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The Original Title For The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Was Too Funny

Every holiday season without fail, movie lovers passionately debate whether or not "Die Hard" is a Christmas movie. But did you know that "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" director Tobe Hooper ("Poltergeist") came up with his iconic slasher film's premise while doing his holiday shopping?

Overwhelmed by the masses of chaotic shoppers and keenly aware of a display of the power tools, he imagined himself slashing his way through the crowds to escape the excessive consumerism (via NYPost). Instead of a Christmas movie, though, the Southern sun-soaked horror film follows a family of sadistic cannibals as they butcher a group of young adults passing through town.

With eight films in the franchise, it's hard to imagine the horrifying Leatherface as part of a universe under a name other than "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." However, Hooper had another title in mind for the film.

So, what was the classic 1974 horror flick nearly named?

A new meaning to cheesy horror

Would you watch a horror movie called "Head Cheese"? Do you know what head cheese is?

It's exactly what it sounds like: a cold cut terrine of the fleshy meat from a calf or pig's head, typically using the tongue and other trimmings like feet and hearts. Also called meat jelly, this delectable dish dates back to the Middle Ages but remains a common Cajun food in the Deep South (via Vice). "Meat Jelly" would be a cool name for a campy movie or a rock band, though it would also be fitting for the film's allegorical anti-animal cruelty message (via Slate).

On the set of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," the extreme heat made for uncomfortable working conditions and author Joseph Lanza described the harrowing dinner scene as "intolerably putrid" due to the smell of the rotting head cheese (via NYPost).

Other near-miss titles for the film included "Saturn in Retrograde" and "Stalking Leatherface." With any of those names, the franchise could've had an entirely different trajectory — and perhaps more people would be eating head cheese on the regular.