Guide to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movies

Guide to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movies

Since 1974, Leatherface has been a favorite of horror fans all over the globe.  The creepy cannibal, face wearing, chainsaw welding slasher has been the subject of 7 films (hopefully, by the end of this year 8).  I wanted to put together a guide of all The Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies.

1)  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre


The original 1974 Texas Chainsaw Massacre was directed by Tobe Hooper. The movie was written by Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel.  Actor Gunnar Hansen played Leatherface.

The film’s opening is one of my favorites. Text rises from the bottom of the screen as a narrator reads:

“The film which you are about to see is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths, in particular Sally Hardesty and her invalid brother, Franklin. It is all the more tragic in that they were young. But, had they lived very, very long lives, they could not have expected nor would they have wished to see as much of the mad and macabre as they were to see that day. For them an idyllic summer afternoon drive became a nightmare. The events of that day were to lead to the discovery of one of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of American history, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.”

While the film was marketed as being based on a true story, it was only loosely inspired by details of serial killer Ed Gein.

Summary: When Sally (Marilyn Burns) hears that her grandfather’s grave may have been vandalized, she and her paraplegic brother, Franklin (Paul A. Partain), set out with their friends to investigate. After a detour to their family’s old farmhouse, they discover a group of crazed, murderous outcasts living next door. As the group is attacked one by one by the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen), who wears a mask of human skin, the survivors must do everything they can to escape.  Who will survive and what will be left of them?

2)  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 was directed by Tobe Hooper but was written by L.M. Kit Carson. This movie was different than the first because it was more of a horror comedy.  Bill Johnson played the role of Leatherface.

Summary:  Chainsaw-wielding maniac Leatherface is up to his cannibalistic ways once again, along with the rest of his twisted family, including the equally disturbed Chop-Top (Bill Moseley). This time, the masked killer has set his sights on pretty disc jockey Vanita “Stretch” Brock (Caroline Williams), who teams up with Texas lawman Lefty Enright (Dennis Hopper) to battle the psychopath and his family deep within their lair, a macabre abandoned amusement park.

3)  Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III was directed by Jeff Burr and written by David Schow. Leatherface was played by R.A. Mihailoff and Kane Hodder who performed the stunts.

Summary:  Driving through Texas, young yuppie couple Michelle (Kate Hodge) and Ryan (William Butler) stop at the Last Chance Gas Station, but after they witness the owner attacking a hitchhiker named Tex (Viggo Mortensen), they panic and flee. In their hasty departure, they get lost and soon find themselves pursued by the chainsaw-toting maniac known as Leatherface (R.A. Mihailoff). While running, the couple bump into survivalist Benny (Ken Foree), who they team up with in an effort to escape.

4)  Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation was directed and written by Kim Henkel.  Leatherface was played by Robert Jacks.  The movie stares Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger.

Summary: After leaving their prom early, innocent Jenny (Renée Zellweger) and three other teenagers crash their car in the backwoods of Texas. In their search for help, they run into Vilmer Slaughter (Matthew McConaughey), a vicious psychopath with a mechanical leg, and his twisted family, including the serial killer Leatherface. As the group of friends struggle to survive the maniacal methods of torture, Jenny discovers the secret origins behind the family’s lust for blood.

5)  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

The 2003 version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was directed by Marcus Nispel and written by Scott Kosar. The film was also produced by Michael Bay, Kim Henkel, and Tobe Hooper. Leatherface was played by Andrew Bryniarski.

Summary: In this remake of the horror classic, a group of young travelers — including Erin (Jessica Biel), Andy (Mike Vogel) and Morgan (Jonathan Tucker) — comes across an isolated rural home while driving through Texas. Unfortunately for them, the decrepit house is the residence of a family of deranged backwoods killers, most notably a hulking masked brute known as Leatherface (Andrew Bryniarski), who begins to hunt the stranded youths down. Will any of the friends survive the nightmarish ordeal?

6)  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)

The Beginning was directed by Jonathan Liebesman and written by Sheldon Turner. The film was produced by Michael Bay, Kim Henkel, and Tobe Hooper.  Leatherface was played by Andrew Bryniarski.

Summary: Chrissie (Jordana Brewster) and her friends (Matthew Bomer, Taylor Handley, Diora Baird) set out on a road trip for a final fling before one is shipped off to Vietnam. Along the way, bikers (Lee Tergesen, Cyia Batten) harass the foursome and cause an accident that throws Chrissie from the vehicle. The lawman who arrives on the scene kills one of the bikers and brings Chrissie’s friends to the Hewitt homestead, where young Leatherface (Andrew Bryniarski) is learning the tools of terror.

7)  Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)

Texas Chainsaw 3D was directed by John Luessenhop and written by Adam Marcus and Debra Sullivan. Dan Yeager plays the role of Leatherface.

Summary:  Decades ago, residents of Newt, Texas, long suspected that the Sawyer family was responsible for the disappearances of many people. When their suspicions finally were confirmed, vigilantes torched the Sawyer compound and killed every member of the family — or so they thought. Much later, a young woman named Heather (Alexandra Daddario) learns that she has inherited Texas property from an unknown relative, and she is unaware of horrors that await in the mansion’s dank cellar.

8)  Leatherface (2016)

Leatherface is directed by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury.  The film was written by Seth M. Sherwood.  Sam Strike plays the role of Leatherface.  The film is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2016.

Summary: Prequel about teenage Leatherface who escapes from a mental hospital with three other inmates, kidnaps a young nurse and takes her on a road trip from hell. Along the way, they are pursued by an equally deranged lawman out for revenge