Four Of The Best Things About ‘Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III’ (1990) – Retro Review

It may lack the impact of the original two, but Jeff Burr’s Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III is still a surprisingly good film. Released twenty years ago on January 12, 1990, this movie demonstrates that, when it comes to horror, the story never needs to be first and foremost. The consistently menacing and creepy mood does the mood well enough. Plus, there are four instantly memorable things about Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III. Let’s dive in.

1. Ken Foree’s In It!

Remember Pete from Romero’s Dawn of the Dead? You probably do. He kicked a bunch of ass in that movie! He kicks a fair amount off it in Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, too. His character, a survivalist named Benny, faces off against the demented Sawyer family with respectable aplomb. Also, much like Leatherface (R. A. Mihailoff) himself, he does not die very easily. There are times where you’ll think, “Well, that’s the end of this guy,” only to see him pop back up. Like a badass cat, Benny has at least nine lives. This isn’t to say the main character, Michelle (Kate Hodge), doesn’t do her role justice. Still, one can’t downplay Benny as being the most badass protagonist here!

2. Jennifer Banko As The Little Girl

Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)
Jennifer Banko in Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

Horror fans will recognize Jennifer Banko as the young version of Tina from Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (read our retro review here). While she did a commendable job as a psychokinetic kid in 1988, in this film, she is outstanding as a psycho-lunatic pre-teen. In fact, one wonders just how warped her character’s brain is, as she’s been raised by the cannibal Sawyer clan. Can such insanity be unlearned? In my opinion, her character should have been the main premise for TCM IV. They should have had her picked up by CPS, and we could have watched the chaos unfold as normal society tries to de-program her. At least we get to see this crazy little lady in Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, which is hopefully is good enough.

3. The Monster Truck

This movie has a character named Tinker (Joe Unger) who happens to own a monster truck. Really, not much needs to be said about it, other than how it fits in so well with the Sawyer family. Considering that they love BBQs, chainsaws and assorted other badass things, it only makes sense that they’d have at least one monster truck. You’ll never know when you’ll need to run someone down with one of those. Talk about putting the “monster” in monster truck!

4. Alfredo, Tex and “Mama” Anne Sawyer

Leatherface The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III
Tom Everett as Alfredo in Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

Oddly enough, Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III isn’t exactly memorable for the clan’s gibbering psychopath… well, aside from the quaint fact that he somehow survived part 2 despite having a chainsaw revving while lodged in his midsection. The more memorable villains here (aside from The Little Girl) are Tex (Viggo Mortensen), Alfredo (Tom Everett) and “Mama” Anne Sawyer (Miriam Byrd Nethery). Anne is really a tragic character, no doubt about it. Like the rest of this twisted tribe, there’s a sense that desperate and crazy scenarios shaped her into a freak.

Speaking of freaks, Alfredo is an immensely creepy member of the Sawyer family. He is fairly reminiscent of the previous films’ Nubbins (Edwin Neal) and Chop Top (Bill Moseley), rivaling any other Sawyer in a Who’s The Creepiest competition. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find any critics who would cite him as a sore point in the movie. Sure, Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III lacks Jim Siedow as the crazed gas station owner, but you wouldn’t want to meet Alfredo. With all these elements, you should definitely check out TCM 3, although, you’ll just want to evade concerns about continuity and plotholes on your journey. This movie also has a surprise guest from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. Let’s just say it’s not a stretch that she’d pop in and say hello!

Watch Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 3 here!

What do you think of Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III? Let us know in the comments!

About wadewainio

Wade is a wannabe artist and musician (operating under the moniker Grandpa Helicopter), and an occasional radio DJ for WMTU 91.9 FM Houghton. He is an occasional writer for Undead Walking, and also makes up various blogs of his own. He even has a few books in the works. Then again, doesn't everyone?

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