“A pair of college students driving coast to coast are lured off the main highway and onto a deserted Texas road. Here they are stalked by the menacing Leatherface and his demented family… a bizarre cannibalistic clan with blood on their hands and a feast on their minds. Their only chance to escape is a survivalist with enough firepower to blast Leatherface and the rest of the grizzly predators to hell. A depraved shocker of intense terror from the gruesome beginning to the bloody finish.”
Texas Chainsaw Massacre III has its detractors. I can’t even count the many times I’ve been in a conversation about the series, and multiple people chime in with how horrible they think it is. I’ve always been a fan, but honestly, I’m a fan of every Chainsaw Massacre movie aside from TCM 3D. Of the other movies, there has always been something more memorable about part 3. There’s nothing remarkable about it, none more so than any of the other movies. Maybe it’s the setting, or the color, or the tone. Whatever the case may be, I am a fan, and upon this revisit, remain so.
Not too long ago, I was in attendance at the Exhumed Films 24 Hour Horror-thon in Philly. If you are unfamiliar with this scene, it’s when hundreds of horror fanatics gather into a movie theater, and watch mystery movies for twenty-four straight hours. A couple of years ago, after a gentleman who had stepped out for a smoke break, shared with me what he had put in his pipe and smoked. I stumbled back to my seat next to Jimmy Terror, and almost immediately, the next film started playing, and it was indeed TCM3. I’d seen it many times before, throughout decades, but sitting next to Jimmy, seeing it in 35mm, it was almost like seeing it again for the first time. At the time, the only print anyone knew of was the Theatrical Cut, which is why I’m so pleasantly surprised to be able to state that this is the UNRATED version of the film.
In some ways, TCM 3 is more brutal and bloody than the original film. But, a few deaths seem to have been cut short, or purposefully filmed off screen. I don’t have a copy of the R-rated cut to compare and contrast, but from what I understand it was just a few seconds of additional footage. Also, you may be aware of the original ending which was changed at the last minute. The scene is available on the disc as an extra, so you can see which ending works best for you. Warner Archive’s Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III is presented on Blu-ray for the first time, sport an AVC-encoded 1080p transfer in 1.78:1, and an audio track in 5.1 DTS-HD MA. Extras have been ported over from previous home video releases of the film. Extras include a commentary track, a retrospective documentary titled The Saw is Family, deleted scenes, alternate ending, and a collection of trailers. Leatherface: TCM3 is available in one week, from the Warner Archive Collection.