This section was inspired from an e-mail I received from Earl Hodges of Liberty Hill. He described his experiences as a teenager what it was like to visit Quick Hill with his friends and explore the Grandparents house in 1974 & '75. This is exactly the type of material that I'm trying to find from TCM fans out there who were around at the time to "tell the tale" and do what I wish I was old enough to do. I hope that other people who visit my site will depart their stories to me so I can post their experiences here as well.
Submitted by: Earl Hodges
|I ran across your
website somehow the other day. I had not even realized the Family House
had been moved. I used to go into Austin using 1325, but after moving to
Liberty Hill a few years back rarely go on that road anymore. When the
movie came out, it didn't take long for my friends to find out where the
scenes were shot. I am from Georgetown, and It was a
frequent cruising spot to scare your girlfriends
with. The people who were living in the house, this
would be 1974-1975, probably seriously regretted ever letting the house
be used. There was even a sheet of tin hanging on the
fence near the driveway with "Chainsaw
House" painted on it to make sure everyone knew it. It's
been a few years of course, but at that time the house was pretty run
down. I never had seen it after it was remodeled. Driving
by the Family House. at sundown was exciting, but
the more interesting thing was to go to the
Grandparents House. There was no mention that you had visited the house
before it burned. If you never did, it was really
impressive. At one time it must have been a
magnificent house. By 1973 of course it was beyond repair. I
took people there about 3 times for "late night tours".
Looking back now, it was lucky we got out without
broken bones. There was potential to fall through
the floor several places. There was one room that had a low ceiling
with an entry into something like an attic. It was low
enough for me to jump up to and grab the edge and
pull myself up. I was 19 then and plenty old enough
not to be scared, but I had one heck of an imagination and it was
hard to pull up into that room and turn off the
flashlight. When the other people noticed my
disappearance, they would start to look around. I would actually
jump out of the ceiling behind them onto that rotten floor. It was
worth the reaction however. As you can imagine everyone's
adrenaline was a little high just from being in
the house. No one knew where to run, and with only
one other flashlight there was a lot of wall banging and door crashing.
Another of the rooms had low windows, and of course no
glass or screens. You could walk through the
opening onto the stone ledge outside the window and seemingly
just disappear to the unobservant. Very risky also, but it seemed
to be the thing to do. It was fascinating to look at the
same wallpaper with the animals that the actress
was reminiscing about. I wish I had taken some pictures
before it burned down, but too late now. It
has been many years since I saw the movie. We thought we knew where all
of the scenes were filmed, and I was very surprised to
see the gas station was in Bastrop. Everyone I
ever talked to was sure it was the one on 1325, very
near CR 172 on the South side of 1325. I can't remember the name of it,
but it is still there I think it now sells antiques etc.
We were every bit as sure the graveyard was the
one that was adjacent to that same gas station.
Also that area had the thick brush that the girl was running through
where her hair was getting caught up when she was running from the
guy with the chainsaw. Told you it had been a long time,
I do not even know the names of the people in the
movie anymore. I didn't know him, but my best friend
knew Paul Partain. I believe he was from Georgetown, but am not sure.
Anyway, I enjoyed your site, and hope you find more history as time goes on.
Submitted by: Ricky Calvert
this is all coming from my vague memory *LOL*
At the beginning of the show when the decayed bodies are shown, the
radio commentator mentions the town "monte alto" which is a real town in
the extreme SE part of Texas (almost Mexico). If I remember right,
Monte Alto has a population of 125 (back in 1988).
The same scene has the commentator mention that Monte Alto was located
in Muerto (Spanish for death) County. No such county exists.
I wrote to the County Sheriff back in 1988 that included the town of
Monte Alto and he had no ideal about the crimes that happened in that
When the group tries to initially get gas
and find out the guy is out,
Last but not least, when the lady is
being chased by Leatherface and
There's one brief scene where the tag of
the van is shown, I ran the tag
Submitted by: Chuck Franke
This is in reference to the type of 18-wheeler truck that was driven by Ed Guinn at the end of TCM.
|Actually, while not having
too much information about the specific vehicle used in the film, (where
it is, if it still exists, etc.) I could provide a little more info
about the truck in general.
Peterbilt Motors Company of Oakland California, ( and later Newark CA.) began producing the so-called "needle-nose" long-hood conventional truck in 1956, as the model 350. They had horizontal radiator vanes, and a flat, rectangular bumper. (This is the model of truck seen in the Stephen Spielberg film "Duel" ) From 1960 to 1966, the truck was called the 351. It had slight cosmetic changes and design refinements ( larger, gull-wing bumper. Longer fuel tanks. Optional "quad" headlights, instead of the old, "single bullet" style. Etc...) In 1966, due to the increasing trend toward wider hoods, and V- block engines, the model 351 was replaced by the "wide hood" 359, which bore many similarities in design to the modern model 379 that we see on the freeways and interstates today. By 1971, the last "needlenose" Peterbilt had rolled out of California, and into eternity... In an odd twist of irony -- for TCM fans -- the truck that wiped out the hitchhiker, is no longer built in California. Peterbilt closed their Newark, CA. plant in 1986, and all operations for the company are now based in the state of... Texas. It appears -- and I am only basing this on seeing the film a few times -- that the truck that pounded the hitchhiker into the pavement was a 1961 Peterbilt 351 with bullet headlights and an aluminum Mercury MFG Corp. Sleeper box behind the cab. Most of the later, top line 351's had polished aluminum grille shells, but the "Black Mariah"'s is painted, indicating it was a 61' (the bumper is a gull-wing, which came out in 1960). The trailer appears to be a drop-floor Wilson livestock van with the rear ramp-doors. It would have been about 40 feet long, and had 2 decks. Again, this is all just guess work, gathered from watching the film a few times and having a long standing fascination with this particular truck.
