Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III is the second sequel to the 1974 film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and was directed by Jeff Burr. It was released by New Line Cinema on January 12, 1990. The plot consists of a reboot, as the original Sawyer family and apparently the Leatherface character died in the previous film.
Leatherface stars Kate Hodge, William Butler, Toni Hudson, a then-unknown Viggo Mortensen, Joe Unger and R.A. Mihailoff as "Leatherface". It also starred Ken Foree (from Dawn of the Dead and From Beyond). At first, New Line Cinema intended to produce the film as the first of several sequels in the series. However, the film did not prove a financial success, although Jeff Burr did receive a nomination for the International Fantasy Film Award at the Fantasporto film festival in 1990.
Leatherface gained a certain amount of notoriety prior to release due to a battle between New Line Cinema and the MPAA, which initially rated the film an X because of its graphic violence. The studio eventually relented, and trimmed the more graphic elements, however, in 2003 it released the uncut version in VHS and DVD formats. It was the final film to receive this classification before the MPAA replaced X with NC-17.
The tag line The Saw is Family is derived from a line spoken by Drayton Sawyer in the previous film.
In the beginning, we learn some more of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre's history. We learn that Sally Hardesty died of catatonia in 1977. We also learn that another family member that probably never appeared in the first one, W.E. Sawyer, of the cannibalistic clan was trialed and executed in 1981. During W.E.'s trial, the jury had came to the conclusion that since Leatherface was not taken into custody, they stated that it is unsure whether or not there is a Leatherface in reality. Now, taking place after the second movie, the year in the third installment is 1991. Chop Top didn't die at the end of Part 2 and is currently locked up in an asylum. Leatherface went off to live with some relatives along with Grandpa after the incident in 1987 as well. Leatherface continues along with his reign of terror as the killing machine he was before with the Sawyers keeping the Texas Chainsaw Massacre alive along with his relatives too. Also, a two young people, Ryan and Michelle, are traveling from California to Florida in order to return a car they borrowed from a close relative, but "there's roadkill all over Texas". They are soon stopped near the interstate at a checkpoint due to an old cemetery desecration, which turned out to be a mass grave of 40-70 bodies just thrown into the one big hole. After getting past the checkpoint, they stop at a service station owned by Alfredo Sawyer, a member of the cannibal family. After hitchhiking, Tex (a.k.a. Eddie Sawyer), stops at the service station as well, in time to give the kids some directions and to stop Alfredo from harassing Michelle who then gets in a fight with Tex saying that it's his place and he can do anything he wants to do there as he then grabs his shotgun and shoots Tex with it. As they leave the service station in a state of shock speeding away for dear life while they were shot at as well by Alfredo, Ryan tells Michelle that Tex gave him directions on where to go. Little did they know, it would lead them to Leatherface while another family member, Tinker Sawyer, tracks them down and knocks them off the road with his large 4-Wheel drive vehicle!!! Once knocked off the road by Tinker according to the family's plan, Ryan and Michelle change a tire that had popped during their get away, but run into Leatherface in the process. They manage to escape, but even more in a state of shock and panic. Due to their reactions towards the family, they end up running off the road again by Tex Sawyer who had found his way into the middle of the road they were getting onto and get hit by another car. The driver was a hunter by the name of Benny who recovers them from the scene of the crash and helps them. He tells them that his buddies were killed by the family and he's out for revenge. After treating the kids, Benny heads on up the road back toward his truck finding Tinker who then tries to run him over. Benny jumps out of the way of Tinker's vehicle and falls down a hill nearby only to run into Leatherface. Benny fights off Leatherface and is saved by a young girl who distracts Leatherface as Benny gets back on his knees. Leatherface ends up loosing the girl who goes back to be with Benny. She says that she was part of a group of people who were killed by the family as well. Benny comforts her and then goes back to where Ryan and Michelle were, since they weren't moving as much after the accident, but Ryan and Michelle had taken off from that place leaving the young girl alone and defenseless as she is killed by Leatherface due to how protected she was. Ryan is killed by Leatherface as he falls into a bear trap set up by the family telling Michelle to leave as Ryan is impaled by Leatherface's chainsaw. Michelle finds her way into a nearby house and finds a little girl who she follows to the girl's room. Once there, the girl shows Michelle her doll, Sally, made out of the bones of a baby victim of the cannibal family!!!!! Michelle is all of a sudden grabbed by Tex who turns on the light in the girl's room revealing many human bones and remains as she is taken into the kitchen and nailed to a chair. Benny, still outside finds Alfredo and knocks him into a nearby swamp. Ryan's body is taken into the house and hanged on a machine built by Tinker, who is the real "brains" of the whole family when it comes to manufacturing. Later on, the little girl (a.k.a. Leatherface's daughter), kills Ryan off after he was hanging on the newly improved meathook machine bleeding to death as the little girl pulls a lever that releases a sledgehammer, which whacks him in the face. Now almost supper time, Leatherface tries out a new chainsaw given to him by Tex with "the Saw is Family" carved on the bar of the bright golden chainsaw on Michelle. Luckily, she survives as Benny arrives outside the kitchen window firing a gun through it killing Mama Sawyer, Grandpa Sawyer, and eventually Tinker Sawyer all present at the table ready to eat Michelle. Michelle runs off being chased by Leatherface and looses him as Tex swings an axe at Benny releasing gas from Tinker's car as Benny ignites up his lighter and throws it on the ground as it hits the gasoline killing Tex. Michelle ends up running back into Leatherface right when Benny hits Leatherface into a swamp saving Michelle. Leatherface ends up knocking out Benny as he falls to the bottom of the swamp. Leatherface then grabs onto Michelle dragging her into the swamp with her, but she hits him over the head with a rock knocking him out as well as he then sinks to the bottom too. Michelle running towards freedom finds a truck that belonged to Alfredo as it opens up and Benny gets out of the car and comforts her, but all of a sudden Benny is knocked over by Alfredo who is still alive due to only being thrown into a swamp. Michelle jumps into the truck, finds a shotgun, and shoots Alfredo with it killing him finally. Benny gets off his feet and gets back in the truck with Michelle as they drive off into freedom, but as this happens, Leatherface, who is still alive as well watches them drive away.
Kate Hodge Michelle
William Butler Ryan
Ken Foree Benny
Toni Hudson Sara
Viggo Mortensen Eddie 'Tex' Sawyer
Joe Unger Tinker Sawyer
Beth DePatie Gina
David Cloud Scott
Miriam Byrd-Nethery Mamma Sawyer
Tom Everett Alfredo 'Alfred' Sawyer
Jennifer Banko Leatherface's Daughter
Duane Whitaker Kim
Ron Brooks TV Newsman
Michael Shamus Wiles Checkpoint Officer