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The Texas Chain Saw Massacre adds a canonical origin story for Leatherface

Despite never saying a single word, Leatherface became one of the most legendary and recognizable horror characters of all time after his debut in the 1974 classic. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. With a brand new killer character on the way, the TCM game now offers a canonical backstory for Leatherface’s masked identity, and I recently caught up with Gun Media on this new lore.

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Texas Chain Saw Massacre’s new horror game killer is Hands, a never-before-seen character from franchise creator Kim Henkel. “He has a character bible with some light descriptions of characters,” reveals Gun Media creative director Ronnie Hobbs. “For Hands, (Henkel) left him a little bit of a mystery because he didn’t really know who he’s related to, who he’s not, but they call him Uncle Hands.”

Hobbs continues, “A lot of times he has a paragraph and that’s it. The cool thing is that you turn a paragraph he created into a real character.” As for Uncle Hands: “He was much older than Leatherface growing up and is definitely the big and violent type. He’s a drag racing legend, but he has a secret, torturous side that not many people know about where he hangs out in these seedy places. He actually beat a man to death and ripped off his face to carry it around the entire establishment as a joke. He then gave that to Leatherface, and that’s how Leatherface got his love for wearing masks.”

Learning more about Leatherface’s early years is a huge revelation for such an iconic character, something Ronnie is fully aware of. “When I read that, I thought, ‘Okay, we haven’t seen that yet.’ Maybe they touched on it a bit in the prequel, but since it relates to the original characters, and not parts two, three, four, it’s a very bold statement. It’s like seeing how Michael Myers got his mask or something.”

With Henkel’s own involvement, is this knowledge canonical? “For us it is, and for our fans it is, and we put Kim’s stamp of approval on the characters we created, on the story, and where we place it in the timeline. Yes, it’s canon for us, and it’s canon for Kim. We love the characters and we love the lore, and to see it accepted and to see where it fits in the franchise’s timeline is great for us.

Everyone at Gun is a huge horror fan, and the authenticity of their work reflects this. Edwin Neal, who played Hitchkiker in the 1974 film, reprises his role in the game, while horror veterans Kane Hodder and Barbara Crampton are also involved. Mr Hands, meanwhile, is played by Robert Mukes from Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses. “A huge guy,” Hobbs confirms, “a big, beautiful teddy bear, but he’s over seven feet tall, so he plays Hands.”

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Killer Hands on a stark red background.

In a blog post on the game’s official website, Mukes himself shares more about playing this character. “I’m so excited for people to see what I brought to the table with Hands… While Kane Hodder was doing the stunt coordination, I had a blast mo-capping Hands while using his hammer to hit victims upside down on the head.”

Sure, he carries a hammer, but Hobbs tells me he also “likes to get down to business – that’s why he’s called Hands… He’s definitely big, mean and rough, and his kills reflect that.”

Uncle Hands arrives today, June 11, 2024, at The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, along with the latest victim, Maria Flores. This is possibly the biggest character update yet, thanks not only to Hands’ fascinating lore, but also to the fact that Flores herself is the game’s “definitive final girl.” Maria has been left out as a playable character thus far, but the game’s entire story is based around the teen’s disappearance, which prompts our other victims to search for her and ultimately become playthings for the Slaughter family.

Once you’re dropped off, this is a good time to return to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The multiplayer game shows no signs of slowing down as Gun Media continues to update and upgrade TCM even as competition in the horror genre increases.

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