Submitted by: John W. Porter
your site today while looking up info on Austin White Lime Co. I
grew up in Round Rock West and we drove over Quick Hill every time we went
into Austin (back when we had to go into Austin to get anything as Round
Rock had no malls or big shopping centers). When we came back at night and
my dad was driving, the car would always "die" and then we would coast to a
stop on top of the hill. You can imagine what this would do to a car full
of kids who had never seen TCM (because "you're not old enough") but had
heard all the stories from the older kids . I was reading the interview you
had with the guy that used to live there, funny how he mentioned the people
that used to come up to the house in the car and ONLY ONE would get out. We
did that plenty of times, as I am sure a lot of kids did. I never new there
was such a fan base for TCM. Anyways, just thought I'd say hi.
John W. Porter
Submitted by: Jeff Draper
I am a lifelong resident of Austin (42+ years). I remember very well, the tradition of going to the Showtown Drive In movie, on top of the hill on Cameron Rd. just North of 183, and watching the original movie (with a carload of people) in High School days-1977-1980. Back then the film area was still pristine. We would go out there to the hill after the movie, as the road was still open back then, and park in the dark in front of the house and dare each other to get out. It was hilarious, everyone was all tough and brave, "I'm not scared", but once parked, engine off, lights off, it would only take about 15 seconds before windows were going up and doors locking. I was told by a friends mother, who was in real estate, that there were originally 2 houses there, the original old one from the movie, and a nicer one directly across the road to the South (?). The initial story we always heard from her was, the old house was the one used for the movie, and the nicer house was the one it actually happened in. (We know better today). The nicer house was lived in as well, and was apparently pretty nice for country setting, with a fountain in front of the home, and a circle driveway. Eventually it was abandoned, and became run down and vandalized. When it was still standing, we went out there one day before dark and wandered the property, finding bones everywhere on the ground, assumeably animal bones. Eventually someone got tired of people going out there at night, and it was set on fire one night. The cops arrived with the fire dept, and I was told they told them to just let it burn down. The original house remained, with some "hippies" living in it, who were supposedly not fans of the movie. A friend went there with his family one time to purchase a rabbit from them for Easter. He said there were alot of things left from the movie, the metal door, the bone chair, etc. It is sad that it was moved, and now the property will be an underpass covered in concrete. ... Enjoy your site though. Glad someone out there still remembers it all and keeps it alive.
Submitted by: Jeffrey Simmons
Tim, I just thought I'd pass this along to you...Recently, I had a discussion with a much younger horror film fan (my fiance's 24 year old brother) about TCM. When I mentioned to him that I'd been to the site several times during my time in the US Army (I was stationed at Fort Hood, TX), he balked at my claim and proceded to inform me that the film was shot just outside Pittsburgh, PA. I had a good laugh and informed him that he needed to double-check his "sources". I then told him about my visits to the sites, and also of the existence of www.texaschainsawmassacre.net , should he need further "proof". My very first trip to the TCM sites occurred in the summer of 1988. I was dating a girl (Shanna) from Round Rock (we met on the infamous Sixth Street in Austin, TX) and one night she and her parents told me of the film's site location near their home. The next day, Shanna and I took a ride out with a few friends to see what we could see. When we crested the hill, we pulled over (just about 100 feet or so past the Thomas's driveway so as not to be seen or thought of as a nuisance) and got out of our car. The four of us walked back up the incline and into the thicket to get a look at the remains of the "Grandparent's House". There really wasn't much left of the house, save the stone walls, chimneys, etc., and most of that was obviously in a losing battle with time and nature. One of Shanna's friends informed me that the house had been burned to the ground by teenagers illegally partying at the house one night. I was also amazed at the abundance of watermelon growing among the earth and stone rubble in the interior of the first floor. The green striped orbs seemed oddly out of place but we didn't disturb or remove any of them. After a few minutes of discussing local legends and hearsay about the film and it's undeniable appeal, we opted to have a look across the road at the "Leatherface House". We crossed the road and unbelievably, one of the people I was with (Kimberly) refused to accompany us and stayed on the other side of the road. Though a lifelong resident of nearby Round Rock, this was her first time at the sites. She was visibly (and almost laughably) nervous but I resisted the temptation to toy with her apparent irrational fear. I stepped to the very edge of the Thomas's driveway and gazed out at the house in the distance. It seemed a bit run-down, and in need of some TLC, but other than the seemingly large amount of vehicles parked in front of and to the left of the house, nothing appeared out of the ordinary. No chainsaw-wielding cannabilistic transvestite sociopaths running at us with murderous intent, nor any skin-and-bones psychopathic babbling masochists jumping out of the tree line to greet us and invite us in for an ice cold lemonade. Just a normal looking house whose owners seemed to be entertaining guests. I turned to my friends and said that I'd seen what I came to see: the TCM film site. And with that, we turned back to our car and left. Shanna also took us to the gas station used in the film but since we already had a full tank and were heading into Austin that late afternoon to meet some other friends and get an early start on our weekend partying (I was much younger then), we moved on. No truckers passed us with a hysterical and bloodied young female passenger in shock...We think (ha ha). I recall many stories about TCM and it's film site during my years in Texas, but Kimberly's visible fear (we could almost hear her heart pounding when we left her on the side of the road alone) and my close friend Sam's refusal to even get out of his own truck to see either properties one dark stormy evening (my third trip to the site) makes me smile the most: It just proves the effectiveness of the atmosphere created by and the long-lasting stigma a film like TCM produces in our society's collective conscience. Absolutely brilliant (insert blood curdling scream and/or psychopathic laughter here).