Who Is Leatherface Based On: What Drove Ed Gein To Execute Such Horrific Acts In 1954?

Fans of the Leatherface character are reflecting on the franchise’s history as they prepare for the release of the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre film starring Elsie Fisher on Netflix today. The film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is fictional, which is excellent news. Let’s dig deep into Who Is Leatherface Based On?

The film tragically draws inspiration from a real-life killer. Delightful! If you’ve seen the film (which you should if you enjoy being terrified), you know that it follows a group of friends as they become the prey of a family of cannibals in the middle of nowhere.

Leatherface, one of the cannibal family’s most prominent members, is known for his penchant for using a chainsaw to dispatch his victims. Both of them are wonderful!

The film’s opening crawl, reminiscent of a documentary or news report, sets the tone for the picture as if it were based on actual events. The gruesome footage of serial killer Elmer Wayne Henley’s arrest in the news in 1973, as well as the TV coverage of the Vietnam War, served as inspiration for director Tobe Hooper. However, what is the reality? Let’s dig deep into Who Is Leatherface Based On?

Who Is Leatherface Based On?

Moviemakers Kim Henkel and Tobe Hooper conjured up the concept of Leatherface for their 1979 and 1984 films, respectively, to be part of their The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise.

He initially appears in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, when he is depicted as a deformed, cannibalistic, and mentally unbalanced mass murderer who, with his family, kidnaps, kills and cooks unsuspecting tourists who happen onto their ranch outside of Kingsland, Texas.

The human-skin masks the protagonist wears inspired his name. Chainsaws are Leatherface’s go-to murder tool, but he has also been known to wield cleavers and hammers. The real-life serial killer Ed Gein was a major influence on the creation of this character.

He is the sole recurring character in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre films, albeit he rarely takes the lead antagonist role because he usually follows orders from his family.

In What Ways Does Real-life Serial Killer Ed Gein Inspire The Film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre?

Although both the 1974 Tobe Hooper version and the 2003 Marcus Nispel remake claim to be “inspired by a true story,” they only loosely resemble the real-life serial killer Ed Gein, who is thought to have abducted multiple victims between 1954 and 1957.

The film’s house bears striking resemblance to Ed Gein’s mansion (at right, from 1957), and its grisly contents are easily recognized.

Did The Real Ed Gein Ever Wear A Human’s Face As A Mask Like Leatherface Did In The Film?

Ed Gein, the real one, did use a human scalp and face. However, unlike Leatherface in the film, the real Ed Gein did this to help him deal with his desire to be a woman, not a skin illness. Ed Gein also had a vest made of flesh with breasts and female genitalia put over his own as part of his outfit.

What Drove Ed Gein To Execute Such Horrific Acts?

Augusta and George Gein had a son named Eddie. Augusta was a devout Christian who gave daily Bible lessons to Eddie and his brother Henry. Instead of damning them to damnation, she tried to save them by warning them about the perils of loose women.

Who Is Leatherface Based OnSource: Digital Flix

She was a harsh, stern woman who never wavered from her convictions and instilled those values in her children. George, Eddie’s dad, was an alcoholic, and Augusta didn’t think much of him. She opened a grocery store in the sinful city of La Crosse, Wisconsin, and saved enough money to relocate her family to the rural community of Plainfield.

Eddie had a difficult time making friends as a child since he was timid and the other kids at school thought he was too quiet and feminine for their tastes. His mother would chastise him whenever he tried to make friends. Eddie became increasingly reclusive and focused inward as a result.

He was hurt when his brother Henry spoke harsh things about their mom. On May 16, 1944, Eddie and Henry were battling a brush fire near the farm when they went their separate ways. As the smoke cleared and the fire was put out, Eddie began to worry that his brother had not returned.

Henry, Eddie’s “lost” sibling, was found dead in a spot unscathed by the fire, with injuries on his skull. The coroner listed asphyxiation as the cause of death, and the quiet, seemingly harmless Eddie was soon eliminated as a suspect.

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