Not surprisingly, many horror movie villains suffer from serious mental illness, mental disorder, or physical ailments that can cause them to behave strangely. Become monsters who commit atrocities against innocent victims, stalking, murdering, raping, molesting and bullying their prey.
Sometimes a vicious cycle of torture, misery, insanity and criminality is created in which the victim becomes the victim of other victims who are often just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Their actions are so horrific that some people confuse their actions with demons, immortal goblins, mutants, ghosts, or demons themselves.
Although these films often allow supernatural and natural possibilities to explain the description of events, medical science usually allows for only one cause, although the cause, mental illness, applies to the villains and victims of films like Stephen King’s enormous, which take many forms to carry out, all horrifying and terrifying.
According to the 2003 remake of Tobe Hooper’s 1974 classic, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the villain Leatherface suffers from neurodegeneration. Although the movie is vague concerning the specific type of neurodegenerative disease from which Leatherface suffers, possibly because the meaning of the term is itself hard to pin down, even among medical experts, it is possible that, as a result of his affliction, he could also suffer from “neoplasm, edema, hemorrhage, and trauma of the nervous system.” If Leatherface’s diagnosis, made when he was twelve years old, is correct, his is an unusual case, since older people are at a greater risk than younger folk.
Leatherface’s physical condition was likely exacerbated by the bullying behavior of his peers during his childhood years. As explained in the 2003 remake and the 2006 prequel to the franchise’s original film, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, “Leatherface was born disfigured, and he had a skin disease. Because of his strange appearance, he was relentlessly bullied and mocked. He wasn’t very bright, but he was highly conscious of the fact that he was being treated so poorly. He was ashamed of the way he looked, so he began wearing a small leather mask to hide his face. This habit continued into adulthood, and eventually, the mask practically became a part of him.”
The crimes of Leatherface and his family had terrible effects on their victims, including final girl Sally Hardesty, who alone managed to survive the villains’ rampage in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Following her escape in the back of a truck at the conclusion of the franchise’s original film, Hardesty becomes “unhinged, ranting and raving about her experiences” before becoming catatonic.
Her ultimate fate is uncertain. Due to the “loose continuity” between the plot elements of the franchise’s films, Hardesty either died in 1977 (Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 ), survived as a hospital patient (Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation ), or “spent . . . decades in an insane asylum” (Texas Chainsaw Massacre [2003 remake]).
However, catatonia itself is a well-understood neuropsychiatric syndrome detectable by “abnormalities [related to] motor behaviors, including being immobile, not speaking, or having unusual movements out of context to the environment, [the] more severe forms of which,” known as malignant catatonias, are marked by such abnormalities in autonomic functions as “fever, diaphoresis, tachycardia, [and] hypertension.” The “classic form” of the syndrome is recognizable by “mutism, posturing, and stupor,” but, often, “less dramatic features are . . . misidentified.”