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Dustin Putman

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Capsule Review
Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw
Massacre III
2 Stars
Directed by Jeff Burr.
Cast: Kate Hodge, William Butler, Viggo Mortensen, Ken Foree, R.A. Mihailoff, Joe Unger, Tom Everett, Toni Hudson, Jennifer Banko, Miriam Byrd-Nethery.
1990 – 81 minutes
Rated: Rated R (for bloody violence and language).
Reviewed by Dustin Putman, October 2008.

There's roadkill all over Texas.

A victim of the MPAA (extensive cuts were reportedly demanded in order for it to receive its R rating), "Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III" feels particularly choppy in its violence. It also very oddly places Leatherface (R.A. Mihailoff) with a family of psychos that were neither seen nor mentioned in the previous two features. Where did the electronic voice-boxed Mama Sawyer (Miriam Byrd-Nethery) and the skelton-dollied little girl (Jennifer Banko) come from? Before we get to this third act set in the backwoods home of the Sawyer clan, the film introduces college kids Michelle (Kate Hodge) and Ryan (William Butler) as they travel across the backroads of Texas on their way to Florida. When they are involved in an accident with Jeep driver Benny (Ken Foree), the three of them become stranded in the middle of nowhere with Leatherface and cowboy brother Tex (Viggo Mortensen) closing in on them. Directed by Jeff Burr, "Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III" has a stylish opening credits sequence, a memorably tense music score by Jim Manzie and Patrick Regan, and a capably mounted opening half-hour that sets up Michelle's and Ryan's unfortunate circumstances. The payoff, however, is underwhelming, and the picture lacks the clarity and identity of the earlier 1974 and 1986 installments.

© 2008 by Dustin Putman
Dustin Putman