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Texas Chainsaw Massacre Explained – Why Does Leatherface Wear Human Skin Mask

One of the most influential horror film series of all time is ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.’ The nine films in the series reinvented the slasher cinema genre, from Tobe Hooper’s 1974 film ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ through David Blue Garcia’s 2022 film ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre.’ The series’ films revolve around the cannibalistic mass murderer Leatherface, who kills innocent victims primarily with a chainsaw. Leatherface’s human skin masks are both horrifying and interesting, and they are one of the character’s most famous aspects. If you’re wondering about Leatherface’s notable feature, we’ve got you covered! WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.

Why does Leatherface wear a mask made of human skin?

Ed Gein, the murderer and body snatcher who heavily affected the characterisation of the fictitious character Leatherface, is the primary influence for Leatherface’s masks. Ed Gein was a notorious thief known for stealing skin and other body parts from women’s graves and murdering two women. To “become his mother,” he wore the skin of dead bodies as a garment and peeled facial skins as masks. Gein was incredibly dependent on his mother as a child, and once she died, he began to resuscitate her via himself. Gein changed himself into his mother by wearing skin suits and masks.

Despite the fact that Gein strongly impacted Leatherface and his masks, the recognizable characteristic isn’t exclusive to Gein. According to Gunnar Hansen, who played Leatherface in the first ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ film, Leatherface’s numerous masks represent the mass murderer’s distinct personalities. The first film’s creators, Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel, created the mask aspect to distinguish Leatherface’s “personality of the day” and to show the depth of his lunacy. In the first film, Leatherface wears three different masks, each with its own personality.

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Leatherface’s maternal and domestic personality is represented by the “Old Lady” mask. The “Pretty Woman” mask represents the mass killer’s youthful and vivacious attitude, while the “Killing” mask represents the horrific murdering personality of the mass murderer. According to Hansen, the purpose of the masks is to underline that Leatherface lacks a personality other than the ones provided by the masks. Tobe and Kim employed masks to convey that the character is nothing more than a blank slate without many masks covering his face and psyche.

Following the release of the 1974 picture, filmmakers and writers of succeeding films reimagined the importance and history of Leatherface’s masks in a variety of ways. Leatherface suffered from a skin ailment that damaged his face in the 2003 film ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.’ He began by wearing masks to conceal his damaged face, and then began to utilize the facial skins of his victims to do the same. Leatherface does not have any skin disorders in the 2017 film ‘Leatherface,’ which chronicles the character’s origin tale. However, he is shot in the face, and his mother, Verna, stitches his face together to connect the facial portions. He fashions a mask out of the skins of his two victims to conceal his damaged visage.

The 2022 film ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre,’ directed by David Blue Garcia, presents another intriguing take on the mask Leatherface wears. Leatherface in the film utilizes the facial skin of his caretaker Virginia, who dies of a heart attack. When Virginia had a heart attack while arguing with Dante and Melody about control of her orphanage, Leatherface assists the sheriff in getting her to the hospital. When Virginia dies on the way to the hospital, Leatherface’s violent instincts revive, prompting him to peel Virginia’s facial skin to use as a mask.

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He kills Dante and others with Virginia’s facial flesh for indirectly killing his carer. Virginia’s facial flesh as Leatherface’s mask represents his attachment to his caretaker as well as his wrath on those who murdered her. Leatherface’s masked face has inspired several filmmakers to drive the slasher and horror genres over the years. We might also expect interesting intricacies about the masks to emerge in future films in the ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ franchise.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre Explained – Why Does Leatherface Wear Human Skin Mask
Texas Chainsaw Massacre Explained – Why Does Leatherface Wear Human Skin Mask
Texas Chainsaw Massacre Explained – Why Does Leatherface Wear Human Skin Mask
Texas Chainsaw Massacre Explained – Why Does Leatherface Wear Human Skin Mask
Texas Chainsaw Massacre Explained – Why Does Leatherface Wear Human Skin Mask
Texas Chainsaw Massacre Explained – Why Does Leatherface Wear Human Skin Mask
Texas Chainsaw Massacre Explained – Why Does Leatherface Wear Human Skin Mask
Texas Chainsaw Massacre Explained – Why Does Leatherface Wear Human Skin Mask

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