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Film / Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III

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Here's your invitation to come join Leatherface,
It's his addiction to keep you face to face
Lääz Rockit, "Leatherface"

Leatherface, released in 1990, continues the massacres in Texas.

Ryan and Michelle are on route to California to deliver a car to their father. After witnessing a murder they encounter Leatherface and his extended family as they drive through Texas.

This film has the examples of:

  • Antagonist Title: Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III. It wouldn't be the only film in the franchise to do this.
  • Ax-Crazy: The Sawyer clan as usual, but Alfredo stands out as more openly psychotic compared to his family.
  • Berserk Button: Tex hates being called by his real name - Eddie.
  • Bound and Gagged: Michelle at the kitchen table during the middle part of the film. She not only has to watch some horrible things happen to Ryan but is tortured herself as well.
  • Call-Back: Leatherface's new chainsaw is inscribed with the text "The Saw Is Family", a line from the second film.
    • Alfredo tries to sell Michelle a photograph of herself that he just took, just like the hitchhiker in the first film.
  • The Cameo: Caroline Williams, who played the main character in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, appears briefly as a reporter. Director Jeff Burr states in the DVD commentary that she and Stretch from TCM 2 are one and the same.
  • Chainsaw Good: Leatherface as per usual, but it becomes Chainsaw Great when Tex and Tech gift him a golden chainsaw with "The Saw Is Family" inscribed on it's lenghty bar.
  • Child by Rape:
    • The Little Girl is implied to be a product of Leatherface raping one of the family's prior victims.
    • The Sawyer brothers are revealed to have been conceived from Grandpa repeatedly raping Mama.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Alfredo Sawyer, who spends a lot of time rambling to himself and generally being weird.
    • Sara, who survived for weeks in the Sawyer's swamp has become this after losing her sanity from Leatherface's torment.
  • Comicbook Adaptation: A four-issue adaptation was published by Arpad, which featured some of the elements left out from the movie, like a pool of rotting corpses and Benny's Death.
  • Continuity Nod: Leatherface wears a leg brace after cutting open his leg in the first film.
  • Creepy Child: Little Girl, Leatherface's daughter.
  • Creepy Gas-Station Attendant: Alfredo Sawyer runs the Last Chance gas station and is quite deranged, making perverse comments towards Michelle and being openly violent.
  • Ear Ache: When Benny unloads his assault rifle into the Sawyer home, Tech not only has his fingers blasted off but one of his ears as well.
  • Evil Cripple: Mama is wheelchair-bound and uses an electronic voice box.
  • Fearsome Foot: All that can be seen of Leatherface during the earlier stalking scenes are glimpses of his leg brace.
  • Final Girl: Michelle, though Benny also survives.
  • Fingore: Tech has several of his fingers shot off by a burst of machine gun fire.
  • Focus Group Ending: The original ending was reshot to give the film a more optimistic ending. Benny improbably survives having his head shoved into Leatherface's chainsaw thanks to this.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Much like the first film, most of the more violent acts happen offscreen. This includes:
    • Gina getting hit with Leatherface's hammer.
    • Sara getting killed by Leatherface's chainsaw, while there is a lot of blood, the actual impalement is just offscreen. This was one of the scenes most heavily affected by censorship.
    • Ryan's encounter with Leatherface cuts away as soon as he lowers his chainsaw into him, cutting to Michelles terrified reaction and wet sound effects.
    • Ryan getting his head cracked open with Tink's hammer.
    • Michelle getting nailed to the chair during the dinner sequence. The bloody aftermath is shown, but the sight of nails being hammered into her palms is entirely offscreen.
  • Hook Hand: Tech has one.
  • Impaled Palm: Michelle is nailed to a chair by her hands during this film's dinner sequence.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: What Caroline Williams' cameo as Stretch is, as New Line Cinema did not own the rights to the second film's characters.
  • Killed Offscreen: In the opening crawl, Sally Hardesty is stated to have died in a mental ward years prior. The Cook is also executed by the state for his role in the first film.
  • Man on Fire: Tex ends up in flames.
  • Mercy Kill: Early in the film Michelle tries to put down an armadillo that she hit with her car. She can't bring herself to do it so Ryan does it instead.
  • Motor Mouth: Alfredo talks very fast, to the point it's hard to make out what he's saying a lot of the time.
  • Not Quite Dead: This film loves this trope:
    • Ryan is attacked by Leatherface after getting caught in a bear trap. Despite the sounds effects indicating that he was hacked up with a chainsaw, when he is brought before the family later on his wounds appear minor. He is finished off by a hammer to the head.
    • Tex is shot at by Alfredo early in the film, leaving Michelle and Ryan to believe they just saw a murder. It turns out that not only is Tex alive, but also the mastermind behind the entire operation.
    • Alfredo survives sinking into the swamp and reappears for one last confrontation with Michelle.
    • The last shot of the film shows that Leatherface survived having his head bashed in by Michelle.
    • Benny also manages to survive his encounter with Leatherface somehow.
    • In the original shot ending, Tex is shown to have survived being lit alight by Benny and attacks Michelle in the swamp. She kills him by pushing him into one of the traps his family had prepared for their unsuspecting victims.
  • Peeping Tom: Alfredo spies on Michelle in the gas station bathroom.
  • Sanity Slippage: Sara is a survivor of the Sawyer's torment and rambles incoherently to Benny when she save him from Leatherface.
  • Sequel: The Original Title: Leatherface's name gets to be the main title since he is the most well known villain in the movie series.
  • Soft Reboot: The film ignores the events of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.
  • Spared by the Cut: Benny and Leatherface died in the original ending but both inexplicably survive in the reshot ending for the theatrical cut.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Sally Hardesty and the Cook are mentioned as having died in the intro of the film.
  • Swamps Are Evil: The Sawyer household is nearby a swamp that has been rigged with booby traps to capture their prey. Brother Alfredo's job is to dump bodies in this swamp and the final confrontation with Leatherface takes place here.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Michelle starts the film being passive and unwilling to mercy kill an animal she ran over, to taking on the Sawyer clan and defeating Leatherface in a one on one fight.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Benny recovers from having his head shoved into a chainsaw with what amounts to a papercut on his head.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The fate of Leatherface's daughter is unrevealed at the end. She's still alive at the end of the film, so it's possible that she was taken into care when her father was arrested, or else escaped (and, being The Spook, remained unknown to the record) to continue on her family's legacy.