MM/SKM: Leatherface

Leatherface - Gunnar Hansen: In 1974 when The Texas Chainsaw Massacre came out, there was a warning right in the tagline: Who will survive and what will be left of the? When people went to go see this movie they were aware that they were seeing a horror movie. What they were, possibly, not expecting was to be introduced to a family of inbred and crazy cannibals. There were times in this film when the horror was almost laughable. However, we are introduced to Leatherface first. When we first see him he kills a man and drags his corpse behind a door. He is wearing a mask that is almost blank with no emotions tied. We don’t know what he is thinking. We do know that these people have come into his own home. Unlike the 2003 remake, we do not see what is beyond that door. We don’t watch Leatherface butcher, skin, and finish off his prey. In fact, we don’t even see his face. All we see is a towering man who wears a mask. I know the in 2003 remake, we do get a glimpse at what Leatherface looks like without the mask. But, the mask that he wears in the 1974 original is what makes the character scary. In that final scene, when he is chasing the girl outside with the chainsaw in the air we are worried for her. He is wearing mask with make-up on. We watch him wave the chainsaw in the air menacingly as he has lost his prey for the first time. Leatherface is one of the first characters to ever define the slasher film for his tendency to kill and eat his own victims.


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