Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

R   |    |  Horror, Thriller

Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990) Poster

A California couple and a survivalist encounter Leatherface and his family.




  • R.A. Mihailoff in Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)
  • Viggo Mortensen and William Butler in Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)
  • Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)
  • R.A. Mihailoff in Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)
  • Kane Hodder in Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)
  • Ken Foree and Joe Unger in Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

13 November 2012 | Leofwine_draca
| Strange, semi-serious reprise of the Tobe Hooper classic
This second sequel to the horror classic is something of a letdown, purely because of the storyline. While the first sequel, dominated by Dennis Hopper's crazed performance, explored the key figures in a novel way, LEATHERFACE is a film that's content to simply emulate the first movie's storyline. Once again we get unwary travellers falling foul of Leatherface and his family, and an extended climax involving a family dinner. It's all way too familiar, and of course lacks the sheer intensity of Tobe Hooper's original classic.

The film's tone is wildly uneven throughout, and even in the would-be horror scenes it's hard to take it seriously. The movie feels like a spoof; it has a light-hearted tone that sits at odds with the grimness of the plot. Still, on the plus side, it's very fast paced, and it features a great deal of crowd-pleasing horror elements that are sure to win the hearts of splatter fans, although as with the original, it's never quite as gory as you think it's going to be (and I'm talking about the uncut version).

One of those crowd-pleasers is Ken Foree, Mr. DAWN OF THE DEAD himself, playing one of the film's would-be victims. Foree is a delight, and they sure play up to his potential, portraying him as a real ass-kicker of a man. I couldn't care less about the two characters who are supposed to be the leads, but Foree hooks you right from the start. The rest of the actors are less than impressive, and in particular the guy who plays Leatherface is just a stock heavy; there's certainly none of the hulking, imposing brutality that Gunnar Hansen brought to the role.

Of course, one of the draws watching this film today is seeing a pre-stardom Viggo Mortensen playing in a decidedly odd type of role, completely different from what you might expect; I enjoyed his performance, even if much of it is played for laughs. And that's the trouble with the film as a whole: we're back to that spoofy tone, that whole non-serious feel that everyone's laughing at the premise rather than getting to grips with the horrifying implications of it. Take the ear scene, for example, or the string of increasingly ridiculous and unbelievable things that happen at the climax (including the fate of one of the characters, which makes no sense whatsoever; blame a substituted ending for that one, after the original didn't go down too well with test audiences). In fact, come the end, I enjoyed this more as a bizarre comedy than as a genuine horror outing.

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Did You Know?


The ranch where most of the filming was done is so close to the Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park that director Jeff Burr swears you can hear screams from the rollercoaster during some takes.


Mama: Junior loves them private parts. We knows what to do with them parts. Cut my own out years ago, I did.


Near the beginning of the movie, when "Alfredo" takes the girl's picture, the position of his hands changes several times when he is holding the photographer of her.

Alternate Versions

The UK R2 DVD release has both the "director's cut" (DC) and "R Rated" (RR)versions as well as an alternate ending and various deleted scenes. The DC runs 4 minutes longer than the RR. About 2 mins of this extra footage is the build up to the murder of the guy by a wired-up sledgehammer. In the RR, "Tex" describes the device and then there is a rapid cut to a close-up of a hand pulling the rope setting the sledgehammer off. In the DC after Tex describes the device the little girl appears and asks the others to let her use it; they agree and Tex puts her on a counter and talks to her and then she pulls the string. There is also footage of her draining blood from the victim into a cup and taking this to Leatherface who is seated at the table. The rest of the additions consist of various gore shots - especially (a) the RR deletes all close-ups of the screws which have been nailed into Kate Hodge's hands including the extended shot of her freeing one hand by pulling it through the screw (b) several shots eliminated when Ken Foree machine-guns the cannibals including a shot of fingers being blown-off (c) several shots removed when Leatherface kills his first victim up against a tree. The deleted scenes section of the DVD reveals that this scene was intended to be more graphic but the special effects shots didn't really work (d) footage of Leatherface marking a "x" with lipstick on Kate Hodge's forehead prior to him reviving up his chainsaw is missing from the RR (e) close-up of the stabbing of Kate Hodge in the leg by the little girl also removed from the RR (f) footage detailing the skinning of William Butler have been removed from the RR as well as a couple of shots when he is strung up. (g) when the gas station attendant pulls a severed head out of his bag and throws it in the swamp the DC has additional footage of him kissing it (prior to him spitting at it). The alternate ending is the one described above (in which Ken Foree is killed and Kate Hodge sees the little girl in the back of the police car).


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Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Horror | Thriller

Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,692,087 14 January 1990

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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