Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III Preview

Jamie and Patrick stop dead in their tracks as they espy Chris Klein and Josh Hartnett by the craft station. “What thuuuuuu…” Patrick says before storming over and knocking their Nespresso’s out of their hands. Chris and Josh are stunned, “what the hell, bro,” Chris says annoyed, “I thought we were friends. You know how much I love my Nespresso.” But Patrick isn’t having any of it and demands to know why they are there. “We’re just here to be your body doubles, man. Chill. The studio was getting a little worried about… well…” he looks away embarrassed. But Patrick presses him on it. “Well,” Josh continues, “it’s because you gained sixty pounds and have been wearing a fedora in every scene.” Patrick is shocked and looks down at his body. It’s not that bad… right? And everyone loves his hats. But even Jamie looks away at that. Patrick storms back to their trailer. “What are we going to do?” he asks Jamie, “we’re losing control of the production. First body double, next they’ll replace us entirely and then our vision will never be realized.” Jamie rubs his hands in glee. Finally, it is happening and they will get full control, just like he wanted from the beginning. A fire lights in his eyes. “We’ll burn it all down,” and they both cackle in glee.

“They did what?!” Banks says upon hearing that Jamie and Patrick had fired the entire cast and crew of the film. Unbelievable. This just went from a debacle to a disaster and all because Patrick was a glutton and Jamie a vengeful maniac. As a last resort he arrives on set to find Patrick smiling peacefully at the quiet serenity of the abandoned set and Jamie tearing it all down with a chainsaw. Perfect. That’s right! We’re watching (another) film that somehow attracted crazy huge stars but ended up bombing at the box office. It’s Serenity starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway. Never heard of it? We have and apparently it’s gotta be seen to be believed. This is for Bring a Friend and we’re gonna do something a little different by celebrating the 25th anniversary of a major BMT straight-to-video release. How is this connected to Serenity you ask? Well it also stars our boy Matthew McConaughey 25 years younger. That’s right! We’re watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, the absolute bottom of one of the major horror franchises in film history. This also means we’ll get the third film, Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, as a bonus. Perfect. Let’s go!

Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990) – BMeTric: 50.0; Notability: 27 

LeatherfaceTexasChainsawMassacreIIIIMDb_BMeT

LeatherfaceTexasChainsawMassacreIIIIMDb_RV

(Wow it is kind of amazing how high that has climbed. Considering how picky horror fans are. I wonder if the gore has anything to do with it. There is a contingent of fans who would like the boldness of really going for over the top gore at the very least.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Mostly a remake of the first film: cannibal clan battles three would-be dinners. Severely damaged by prerelease cuts designed to reduce gore but which only make the film incoherent. Followed by Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation.

(This appears to be a big part of the notes. Seems like an odd thing still to pull out for Leonard since, again, he doesn’t seem to like horror films. I always wonder whether he outsources some of these reviews to people more familiar with the genre.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYiwLl6doPE/

(Hooooooooooly shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit … I kind of dig that trailer. The main problem is it kind of goes with the previous entry (which is basically a horror comedy) instead of this one (which the producers had trouble editing in order to avoid an NC-17 rating). It feels like a bait and switch.)

Directors – Jeff Burr – (Known For: Straight Into Darkness; Future BMT: Stepfather II; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Notes: Has always been a horror director. Quite interesting to film a horror film in four different decades. Dropped out of USC to become a director.)

Writers – Kim Henkel (characters) – (Known For: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre; Future BMT: The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Texas Chainsaw 3D; Leatherface; Death Trap; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Notes: He’s a film professor in Texas, he wrote the original and almost all of his credits are for the characters involved (Leatherface in particular))

Tobe Hooper (characters) – (Known For: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2; Future BMT: The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Texas Chainsaw 3D; The Mangler; Leatherface; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Notes: Was the “director” of Poltergeist … in reality Spielberg probably shadow directed it. Also made the incredibly long and boring television adaptation of Salem’s Lot.)

David J. Schow (written by) – (Known For: The Crow; Future BMT: Critters 3; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Notes: Wrote non-fiction and film criticism in magazines up until becoming a screenwriter. This was his first film. He also wrote Critters 4.)

Actors – Kate Hodge – (Known For: Beach Rats; Rapid Fire; Future BMT: Harold; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Notes: This was her first film, and she then starred in the television series She-Wolf in London soon after. She’s worked consistently, especially in television, but rarely in starring roles.)

Ken Foree – (Known For: Dawn of the Dead; The Devil’s Rejects; Water for Elephants; Dawn of the Dead; The Wanderers; The Lords of Salem; From Beyond; Knightriders; Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling; The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings; Without You I’m Nothing; Future BMT: The Dentist; Halloween; Filofax; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Notes: Appeared as himself in the 2008 novel, “Bad Moon Rising”, by Jonathan Maberry, which featured horror “celebrities” finding themselves facing real-life horrors.)

