Underrated Horror: Leatherface – Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

A franchise movie that is underrated. Something doesn’t seem right, but I think most look at the Texas Chainsaw series and think mostly of three movies. The 1974 original classic film, it’s 1986 sequel and the 2003 remake, well now, he 2022 because it is widely available to viewers. That is less than half of the series. There are nine films in the series and at least two of them are either highly or slightly underrated. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: the Beginning (2006) a prequel to the 2003 remake and Leatherface TCM III (1990). Maybe, we’ll talk about The Beginning at some point.


Driving through Texas, young yuppie couple Michelle (Kate Hodge) and Ryan (William Butler) stop at the Last Chance Gas Station, but after they witness the owner attacking a hitchhiker named Tex (Viggo Mortensen), they panic and flee. In their hasty departure, they get lost and soon find themselves pursued by the chainsaw-toting maniac known as Leatherface (R.A. Mihailoff). While running, the couple bump into survivalist Benny (Ken Foree), who they team up with in an effort to escape.

From IMDB.

Now, I don’t really take much stock in things like IMDB scores or Rotton Tomatoes, which this has a raging 13%. No, I do the feel test, how do I feel about a movie. I don’t think a single person can gage whether or not I’ll like a movie. Sometimes they may be right, most times, they are way the fuck off. This is the case here with Leatherface ’90, as I’ll call it the rest of the way, thanks to the 2017 Leatherface film that I’ve yet to warm up to.

The family aspect of the Chainsaw films is really the best part and the Sawyer family from the first two movies are gone. That ole “Fuck You Charlie” Drayton uses at the end of part 2 should have killed off Lefty, himself and Leatherface. Also, that Chainsaw to the gut should have absolutely stopped Leatherface…But did it?

I think that is where this film is so disconnected from the first two when really is was a studio change and a soft reboot of the series for New Line cinema. But, Tinker, Edward…sorry “Tex” and Alfredo are all Sawyers. So, there are two theories in this movie.

1. What if Bubba aka Leatherface survived the explosion because the table Drayton is under controlled the blast. The gut wound was fatal, but perhaps Tink helped that when they paid their cousins a visit.

2. What if Leatherface is a second Leatherface? There has to be some kind of inbreeding in the Sawyer family and perhaps they treat the big dumb members all the same and it gives them some kind of mental break that keeps them acting you. Later, they award the big lug the Chainsaw, why? Also, a Google search suggests Leatherface is Leatherface Slaughter-Sawyer.

3. The Saw is Family. They’re all related.

But enough theory time. I love this one because it’s what we know and very different from the last two movies. We get the great Ken Foree as Benny and any time you get Foree in a movie, it’s worth watching. The overall cast is great as well and there is a touching moment with Viggo Mortenson where he explains, he just wants to be called “Tex”. I love it.

But the cat and mouse stuff is great, the swampy area, good stuff. I’ve never understood the hate. It has an incredibly different ending to the other two films as well. Leatherface ’90 is a half ass Reboot disguised as a sequel and my brain says it’s a good sequel.

Oh and that Chainsaw. Yowza.

That’s all I have to say about this movie. I ramble on and on as if anyone listens to a word I say. You can listen to Sequel Seth and myself Wednesday July 3rd as we discuss Leather ’90 on Horror Movie Massacre.

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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)