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The Texas Chain Saw Massacre adds canonical Leatherface origin story

We spoke to Gun Media about new Texas Chain Saw character Uncle Hands and his backstory, which has implications for Leatherface himself.

Leatherface holds a chainsaw above his head, wearing one of his iconic masks, in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre game.

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

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The 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 that has some light descriptions of characters,” Gun Media creative director Ronnie Hobbs reveals. “For Hands, [Henkel] left him kind of mysterious, not truly knowing who he’s related to, who he’s not, but they call him Uncle Hands.”

Hobbs continues, “A lot of times he’ll have a paragraph and that’s it. The fun part is taking a paragraph he created and turning that into an actual character.” As for Uncle Hands, “He was much older than Leatherface when he was growing up and is definitely the large and violent type. He’s a drag racing legend, but he’s got this secret torturous side that not many people know about where he’s hanging out at these seedy places. He did, in fact, beat a guy to death and ripped his face off to wear it around the establishment as a joke. He then gave that to Leatherface, and that is how Leatherface acquired his love for wearing masks.”

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

So, with the involvement of Henkel himself, is this lore canonical? “To us it is, and to our fans it is, and putting Kim’s stamp of approval on the characters we made, and the story, and where we place it within the timeline. Yeah, it’s canon to us, and it’s canon to Kim. We love the characters and we love the lore, and to see it accepted and to see where it fits in that timeline of the franchise is awesome 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 movie, 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. “Huge guy,” Hobbs confirms, “A big, nice teddy bear, but he’s like seven-foot tall, so he’s playing Hands.”

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre killer Hands on a stark red backdrop.

In a blog post on the game’s official website, Mukes himself shares more about playing this character. “I am so excited for folks to see what I brought to the table with Hands… With Kane Hodder doing stunt coordination, I had a blast mo-capping Hands as I used his hammer to bash Victims upside the head.”

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

Uncle Hands arrives in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre today, June 11, 2024, alongside the latest victim, Maria Flores. This is possibly the biggest character update yet thanks to not only Hands’ fascinating lore but the fact that Flores herself is the game’s “definitive final girl.” Maria has been omitted as a playable character until now, but the game’s entire story is based around the teenager’s disappearance, prompting our other victims to search for her and ultimately become playthings for the Slaughter family.

If you’ve dropped off, it’s a great time to get back into The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The multiplayer game is not showing any signs of slowing down as Gun Media continues to update and upgrade TCM, even as competition in the horror genre heats up.

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