The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (franchise)

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Texas Chainsaw logo.png
Created byKim Henkel
Tobe Hooper
Original workThe Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
OwnerLegendary Entertainment
Print publications
Book(s)Chain Saw Confidential (2013)
Novel(s)The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2004)
ComicsThe Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Video game(s)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is an American horror franchise consisting of nine slasher films, comics, and a video game adaptation of the original film. The franchise focuses on the cannibalistic spree killer Leatherface and his family, who terrorize unsuspecting visitors to their territories in the desolate Texas countryside, typically killing and subsequently cooking them. The original film was released in 1974, directed by Tobe Hooper and written by Hooper and Kim Henkel. Hooper and Henkel were involved in three of the later films.

The film series has grossed over $252 million at the worldwide box office.


Film U.S. release date Director(s) Screenwriter(s) Producer(s)
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre October 11, 1974 Tobe Hooper Kim Henkel and Tobe Hooper Tobe Hooper
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 August 22, 1986 L.M. Kit Carson Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus
Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III January 12, 1990 Jeff Burr David Schow Robert Engelman
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation March 12, 1995 Kim Henkel Robert Kuhn and Kim Henkel
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre October 17, 2003 Marcus Nispel Scott Kosar Michael Bay and Mike Fleiss
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning October 6, 2006 Jonathan Liebesman Sheldon Turner Michael Bay,
Mike Fleiss, Kim Henkel, Tobe Hooper, Brad Fuller, and Andrew Form
Texas Chainsaw 3D January 4, 2013 John Luessenhop Adam Marcus & Debra Sullivan and Kristen Ellis Carl Mazzocone
Leatherface October 20, 2017 Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo Seth M. Sherwood Christa Campbell, Lati Grobman, Carl Mazzocone, and Les Weldon
Texas Chainsaw Massacre February 18, 2022[1] David Blue Garcia Chris Thomas Devlin Fede Álvarez, Herbert W. Gains, Kim Henkel, Ian Henkel, and Pat Cassidy
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre story chronology
Original continuity
Platinum Dunes' remake continuity
Millennium Films' alternate continuity
Netflix's alternate continuity

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, released in 1974, written and directed by Tobe Hooper, was the first and most successful entry in the series. It is considered to be the first of the 1970s slasher films, and originated a great many of the clichés seen in countless later low-budget slashers. Its plot concerns a family of cannibals living in rural Texas, who abduct customers from their gas station. The film's most notable character, Leatherface, is one of the most well-known villains in cinema history, notable for his masks made of human skin, his blood-soaked butcher's apron and the chainsaw he wields.[4] Although the film is marketed as a true story, it does not depict actual events, and is instead (as with the film Psycho) inspired by notorious killer Ed Gein, who acted alone and did not use a chainsaw.[5] The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) is set 13 years after the events of the first film. Although it managed to recoup its relatively small budget, the film was not considered a financial success. Since its initial release, however, it has developed a cult following of its own. Unlike its predecessor, which combined minimal gore with a documentary-style nature, the sequel is a comedic horror film, filled with black humor and various gore effects created by make-up maestro Tom Savini. The film features an appearance by novelist Kinky Friedman as well as film critic Joe Bob Briggs. Briggs' cameo appearance was originally cut in editing, but was restored for the director's cut version of the film when it was released on DVD.

Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III is a 1990 follow-up to the previous two films. It stars Kate Hodge, Ken Foree, and Viggo Mortensen and was directed by Jeff Burr. At the time, this was considered to be the first of several sequels in the series to be produced by New Line Cinema, but was not a commercial success, and New Line had no further involvement in the series. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1995) is the fourth and final film in the original series. Though it was shelved by Columbia Pictures after initial screenings, the film was released in 1997 after stars Renée Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey gained notoriety.

The 2003 remake, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, directed by Marcus Nispel, written by Scott Kosar and produced by Michael Bay, is based on the events of the first film, but for the most part, it follows a different storyline. A major difference between the two films, for example, is that rather than picking up Leatherface's psychotic hitchhiker brother, the group instead come upon a traumatized survivor who shoots herself in their van. The film gives Leatherface's background, a real name (Thomas Brown Hewitt), as well as a possible reason for his wearing masks, namely a skin disease which has caused his nose to rot away. The remake received a mixed critical response upon release, but was financially successful enough to lead to a prequel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006), which takes place in 1969. Directed by Jonathan Liebesman, written by Sheldon Turner and produced by Michael Bay, it explores the roots of Leatherface's family and delves into their past. Leatherface's first mask is featured, as well as the first murder he commits using a chainsaw. It grossed less than its predecessor and has received a largely negative reception from film critics.

