Horror Icons: Leatherface


Thomas Hewitt, or Sawyer or whatever you want to call him, we all know him by one name… Leatherface.  One of the very first horror films I have ever seen in my life was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.  1986, was the year I began my horror fandom.  In the second film, Bill Johnson was the second actor to play Leatherface.  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is so much different from the first, but this was my first, taste, of Leatherface and I loved it!  The families all change, characters, actors, names, but there is always a constant in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre films, Leatherface.  Leatherface is a horror icon.  I have spent all of August reviewing and watching the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series and figured we would end the month naming Leatherface a Horror Icon.

Leatherface is a piece of work and depending on which film his origin is different.  But is basically a gun man, so different from Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees.  Leatherface always follows someone with more power, he is almost like the muscle of the family.  In the original movies the Chef is in charge, but the remake and its prequel, it is the “Sheriff”.  That doesn’t take away from his character, I think it Leatherface is spooky, no words only bizarre sounds, like grunts and wines.  Leatherface does his talking with the chainsaw or hammer.


When it comes to Leatherface and who played him, well so many played Leatherface, but the very best is Gunnar Hansen from the original film.  I mentioned Bill Johnson in TCM 2.  But, I think Gunnar Hansen made the part, while Andrew Bryniarski is the only actor to play the role more than once, he did so in the remake and its prequel.  I think he did a fine job with the character.

Leatherface has actually showed up in different places but the main films are listed below.  /As you know, I have my reservations for each movie following Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III.  The bulk of the series is bad, but it is always good to see Leatherface and what he is wearing.  I think, the black suit or the shirt and tie with an apron are the best looks.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)

Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) remake

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: the Beginning (2006)

Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)

Why is Leatherface an Icon?  Well, there are a lot of times he is lumped together with the “Big Three”, Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees.  Those three are 100% Horror Icons.  Leatherface, has been around for 42 years now and has been a part of seven movies and pretty much all over pop culture.  I am certain most horror fans and maybe others, could look at an image of Leatherface and tell me either what movie his is from or what his name is.

Here are a couple of Iconic scenes from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  The third video is from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Stretch and Leatherface, classic.


About Ray Marek III 699 Articles
I have been watching horror films since I was 6 years old. The story, one Saturday night, my mom and I were watching movies and she fell asleep on the couch. We had the channel set on HBO and the movie we were watching ended and the next one, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. This was some time in 1986. I watched then entire film, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. When my mom woke, she asked me what just ended and I told her, “Freddy”. That was all I talked about for weeks and finally she broke down and rented more horror films for me. She rented, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2, Re-Animator, Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II. I watched all and fell in love with horror films forever. 5 Horror Films to Watch Inferno (1980) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The Beyond (1981) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986) Horror of Dracula (1958)