The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – one of the scariest movies ever made – was filmed in rural areas around Austin, TX, during a particularly hot summer in 1973. When I travelled to Austin in May of 2001, I was both surprised and disappointed by what I found. Surprised that some of the places, such as the cemetery and the gas station, had hardly changed in the almost 30 years since the movie was made. But I was also disappointed to learn that the family’s farmhouse had recently been moved from its original location. Still, I visited all the main sites from the movie, and the following are my photos from my visit to Leatherface’s hometown.
(click on photos to enlarge. All photos copyright © Brett McBean 2001)
The Cemetery is located in the small town of Leander, TX, Northwest of Austin. The area still had the rural feel you get from watching the movie, and the iconic headstone, which the family propped the corpse on at the beginning of the movie, is still there.
THE GAS STATION
The gas station is located in Bastrop County, and both the surrounding countryside and the gas station itself had hardly changed in the thirty years since they filmed the movie. It was a little unsettling being there; almost like walking onto a movie set. While I did go into the main grocery area and bought some snacks (although this area wasn’t seen in the movie), I was too shy to ask the owners if I could see the private back room, the ‘BBQ shack’ in the movie. As far as I know, the gas station is still in business.
The Bulk of Texas Chainsaw Massacre was filmed on a small patch of land called Quick Hill, located just north of Austin. It was the location of both the family’s farmhouse (since moved from the land), as well as the Grandparent’s house (where the kids go before being slaughtered). Once a rural area, when I visited the Hill in mid-2001, major highways surrounded the area, as well as housing developments. It was an overgrown, disused patch of land in the midst of fast-paced modern life. It’s been ten years since I was there: I fear by now Quick Hill is gone. Sometimes, progress sucks.
Looking from the top of the driveway towards where the house once stood (to the back right of the photo)
Standing roughly where the house once stood, looking down the driveway
Farther down the overgrown driveway. The road running the length of Quick Hill (Old Country Rd) can be seen in the background
All that’s left of the Family house: just a bunch of foundation stones. I was later told that the area was rife with rattlesnakes and other nasty critters
Where the house once stood. Notice the shed and water tower to the left
Close-up of the shed and water tower
A shot of Quick Hill from a distance. You can see the bottom of Old Country Rd in the middle of the photo
Looking up Old Country Rd. The driveway leading to the land where the house once stood would be over the hill and to the left
Standing about where the driveway is located (to the right). This is the road Sally makes her escape down, and where Leatherface stands and swings his chainsaw at the end
Farther down the road
The old farmhouse where the chainsaw family lived was moved from Quick Hill in 1998 to the town of Kingsland, about 50 miles Northwest of Austin. It was cleaned up and turned into a restaurant. The day I arrived, the restaurant had just closed for the afternoon, and so I unfortunately missed out on going inside and dining in the old farmhouse (but I bet they served a mean BBQ…).
Leatherface’s house all prettied-up
The ‘bone room’ is located behind the windows on the left
The kitchen…meat hook anyone?
The back of the house
In the movie, Sally jumps out of the top window
For more information about the making of the movie, including copious amounts of other location photos, visit the wonderful fan site The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: A Visit to the Film Locations