R.A. Mihailoff – (Known For: Death House; Hatchet II; Dark House; Future BMT: License to Drive; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Notes: Plays Leatherface here, which naturally means he’s big and acts in a ton of horror films.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $5,765,562 (Worldwide: $5,765,562)

(The budget is probably in the millions, just because unlike early 80s slashers they built a set. But I would guess this was a very modest success in the end. Films like this so rarely cost more than a few million to make.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 19% (3/16)

(We’re going to need a consensus: Generic slasher with the added bonus of lacking clarity. Reviewer Highlight: For those who saw the first two Massacres, this will seem pretty much deja-boo! – Richard Harrington, Washington Post)

Poster – Pleatherface (C)

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(Hmmmm, I honestly can’t tell if this is good. The coloring and lighting are interesting, but that’s about it. Font is meh and then it seems like they just put a million words on there to fill in space. But it is still promoting the star of the show and so it’s not like it’s a total disaster.)

Tagline(s) – The Most Controversial Horror Film Ever Is Finally Here. (F)

The terror begins the second it starts. (D-)

(Both are too generic to be anything but bad. I bumped the second one because it is slightly better than the first. I don’t even think the first is even true. Basically all of the Chainsaw films had controversy due to the violence depicted and I can’t imagine it was actually more controversial than the first film. It is notable as the last film to be given an X rating before NC-17 was instituted… although it was trimmed back to get an R and not released under X.)

Keyword – masked killer

LeatherfaceTexasChainsawMassacreIII_masked killer

Top 10: Gemini Man (2019), Zodiac (2007), Happy Death Day 2U (2019), Happy Death Day (2017), Scream (1996), Halloween (2018), Friday the 13th (2009), Scary Movie (2000), You’re Next (2011), Scream 4 (2011); 

Future BMT: 80.8 Halloween: Resurrection (2002), 69.2 Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000), 63.9 Valentine (2001), 63.0 Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), 57.9 House of Wax (2005), 52.2 The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018), 47.4 Scream 3 (2000), 38.8 Club Dread (2004), 36.3 Gemini Man (2019), 34.2 Hell Fest (2018); 

BMT: Friday the 13th (2009), Friday the 13th Part III (1982), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), Cobra (1986), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), The Gallows (2015), Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

(I literally want to see all of those … well, I’m not sure why Gemini Man is on the list to be honest. Masked killer? Because … like does his clone wear a mask or what? And finally and interesting plot. This guy, of course, comes in right between the big 80s slasher kick, and the late 90s resurgence via Scream. A time when literally all of the slasher films completely sucked. You are in good company Texas Chainsaw Massacre III.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Viggo Mortensen is No. 5 billed in Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III and No. 3 billed in Daylight, which also stars Amy Brenneman (No. 2 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 4 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 5 + 3 + 2 + 4 + 3 + 1 = 18. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – The original script was much more brutal with explicit gore sequences. The producers objected to many of the scenes (one of which had a nude man being split down the middle while hung upside down) and demanded extensive changes to the script to reduce gore and violence. Further cuts had to be made to avoid an X-rating after the film was finished. (Apparently it leaves it incomprehensible)

Director Jeff Burr was fired toward the beginning of production. When nobody else accepted the job, he was rehired. (My God)

Kane Hodder – whose best-known role is that of another horror icon, Jason Voorhees – was the stunt coordinator for this movie. He was also R.A. Mihailoff’s stunt double and played Leatherface in the trailer. (Fun, by far the best Jason)

Film trailer was done even before they even had a director and before the production started.

There was also supposed to be a brutal “unmasking” scene, which would reveal Leatherface as horribly disfigured. That scene was scrapped (despite an obvious buildup during the opening credits) and saved because New Line wanted to use it in the next sequel, which never materialised. It was eventually used in the remake The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003).

Submitted 11 times to the MPAA. On each submission, more and more footage was cut out, some of which was lost forever. (That is actually too bad)

Caroline Williams reprises her role as Stretch from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) in a cameo as a news reporter. Director Jeff Burr said he imagined Stretch becoming a reporter following the trauma she experienced in the second movie in an attempt to hunt down Leatherface.

Among others, one of New Line’s first choices for director was Peter Jackson. (Makes sense, Jackson would have been somewhat known because of Bad Taste.)

This was the final movie to be given an “X” certificate by the MPAA before the rating was replaced with “NC-17”.

Tobe Hooper, director of the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), was originally going to be involved in the film. He had submitted a treatment to New Line execs, but bowed out of the project due to scheduling conflicts concerning his film Spontaneous Combustion (1990).

Leatherface is never referred to as Leatherface he’s always referred to by his family simply as “Junior”.

Originally slated for a November 3rd, 1989 release, the release date was soon pushed to January 12th of the following year. (That is never a good sign)

Originally, Benny and Leatherface both succumbed to their injuries at the end of the movie, but New Line decided to shoot a new ending with editor Michael N. Knue in which both characters survive. Jeff Burr was very surprised when he saw the movie in the cinema for the first time; the new ending was shot without his knowledge.

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