One of the more disturbing things about “Chain Saw” is that the human skin butcher in the film (Gunnar Hansen) wears a mask made of human skin. It’s a powerful image that has been incorporated into nine feature films, regardless of continuity. Turns out it was also based on a true personal story. In an interview that Hooper devoted himself to the Off-Screen Festival in 2015, the director revealed that he knows someone who has actually personally made human skin masks, especially to wear to a Halloween party. That person is not a serial killer, but a family doctor. And, for immediate clarification, the skin is obtained through ethical means. Yes, maybe.
Hooper also briefly talks about his original title, which is a little less exciting but a lot more evocative. Hooper says:
“[The title] Arrive later. Work came to me while I lived in Austin and I would go shopping late at night. I was in the store and I saw early cheese, which is common enough. But that was the first time I saw it. It looks like there are eyeballs in it and other nasty stuff. So that’s where the title ‘Chief Cheese’ comes from. “
Head cheese, for those who don’t know, is the common name for a deli meat that contains parts of an animal’s head. Usually, the head cheese contains the tongue. It is rarer that it will contain eyeballs and brains, although that is not unheard of. The head meat is cut in aspic, and it is served cold or sliced on a sandwich. There is no cheese in the top cheese. Anyone who has seen early cheese can understand how inspired Hooper can be.
https://www.slashfilm.com/1058152/a-legally-dubious-halloween-costume-inspired-tobe-hoopers-leatherface-design/ A legit Halloween costume dubbed inspired by Tobe Hooper’s leather face design