Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III

Viewed – 06 May 2007  DVD

Ok, I went and got that Chainsaw box set thats been doing the rounds, housing the remake, the beginning prequel and this film, that strangely is not the third of the new films, but the third of the old films.  Confused yet?  Read on…

After the first, legendary Texas Chainsaw Massacre was finally granted a DVD release after being banned for years in this country, interest soon materialized in the stop-start franchise and before we knew it the also banned sequels began arriving (for the first time ever) on DVD…and apparently this one is supposed to be the baddest as far as all-out-gore is concerned.  So as a seasoned horror fan I sat down expecting something truly nasty.  Maybe it’s because really the envelope has been pushed so far that its almost unrecognisable now, that the gore on show here is seriously tame compared to both recent Chainsaw films and also the likes of The Hills Have Eyes or brit shocker Creep.  I can see why the chainsaw films had such a bad time in the UK, as the subject alone is a step up from boogey man fright flicks like Halloween or A Nightmare On Elms Street, and the attempt here (as explained in the documentary included on the DVD) to turn the thoroughly unpleasant character of Leatherface into a horror icon with his own franchise, was never going to work.  The chainsaw films are just NASTY and don’t really have any charisma.  The recent remake and prequel addressed this by being thoroughly horrible & disgusting but stylish and thrilling at same time (and have good acting too).  This by-the-numbers sequel has no heart.  You don’t really give a shit about the characters, and even the notorious cannibilistic family have no personality bar a before he was famous Viggo Mortenson in tranny lipstick and an apron trying to fake creepiness.  Even the death scenes lack guts (literally), and are patheticly realised one note ideas that a marourding fat man with an over-sized (wait for it!) chainsaw is supposed to be scary when the film completely lacks any real atmosphere.  Oh, and the post-eighties one liners that at the time may have deserved a cheer, just sound stupid these days.

The DVD houses the theatrical cut and the X-Rated version, as well as a director commentary.  Yet I hate to think what the censored version is like when there seemed to be so much gore absent from the uncensored cut.

Verdict:  2 /5

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