The seventh film, Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013), is a direct sequel to the original 1974 film, and makes no reference to the events of the other sequels. The film was directed by John Luessenhop, and written by Adam Marcus, Kirsten Elms, and Debra Sullivan. Texas Chainsaw follows a young girl named Heather, who is travelling to Texas with her friends to collect an inheritance from her deceased grandmother, whom she had never met. There, Heather discovers that she is part of the Sawyer family, who were killed by the townspeople following the events of the 1974 film, as well as a cousin of Leatherface. According to Seth M. Sherwood, writer of the prequel Leatherface (2017), the eighth film is part of a continuity that consists of Leatherface, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), and Texas Chainsaw 3D.[6]

Following the release of Leatherface, the producers had the rights to make five more Texas Chainsaw Massacre films. Producer Christa Campbell stated that the fate of the potential films would largely depend on the financial reception and perceived fan reactions regarding the 2017 prequel.[7][8] Lionsgate and Millennium Films lost the franchise rights in December the same year due to the time it took to release it.[9] Legendary Entertainment subsequently acquired the franchise's rights with interest in developing television and film projects.[10][11]

The ninth film, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, takes place 48 years after the events of the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre and is in continuity with the original series. The film stars Sarah Yarkin, Elsie Fisher, Moe Dunford, Nell Hudson, Jessica Allain, Olwen Fouéré, Jacob Latimore, and Alice Krige.[12] In addition, Mark Burnham portrays an older Leatherface, replacing the late Gunnar Hansen, while Olwen Fouéré plays Sally Hardesty, replacing the late Marilyn Burns. Original directors, Ryan and Andy Tohill, were fired a week into filming and were replaced with David Blue Garcia.[13][14] Chris Thomas Devlin wrote the screenplay with the story by Fede Álverez and Rodo Sayagues. The film skipped a theatrical release and was instead released on Netflix, on February 18, 2022.[1][15] The film received mostly negative reviews.

Recurring cast and characters[edit]

List indicator(s)
  • This table only shows characters that have appeared in three or more films in the series.
  • A dark grey cell indicates that the character was not in the film or that the character's presence in the film has yet to be announced.
  • An A indicates an appearance through archival footage or stills.
  • A C indicates a cameo role.
  • A E indicates an appearance not included in the theatrical cut.
  • A S indicates a role as a stunt performer.
  • An U indicates an unmasked role.
  • A V indicates a voice-only role.
  • A Y indicates a younger version of the character.
Character Appearances
Massacre Massacre 2 Massacre III Next
(2003 film)
Leatherface Massacre
(2022 film)
Bubba Sawyer
Jedidiah Sawyer
Thomas Brown Hewitt
Gunnar Hansen Bill Johnson R. A. Mihailoff
Robert Jacks Andrew Bryniarski Dan Yeager Sam Strike
Mark Burnham
Grandfather / Mama Sawyer
Luda Mae Hewitt
John Dugan Ken Evert Miriam Byrd-Nethery Grayson Victor Schirmacher Marietta Marich Marietta Marich
Allison MarichY
John Dugan Eduard Parsehyan Corpse
The Narrator John LarroquetteV Uncredited voice actors John LarroquetteV John LarroquetteV
Sally Hardesty-Enright Marilyn Burns Mentioned Marilyn BurnsC Marilyn BurnsA Olwen Fouéré
Nubbins Sawyer
"The Hitchhiker"
Edwin Neal Corpse Lauren German Dejan Angelov
Franklin Hardesty Paul A. Partain Paul A. PartainP
Drayton Sawyer
"The Cook / The Old Man"
Jim Siedow Bill Moseley Dimo Alexiev


When comparing The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to the other top-grossing horror film series – A Nightmare on Elm Street, Child's Play, Friday the 13th, Halloween, the Hannibal Lecter series, Psycho, Saw, and Scream – and adjusting for the 2011 inflation,[16] The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the eighth highest grossing horror film series in the United States, with a combined gross of $304.6 million,[17] only outperforming the Child's Play film series with approximately $203 million.[18] The series is led by Friday the 13th at $687.1 million,[19] A Nightmare on Elm Street with $592.8 million,[20] the Hannibal Lecter film series with $588.7 million,[21] Halloween with $557.5 million,[22] Saw with $457.4 million,[23] Scream with $442.9 million,[24] and the Psycho film series, with $376.3 million.[25]

