MOVIES

Why Does Leatherface Wear a Mask? The Reason Is Creepier Than You Remember

In the original “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” you might notice that Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) actually has a small collection of different masks that he wears throughout the film. Although the hulking murderer is the iconic villain of the piece, he’s surrounded by a family just as evil and bloodthirsty as he is, and his masks represent his efforts to fill the various roles expected of him by his relatives. We’ve got the Old Lady mask, which is used while Leatherface operates in the domestic sphere; the Pretty Woman mask, which provides a dolled-up look for special occasions like when Leatherface attends family dinner; and the Killing mask, which is … well, self-explanatory.

In interviews, Hansen has expressed the belief that these different masks were representative of the various personalities his character wanted to embrace in different moments. Since Leatherface is not, it would seem, one of the most expressive villains in the horror canon, his reliance on these masks to take on various moods and personas is significant.

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