The infamous gas station that provided the backdrop to The Texas Chain Massacre has been turned into the world’s first horror/BBQ resort, it has emerged today (March 30).
The Texas Chain Massacre – written and directed by Tobe Hopper – became infamous for its graphic depiction of cannibalism upon its release in 1974 and has widely been regarded as one of the most influential horror films of all time.
In the film, a group of teenagers get lost and end up seeking help at The Last Chance gas station. To the teens’ horror, at the fuelling station – which also doubles up as a BBQ joint – they discover Drayton Sawyer and his family of cannibals, who look to turn any visitors they have into actual food.
According to The Guardian, after lying closed for years, The Last Chance gas station will reopen to visitors as a theme park homage to the horror franchise.
Ohio businessman Roy Rose reportedly loved the horror film when he watched it aged 10 and last year bought the property before moving to Texas to work on restoring it. He has also brought Ari Lehman on board – who played the first Jason Voorhees in the 1980 slasher film Friday the 13th – as a creative partner.
“We’re going to build a ‘horror barbecue resort’, we’re going to put cabins in the back for all the fans that want to come and stay the night,” Rose told KXAN local news last year. The refurbished landmark will feature a merchandise store, cafe, a gig space and a cinema screen for showing the movie itself.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Gas Station is expected to open in mid-July, according to the project’s Facebook page.
Meanwhile, in November 2015, Gunnar Hansen, the actor who played The Texas Chain Saw Massacre‘s iconic villain Leatherface, has died at the age of 68.
Hansen was born in Iceland but moved to the US as a child and went on to study English at the University of Texas. He auditioned to play mentally impaired villain Leatherface shortly after graduating in 1973 and, after landing the part, he apparently visited children with special needs as research for the role.
Hansen left acting behind after making a second film, The Demon Lover, deciding instead to forge a career as a writer. He turned down a part in 1977’s classic The Hills Have Eyes, but returned to acting in 1988 with a lead role in the spoof horror movie Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers.
He continued to take on roles for the remainder of his life, often appearing in low-budget horror films or spoofs. In 2013, he published a book called Chain Saw Confidential, which chronicled the making of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
Hansen died on Saturday after a battle with pancreatic cancer, his agent confirmed. He is survived by his partner of 13 years, Betty Tower.