There’s nothing more Texas than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, director Tobe Hooper’s seminal 1974 horror classic about a group of hippie kids who find themselves at the mercy of a clan of power tool-wielding cannibals. And now, visitors to the Lone Star State can truly live out their Leatherface nightmares, courtesy of a new venue sure to satisfy anyone’s appetite for the gory and gruesome.
A few years ago, Hooper himself told Yahoo Movies that he concocted Massacre‘s serial-killing story after a frustrating shopping trip through a crowded hardware section of a big store led him to daydream about fighting his way out of the joint with a chainsaw. (Read the full interview here.)
While the killer’s weapon of choice is well known, fans of Hooper’s legendary film will also immediately remember the Last Chance Gas Station (see movie clip below), which was run by Jim Siedow’s chili-cooking Drayton Sawyer (head of a family of murderous flesh-eaters) and frequented by Marilyn Burns’ Sally and her friends on their fateful trip through rural Texas. Once known in real life as Hills Prairie Grocery Store and Bilbo’s Texas Landmark, the Bastrop County pit stop used in the low-budget film was purchased in 2015 by Ohio entrepreneur Roy Rose. (In a nice bit of horror synergy, Rose brought in, as an investor, Ari Lehman, who played a young Jason Voorhees in the original Friday the 13th.) Now, after making extensive renovations, Rose has transformed the dilapidated filling outpost into the Gas Station, a bed-and-barbecue tourist attraction where customers can get a plate of smoked meat (“We Slaughter Barbecue” reads its roof sign) and stay in one of a handful of overnight cabins, which come equipped with TVs and stockpiles of famous horror movies.
As TMZ reports, the grand opening of the Gas Station took place on Oct. 8, and hundreds lined up to taste its ghoulish offerings, while also getting to meet actors Edwin Neal (the Hitchhiker) and Ed Guinn (the Cattle Truck Driver), both of whom, according to the establishment’s official website, will return for another guest appearance, alongside The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2’s Caroline Williams, on Oct. 30 and 31. At the opening last week, Rose showed Texas Chainsaw 3D on a big screen for patrons — which is somewhat perplexing, given the lameness of that 2013 sequel, although attendees were undoubtedly still happy both to pick up some grisly memorabilia from the Gas Station gift store and to get a photo op with some costumed fans.
The Gas Station’s official website is currently live, and it also has a regularly updated Twitter account. It probably goes without saying that those interested in booking a room or enjoying a meaty meal for Halloween will want to make plans soon, before — ahem — the buzz about the place becomes deafening.