Film Release date (US) Budget Box office Reference
United States International Worldwide
1. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) October 11, 1974 $80,000–140,000 $30,859,000 $1,378 $30,860,378 [26][27]
2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 August 22, 1986 $4,700,000 $8,025,872 $8,025,872 [28][27]
3. Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III January 12, 1990 $2,000,000 $5,765,562 $5,765,562 [29][27]
4. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation September 22, 1995
August 29, 1997
$600,000 $185,898 $185,898 [30]
5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) October 17, 2003 $9,500,000 $80,571,655 $26,792,250 $107,363,905 [31]
6. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning October 6, 2006 $16,000,000 $39,517,763 $12,246,643 $51,764,406 [32]
7. Texas Chainsaw 3D January 4, 2013 $20,000,000 $34,341,945 $12,998,641 $47,340,586 [33]
8. Leatherface October 20, 2017 $1,476,843 $1,476,843 [34]
Total $50,340,000 $199,267,695 $53,515,755 $252,783,450

Other media[edit]



The cover to Leatherface #1, the first in a series of comics based on the film series

Several comic books based on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre films were published in 1991 by Northstar Comics entitled Leatherface.[35] They were licensed as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Avatar Press for use in new comic book stories, the first of which was published in 2005.[36] In 2006, Avatar Press lost the license to DC Comics imprint, Wildstorm, which has published new stories based on the films. However, in June 2007, Wildstorm changed a number of horror comics, including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, from monthly issues to specials and miniseries.[37]

The series of comics featured none of the main characters seen in the original film (Topps Comics Jason vs. Leatherface series is exempt) with the exception of Leatherface. The 1991 Leatherface miniseries was loosely based on the third Texas Chainsaw Massacre film. The writer of the miniseries, Mort Castle said: "The series was very loosely based on Texas Chainsaw Massacre III. I worked from the original script by David Schow and the heavily edited theatrical release of director Jeff Burr, but had more or less free rein to write the story the way it should have been told. The first issue sold 30,000 copies".[38] Kirk Jarvinen drew the illustrations for the first issue,[39] and Guy Burwell finished the rest of the series. The comics, not having the same censorship restrictions from the MPAA, featured much more gore than the finished film. The ending, as well as the fates of several characters, was also altered. An adaptation of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was planned by Northstar Comics, but never came to fruition.[40]

Video games[edit]

In 1982, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a mass-market video game adaptation of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was released for the Atari 2600 by Wizard Video.[41] In the game, the player assumes the role of Leatherface, and attempts to murder trespassers while avoiding obstacles such as fences and cow skulls.[42] As one of the first horror-themed video games, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre caused controversy when it was released due to the violent nature of the video game and sold poorly as many video game stores refused to carry it.[41][43] Wizard Video's other commercial release, Halloween, had a slightly better reception,[44] but the limited number of copies sold has made both games highly valued items among Atari collectors.[45]

At The Game Awards held in December 2021, a new game, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, based around the original film was announced to be released by Gun Media, the company behind Friday the 13th: The Game.[46]

All American Massacre[edit]

In 1998, filming began for All American Massacre, an installment which would have served as both a sequel and prequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.[47] The film was initially conceived as a 15-minute short, but was expanded to a 60-minute feature.[48] It was directed by William Hooper, son of Tobe Hooper.[47][48] Bill Moseley reprised his role as the character Chop Top, who would have been revealed to have survived the events of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and been in a Texas psychiatric prison for a number of years.[47] The plot of the film would have centered on Chop Top detailing his past in an interview with a news crew, before carrying out a new series of murders.[47] A trailer for All American Massacre was released on the internet, but the film itself was never released.[47]

Cultural impact[edit]

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre content has been featured in the video games Mortal Kombat X,[49][50] Dead by Daylight,[51] Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Warzone respectively.[52]


  1. ^ The film is a sequel to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) set fifty years later. Producer and story writer Fede Álvarez clarified that the film does not outright erase the original sequels: "When movies do that, sometimes it feels a bit disrespectful to all the other films. Some people love Texas Chainsaw 2. But the rest is such a mess canon-wise. I think it's up to you to decide when and how the events of the other movies happen".[2][3]


