In most horror movies, there’s a specific point when the viewer realizes the protagonists have a big problem on their hands. In the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre that point comes about 20 minutes into the film. Our roadtripping teenage heroes have successfully forced a deranged hitchhiker from their vehicle and need gas, so they stop at the aptly named Last Chance Gas Station. The pumps are dry—waiting on a fuel delivery—but it should show up by tomorrow morning, if the kids want to kill time nearby. Just don’t go messin’ around the old Franklin place.
As you might guess, the teens’ situation goes downhill rapidly from there.
But now, you too can experience the unease of visiting a gas station that proudly advertises “We Slaughter Barbecue!” You can even—if you’re brave enough—attempt to survive a night there, thanks to a horror enthusiast who is turning the location into a horror-themed restaurant and resort.
Like many low-budget independent films, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre famously made use of numerous real locations during filming. The ominous gas station that kicks off the film’s descent into graphic horror is no exception. A working Gulf station on Texas Highway 304 during filming, the station shut down some time afterward. Most recently, the building operated as Bilbo’s Texas Landmark, a resale shop that closed in 2010. Since then, the property has been up for sale. Area businessman Roy Rose purchased the building in April of 2014 with plans to capitalize on its appearance in one of the scariest films ever made.
According to a KXAN report, Rose partnered with Ari Lehman—who just happened to portray Jason Voorhees in the first Friday the 13th film—to develop the property into a “horror barbecue resort,” with cabins for vacationing fans, an outdoor stage for live music, and a memorabilia shop. Rose and Lehman are betting that Texas Chainsaw Massacre fanatics—who frequently make pilgrimages to the gas station and other film locations—will jump at the opportunity to spend time at the resort, now known as We Slaughter Barbecue. As Lehman explains, “Perhaps the only fans more dedicated than Friday the 13th fans are Texas Chainsaw Massacre fans.”
The gas station isn’t the first location from the film to find a new role after renovation. In The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Leatherface and his deranged family of cannibals slaughter their teenage victims in a Victorian-era farmhouse located in Round Rock, Texas. The house was a fan attraction for years until it was purchased in 1998 by The Antlers Hotel, dismantled, and rebuilt on the hotel grounds in Kingsland, Texas. The house maintained its association with the film, with the Alamo Drafthouse hosting a special screening of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre there in 2011. “The Chainsaw House,” as it’s now known, became the home of the Grand Central Cafe in 2012.
We Slaughter Barbecue is still under construction and Rose expects to complete renovations later this summer. Rose posts regular updates on Facebook, and horror fans worldwide are eagerly awaiting the resort’s opening. If you decide to take a drive down to Texas, just remember—be wary of hitchhikers with chainsaws.