Leatherface : The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 title

Tag Line : He puts the teeth in terror.

Leatherface : The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3Well, in spite of being chainsawed through the stomach and then apparently blown up by a hand grenade, along with the rest of the family, at the end of part 2. Leatherface appears to have survived and moved in with new kinfolk.

A young couple, Ryan (Bill Butler) and Michelle (Kate Hodge) are travelling along the desert highway, when they have a run in with the retarded owner of a gas station. Taking off down a lonely road, which they believe to be a shortcut, they then find themselves being pursued by a lunatic driving a giant 4x4 pickup truck.

They manage to get away from him, but then inadvertently get into an accident with another traveller named Benny (Ken Foree), a survivalist on his way back from a meeting at his training camp. At first he doesn't believe their story about gun toting gas station clerks and chainsaw wielding maniacs driving pick-up trucks, but a sudden appearance by Leatherface and his razzing chainsaw makes him change his mind.

With Ryan and Michelle captured and taken back to the family's home, where poor old Michelle is subjected to all sorts of nastiness, in much the same vein as poor old Sally Hardesty did in part 1, it's down to Benny, armed with his assault rifle, to set out after them and attempt a rescue. But will he reach there in time?

I'm going on the assumption that the folk in this were some sort of relatives of Leatherface, who are now looking after him, but this is never explained, though this doesn't really affect the movie at all. Directed by Jeff Burr and written by David Schow (didn't he used to have a column in Fangoria mag?) this is by far a much better sequel than part 2 and is quite enjoyable. This film was banned in the UK for a good number of years, but I'm pleased to say in now available uncut

Overall marks : 7/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag lines "The Saw is Family", "He puts the teeth in terror".

  • Vigo Mortessan who plays "Tex" in the film, also played Sam Loomis in the 1998 remake of Psycho. In 2001 he went onto star in his best known role as Aragon in Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

  • Bill Butler has also starred in "Friday the 13th Part 7", "Ghoulies 2" and the 1993 remake of "Night of the Living Dead".

  • Ken Foree is probably best known for his role as Peter in "Dawn of the Dead".

  • The original script was much more brutal and gory. However, the distributors insisted on making changes to tone down the violence. The US censors board, the MPAA, then insisted in making cuts to avoid an NC17 rating. The uncut version was later released onto US laserdisc. The US DVD contains both the cut R-rated and uncut Unrated versions of the film.

  • R.A.Milhoff played the part of Leatherface this time round, making him the 3rd actor to star in the role.

  • Kane Hodder, who played Jason in Friday the 13th parts 7-10, was the films stunt co-ordinator.

  • There was an alternate ending filmed, which was included as an extra on the US laserdisc and special edition DVD, showing more of the fight between Benny and Leatherface in which Benny is actually killed. Michelle hits Leatherface with a rock repeatedly, rather than just twice and is then attacked by a badly burned "Tex" who's then impaled in a spike trap (this scene didn't feature in the theatrical version). She makes it to the main highway, just as a police car pulls up, only to discover the young girl from the house sat on the back seat (in the theatrical version she is just picked up by Benny and they drive off into the sunset). Although on US DVD this scene is extended slightly as we see the police car drive off so the final scene is not as ambiguous (ie whether or not she is killed by the occupants).

  • The "Excalibur" chainsaw Leatherface uses in the film weighed over 80lbs.

  • Texas Chainsaw 3 was submitted to the BBFC for classification in 1990, but was rejected outright (presumably because the former chief, James Ferman, had a personal grudge against the first film). Strangely though, the "Bravo TV" satellite channel screened what appeared to be the full uncut directors version of the movie in December 2000, despite the fact that it was still effectively banned on video at the time. Whilst instances like this are not unheard of in the UK, they are extremely rare.

  • The film was resubmitted for classification in 2004 and passed uncut, although the distributors submitted the cut US R rated version. When the BBFC pointed out that there was a longer gorier print in existence, the distributors got hold of the full length uncut directors version and the BBFC passed uncut this time.

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