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Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III is a 1990 American slasher film directed by Jeff Burr and is the third installment of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series. The film stars Kate Hodge, William Butler, Ken Foree, Tom Hudson, Viggo Mortensen, Joe Unger, and R. A. Mihailoff as Leatherface. The film follows Leatherface and his cannibalistic family stalking a motorist couple in the backroads of Texas.

The film was distributed by New Line Cinema, who bought the rights to the series from The Cannon Group after producing The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. Initially, this film was given an X-rating by the Motion Picture Association of America, which limited the studio's release possibilities. After the studio made cuts, it was re-rated R, and New Line released it on January 12, 1990. It was refused classification in the UK upon its initial release. It has since been released on home video in both unrated and rated versions, and a cut version was accepted with an 18 certificate in the UK.

The film was both a critical and commercial failure, grossing $5.7 million at the US box office, making it the poorest performing film in the series at the time, until the release of its successor, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation in 1995.

Plot

Leatherface kills a young woman, Gina, and cuts off her face to make it into a mask while Gina's sister Sara watches from a nearby window. Sometime later, a couple traveling through Texas, Michelle and Ryan, reach the Last Chance Gas Station, where they meet a hitchhiker named Tex and the station's owner Alfredo. A fight soon breaks out between Tex and Alfredo when Tex finds Alfredo spying on Michelle as she uses the station restroom. As Michelle and Ryan flee in their car, they witness Alfredo apparently killing Tex with a shotgun. When Ryan and Michelle become lost, the driver of a large truck throws a dead coyote at their windshield. As Ryan changes the car's flat tire, Leatherface ambushes them, but they manage to drive off unscathed.

Afterward, Michelle, Ryan, and another driver, a survivalist named Benny, crash when a bloodied Tex leaps in front of the car. Michelle, Ryan, and Benny decide to find Tex. On the way, Benny discovers a hook-handed man named Tinker, who offers his assistance in setting down road flares. Benny soon realizes Tinker's real intentions after he finds a damaged chainsaw in the back of his truck. He flees and encounters Leatherface, but is saved by Sara, who had earlier escaped Leatherface. Benny learns that Sara's entire family was killed, and that Leatherface and his family are watching the roads. Benny hears Michelle and Ryan calling for him and leaves Sara; Leatherface kills her with his chainsaw a short time later. Leatherface then attacks Michelle and Ryan, capturing the latter when he gets caught in a bear trap.

Escaping, Michelle locates a house and is captured by Tex, revealed to be one of the Sawyers, who brings her into the kitchen and introduces her to the already deceased and decomposed "Grandpa". Tinker then drags in the badly injured Ryan, whom he and Tex suspend upside-down with a pair of meat hooks. When Leatherface returns home, Tex equips him with a large golden chainsaw with the words "The saw is family" engraved on it. In the woods, Benny finds Alfredo and apparently kills him. As the family prepare for dinner in the kitchen, the Little Girl kills Ryan. Leatherface prepares to kill Michelle as well, but Benny opens fire on the house with an automatic rifle, killing Anna and presumably Tinker. Michelle escapes and flees to the woods, pursued by Leatherface, while Benny kills Tex. Benny rushes to Michelle's aid, but Leatherface apparently kills him. In revenge, Michelle apparently kills Leatherface.

As dawn breaks, Michelle reaches the main road, before Alfredo's pickup truck, driven by a surviving Benny, stops in front of her. As Benny helps her into the truck, Alfredo appears and attacks him. Benny avoids Alfredo's attacks, and Michelle kills Alfredo before the pair drive away, unaware that a surviving Leatherface is revving his chainsaw some distance away.

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