This article is about the original 1974 film. For the remake film in 2003, see The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a 1974 horror film, the first in the series, directed by Tobe Hooper and starring Marilyn Burns in the lead role and Gunnar Hansen as Leatherface.
Franklin Hardesty (who is in a wheelchair), his sister Sally, her boyfriend Jerry, his friend Kirk, and his girlfriend Pam, are going on a trip in Texas when they run into a hitchhiker. He cuts himself with a knife, and then takes a picture of Franklin and develops it. When he asks them to give him money for the picture, he sets it on fire and cuts Franklin. They kick him out of the van. He writes on the van with his blood.
They stop at a gas station for fuel, but the owner tells them that the pumps are empty. They go to the homestead, and Kirk and Pam leave to find a local swimming hole; instead they find a nearby house, with furniture made of human bones. Kirk enters the house and Leatherface appears and bashes Kirk on the head with a sledgehammer, killing him. Pam enters and Leatherface hangs her on a meat hook and grabs a chainsaw to cut up Kirk's body.
Jerry goes to look for Kirk and Pam, and Leatherface kills him with his sledgehammer. Sally and Franklin look for them, and Leatherface kills Franklin with his chainsaw and chases Sally around. Eventually Sally enters the gas station and talks to the owner, and soon discovers that the owner, Drayton Sawyer, referred to as "the cook", is the older brother of Leatherface and the hitchhiker (Nubbins Sawyer). All three brothers are cannibals.
Drayton and Leatherface take Sally to their house to eat her. They bring down their grandfather, who is old and looks like a corpse, and decide that he should kill her with the hammer, however he is too old to swing the hammer, as he keeps on missing, or dropping the hammer. As Drayton and Nubbins try to help him out, they let go of Sally, and she escapes. Nubbins and Leatherface chase her, and Nubbins is run down by an 18 wheeler. As Leatherface chases Sally and the driver, the driver hits him in the face with a wrench. Leatherface falls and cuts his leg on his chainsaw. The driver runs off and Sally escapes in the back of a pickup truck, while Leatherface swings his chainsaw around in frustration.
This film is followed by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. These two films are the only ones outside of the remake series to show continuity with each other; all sequels after The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 are non-canon and in their own timelines (with similar events to the first two films having taken place).
It is a common misconception that The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a true story; Sally Hardesty, Franklin Hardesty, and Bubba Sawyer (Leatherface) never really existed. This rumor sprung from the fact that the character design for Leatherface was based off a serial killer named Ed Gein, who also wore the skin of his victims. Unlike Leatherface, he did not use a chainsaw, and worked alone. The false document technique is also used at the beginning, which may also have led people to believe that the film depicted factual events.