is physically and verbally tormented by the demented family, for what seems like hours, and she is almost killed when they try to get Grandpa (the barely alive man that Sally found earlier) to kill Sally with a sledgehammer, but he is too weak to do so, and the hitchhiker grabs the hammer-letting go of Sally-and in all the confusion, Sally breaks free and jumps through a window outside just as the sun has begun to rise. Sally runs to the road, the hitchhiker behind her and slashing her with a small knife. But an eighteen wheeler drives by and runs the hitchhiker over. Leatherface runs at Sally, chainsaw ablaze and the driver of the eighteen wheeler helps Sally into the truck, and Leatherface begins to saw at the door. They climb out the other side and as Leatherface pursues them, the truck driver hits Leatherface in the head with a wrench, causing him to drop him chainsaw and cut his leg. Sally jumps into the back oof a passing pick-up truck and as she is driven away, she laughs hysterically at Leatherface who swings his chainsaw in frustration.
- Marilyn Burns - Sally Hardesty
- Allen Danziger - Jerry
- Paul A. Partain - Franklin Hardesty
- William Vail - Kirk
- Teri McMinn - Pam (as Teri Mcminn)
- Edwin Neal - Hitchhiker
- Jim Siedow - Old Man
- Gunnar Hansen - Leatherface
- John Dugan - Grandfather
- Robert Courtin - Window Washer
- William Creamer - Bearded Man
- John Henry Faulk - Storyteller
- Jerry Green - Cowboy
- Ed Guinn - Cattle Truck Driver
- Joe Bill Hogan - Drunk
- Perry Lorenz - Pick Up Driver