Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

leatherface the texas chainsaw massacre iii poster 1990 movie
4.5 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 5/10

Straightforward horror

Same as the other Texas Chainsaw Massacres

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Leatherface:  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III

Studio:  New Line Cinema

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  January 12, 1990

MPAA Rating:  X


The Saw is Family!

Michelle (Kate Hodge) and her boyfriend Ryan (William Butler) are on a cross-country trip from California to Florida where Michelle intends to say goodbye.  When they encounter a crazed gas attendant named Alfredo (Tom Everett) and a cowboy drifter named Tex (Viggo Mortensen), Michelle and Ryan are forced into the countryside where they become lost.  Now hunted by the cannibalistic Sawyer family, Ryan and Michelle could be dinner for Tex, Tink (Joe Unger), Alfredo, Anne (Miriam Byrd-Nethery), their little girl (Jennifer Banko), and the chainsaw wielding Leatherface (R.A. Mihailoff) but another victim named Benny (Ken Foree) could be the key to survival.

Directed by Jeff Burr, Leatherface:  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III was a sequel and a soft relaunch to the Chainsaw series.  Following The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II in 1986, Leatherface also was met by criticism due to its violent content and received the final X-Rating before the instating of NC-17.  The movie’s content was cut down for a release, but multiple versions of the film exist.


Every horror film needs a psycho creepy girl!

For a long time Leatherface wasn’t available and it was kind of the lost sequel.  With the remake, Leatherface:  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III was more available…which isn’t necessarily a good thing.

What made The Texas Chain Saw Massacre good was that it was edgy and horrifying.  Yes, it was gory, but not in the same way that this film is.  The movie just feels redundant of every Texas Chainsaw Massacre film.  The character run, the characters get caught, and the characters almost get eaten…generally escaping in a car.  Leatherface is no different.  The plot, story, and horror is so basic and generic that it just isn’t very unique or scary.

The movie is more known for being an early role for Viggo Mortensen as the charming killer Tex.  Much like Matthew McConaughey in the follow-up sequel Texas Chainsaw Massacre:  The Next Generation, it is a role that just allows him to flex his craziness.  The movie also features Dawn of the Dead vet Ken Foree and stunt work by Jason Voorhees himself Kane Hodder.  Though a horrible actress, Jennifer Banko as the killer child does provide some laughs.


Naw, I reckon I’m gonna head over to Middle Earth in a bit

Visually the movie makes use of gore.  Scenes like the big shoot out in the house are pretty nasty, but it seems like with movies like Hostel and Saw being mainstream successes that the gore just isn’t what it probably was in 1990.  Leatherface might be creepy but it still isn’t sewing people together like The Human Centipede.

Leatherface:  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III is just another entry in a series that peaked with its first entry.  Though the second film had its moments, Leatherface shows why the franchise was already tiring.  Leatherface:  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III was followed by Texas Chainsaw Massacre:  The Next Generation in 1994.

Related Links:

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 (1986)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre:  The Next Generation (1994)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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