Brave fans are invited to spend the night at the renovated Last Chance gas station, the scene of the 1974 cult classic about a family of hungry cannibals
It is perhaps the worlds first horror barbecue joint and when it opens this summer, it will be a place of pilgrimage for fans of one of the most celebrated and influential horror films of all time.
The building known, with good reason, as the Last Chance gas station had a starring role in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. After lying closed for years it will reopen to visitors as a kind of theme park homage to the horror franchise.
Writer and director Tobe Hoopers low-budget 1974 horror movie became a cult classic and inspired a slew of imitators, as well as a series of sequels and reboots. An origin story starring Stephen Dorff and Lili Taylor, Leatherface, is slated for release this year.
In the original film, the filling station and barbecue joint is run by Drayton Sawyer, the head of a family of cannibals and a man with a passion for serving customers, serving them in portions of chili, that is.
The rural gas station, once known as Bilbos Texas Landmark in Bastrop county, had fallen into disrepair. But an Ohio businessman named Roy Rose who loved the horror film since he first saw it on his 10th birthday, bought the property last year, moved to Texas and set about restoring it.
Rose did not respond to requests for comment but has posted pictures on Facebook of the renovations, from the repainted exterior to the We Slaughter Barbecue roof sign.
Adding to the projects gravitas, he brought Ari Lehman who played the first Jason Voorhees in the 1980 slasher film Friday the 13th on board as a partner.
The two have big plans for the site. “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.
Plans call for a cafe, no doubt with chili on the menu, a merchandise store, an entertainment area for gigs and a big screen to show the film. Four cabins are being constructed for anyone brave enough to stay the night. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Gas Station is expected to open in mid-July, according to the Facebook page.
While the gas station is being restored to its gory glory, these days the 1900s-era house where Leatherface carved his way through the front door and Sally fled through a window does not make a big fuss about its place in cinematic history: it leads a very different existence as a genteel restaurant called the Grand Central Cafe.