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Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990) - Blu-ray Review

Movie Review

2 beersWhile it is way too slick in comparison to the first two Texas Chainsaw Massacre films, New Line Cinema’s rebranding of the series – as confusing as that opening scrawl is – remains of interest because, originally set to be released as the 1980s came to a close, this film would have been the final nail in the coffin for the horror era that gave us a whole hell of a lot of classic titles that we continue to enjoy.  Surely, some can appreciate that about the ultra serious Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, right?

Directed by Jeff Burr (From a Whisper to a Scream, Stepfather II) from a screenplay written by David J. Schow, the second sequel to the original classic horror film begins with R. A. Mihailoff as Leatherface killing a woman, Beth DePatie as Gina, and then scraping off her face for a new mask to wear.  It is a brutal opening that is compounded by the inclusion of sewing needles being rammed through human flesh as wrecked fingers make quick and sloppy work on a brand new terror-striking mask.  And with that bludgeoning, Leatherface announces his return to the sticky silver screen.   

If only the film delivered.

Promising start, yes, but the film quickly loses momentum as we switch gears and follow one yuppie couple (Kate Hodge as Michelle and William Butler as Ryan) as they argue and make their way toward The Last Chance Gas Station.  A prophetic name, indeed, as this stop is their last chance at surviving their run-in with the Sawyer clan, which now includes Viggo Mortensen as Edward "Tex" Sawyer, Joe Unger as Tinker "Tink" Sawyer, Miriam Byrd Nethery as Anne Sawyer, Tom Everett as Alfredo Sawyer, and Jennifer Banko as Little Girl Sawyer.

No, it’s not great and, yes, it leaves far too much for the next film to try and clean up but, with Ken Foree and Mortensen giving commanding performances, Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III has its moments of slicker than shit good times.  It’s just not all that memorable, well, outside of a few scenes where Leatherface attempts to share his tunes with a hostage and a rather hilarious Speak 'n Spell sequence and, ultimately, was berated by critics and fans of the series alike.  Few speak positive of this film, even the filmmakers’ brag about being responsible for the bomb that stalled the TCM series for a little while.

Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massace III is brought to life once again thanks to Warner Archive.  It has its followers; those who like its extreme violence and remember the battle that raged between New Line and the censors at the time as they tried and failed to make Leatherface the next Freddy Krueger.  It’s not a complete waste, true, but it is pretty vacant.

Even when the results aren't the greatest, the saw is family.  Never forget that.



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Film Details

Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
81 mins
Director: Jeff Burr
Writer: David J. Schow
Cast: Kate Hodge, Ken Foree, R.A. Mihailoff
Genre: Horror
Tagline: He puts the teeth in terror.
Memorable Movie Quote: "So, how do you like Texas?"
Theatrical Distributor: New Line Cinema
Official Site: Release Date: January 12, 1990
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: February 13, 2018
Synopsis: A California couple and a survivalist encounter Leatherface and his family.



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Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Warner Bros
Available on Blu-ray - February 13, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles: English SDH
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

With an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, Warner Archive presents Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III on Blu-ray with solid results.  The nocturnal activities of the Sawyer Clan are alive and well on Warner Archive Collection’s 1080p release of this 1990 title.  It features a solid DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix to help navigate its HD release.  It is unrated and has been digitally scanned with a 2k restoration.  The results are indeed gloriously gory and crisp.  Tall and dark shadows have thick lines and edges.  Color – especially blues and reds – are intense and brooding.   This release is a pretty sweet upgrade of a film that deserves a far better reception than it ever got. 



  • Provided by director Jeff Burr, Gregory Nicotero (Special Makeup Effects), R.A. Mihailoff (Leatherface), writer David J. Schow, William Butler (Ryan), and New Line executive Mark Odesky, the feature length commentary is probably the best thing about this release.

Special Features:

We get a 30-minute retrospective (not new) and a look at another unsatisfying ending.  Deleted scenes round out the release.

  • “The Saw is Family” Documentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Alternate Ending
  • Trailers



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Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990) - Blu-ray Review