(KXAN) – ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ copyright holders are suing a Central Texas company – accusing its owners of marketing and selling “at least 66 infringing items” with logos and branding related to the movie. classic horror from 1974.
According to a lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Roy and Lisa Rose run The Gas Station near State Highway 304, which was a filming location for the 1974 film. It sells barbecue memorabilia and horror, organizes events and rents a cabin. KXAN has reached out to the Roses for comment.
The plaintiff, Vortex Inc., is a family business established in 1974 to manage the film rights. He has licensed it to several other companies to produce a variety of products including clothing, toys, novelties, video games and more.
Vortex agents say they contacted the Roses in March 2016 to establish a licensing agreement.
According to the lawsuit, Roy “boldly” replied that they would only make a deal if the film’s screenwriters, Toby Hooper and Kim Henkel, were available to sign autographs at The Gas Station each year.
Roy would also have wanted to recoup his initial expenses before reimbursing the licensing fees.
The company’s response was a reminder that Vortex still owns the copyright and the Roses could not use it without permission, and a meeting between the two companies took place, the lawsuit said.
After this meeting, Roy was to provide a business plan to Vortex, which he claims never came.
It wasn’t until 2020 that Vortex investigated the Roses Classic cult convention, an annual gathering of horror and cult film lovers. There he found a “number of counterfeit goods,” the lawsuit said.
Further investigation by the company revealed that the Roses also sold these products online and at a chain of tobacco stores in Ohio, according to the lawsuit.
Read the full trial and see sample memories below:
In the lawsuit, Vortex’s attorney seeks $150,000 in statutory damages per infringing work, for a total of $9.9 million, plus legal fees and all profits from the sale of the goods.
The lawsuit also asks the court to require the Roses to destroy all remaining product.
“We take the protection of our intellectual property rights very seriously; it is one of the tenets that has allowed The Texas Chainsaw Massacre film franchise to remain independently owned and controlled by its original creators,” Vortex wrote in a statement. “Unfortunately, in this case, we felt the need to protect ourselves against the violation of these rights through legal action.”