15Leatherface From The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – Ed Gein and Elmer Wayne Henley

Upon its original release, Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was considered so violent and terrifying that many mainstream theaters outright refused to show it. Part of the issue may have been that it was advertised as being based on a true story, which although only slightly true, was still

an entirely new concept for horror films of the day. That Leatherface and his family of cannibals were especially frightening didn’t help, either, making it all the more shocking their crimes were in fact inspired by a lone real-life criminal: serial killer Ed Gein. Like Leatherface, Gein crafted a mask made of human skin from his victims, part of a full body suit he planned on making before his apprehension cut him short. Kim Henkel, one of the film's co-writers, later claimed that another serial killer named Elmer Wayne Henley was also an inspiration for what was described as his “moral schizophrenia.”

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