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  2. ^ Collins, Clark (2021-12-03). "Leatherface is back in first look at buzzy 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2021-12-03.
  3. ^ Squires, John (February 17, 2022). "Fede Alvarez Explains What Leatherface Has Been Doing Since 1974 – Do the Other Sequels Exist?". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  4. ^ Hooper, Tobe; Henkel, Kim. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Leatherface. Script City.
  5. ^ Rockoff, Adam. Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film, 1978-1986. McFarland.
  6. ^ McGrew, Shannon (May 22, 2017). "Interview: Writer Seth Sherwood Talks Origins of Leatherface". iHorror. Retrieved May 29, 2017.
  7. ^ Zimmerman, Samuel (April 8, 2015). "Sequel Talk: Flipping It Follows, More Leatherface". ComingSoon.Net. Archived from the original on November 13, 2017. Retrieved November 13, 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  8. ^ Walkuski, Eric (2015-04-10). "EXCLUSIVE: LEATHERFACE PRODUCERS TALK HARDCORE PREQUEL AND DAY OF THE DEAD!". JoBlo. Retrieved 2017-06-19.
  9. ^ Campbell, Crista (December 25, 2017). "christa campbell on Twitter". Twitter. Archived from the original on December 28, 2017. Retrieved December 27, 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ Miska, Brad (August 24, 2018). "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre' Franchise Carving Out Television Series, New Film Deal [Exclusive]". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  11. ^ Sprague, Mike (24 August 2018). "Texas Chainsaw Massacre TV Series coming via Legendary Pictures?". Mike Sprague. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  12. ^ Sprague, Mark (April 15, 2021). "SNew TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE Gets Official Title and R-Rating for Strong Bloody Horror Violence, Gore & More!". Dread Central. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  13. ^ Fleming. Jr, Mike (August 24, 2020). "'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' Bloodbath: Directors Chopped Along With Early Scenes As Pic Shuts One Week In And David Blue Garcia Takes Reins". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  14. ^ Fuge, Jon (March 22, 2021). "'Don't Breathe 2' & 'Texas Chainsaw' Sequel Are Finished and Fantastic Teases Producer". MovieWeb. Retrieved April 8, 2021.
  15. ^ Kit, Borys (2021-08-30). "Netflix Picks Up 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' From Legendary (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2021-08-30.
  16. ^ "Tom's Inflation Calculator". Half Hill. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
  17. ^ "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre box office rankings". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
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  19. ^ "Friday the 13th box office ranking". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
  20. ^ "A Nightmare on Elm Street box office rankings". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
  21. ^ "The Hannibal Lector series box office rankings". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
  22. ^ "Halloween box office rankings". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
  23. ^ "Saw box office rankings". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  24. ^ "Scream box office rankings". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
  25. ^ "Psycho box office rankings". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
  26. ^ "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  27. ^ a b c "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Franchise Box Office History". The Numbers. Retrieved 2020-11-07.
  28. ^ "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  29. ^ "Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  30. ^ "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1995)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  31. ^ "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  32. ^ "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  33. ^ "Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb.
  34. ^ "Leatherface". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  35. ^ "Movie Maniac Comic Books". Icons of Fright. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
  36. ^ "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Avatar Press. 2005. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
  37. ^ "DWildstorm Updates Publishing Plans for Horror/Movie Titles". Newsarama. March 13, 2007. Retrieved 2008-08-21.
  38. ^ "MortCastle". Glasshouse Graphics. Archived from the original on 2009-02-21. Retrieved 2008-06-01.
  39. ^ "Kirk Jarvinen". Comic Book DB. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
  40. ^ Mort Castle (w). "Hunters in the Night" Leatherface 4: 1/Introduction (1991), Northstar Comics
  41. ^ a b "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Atari game". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2009-02-01. Retrieved 2008-06-01.
  42. ^ " Texas Chainsaw Massacre overview". Allgame. Retrieved 2008-06-01.
  43. ^ "Classic horror movies on the Atari 2600". April 27, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
  44. ^ "Halloween for the Atari 2600". Rogue Cinema. April 1, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
  45. ^ "Halloween". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  46. ^ "Texas Chain Saw Massacre Online Game Announced". IGN. December 9, 2021. Retrieved 2021-12-13.
  47. ^ a b c d e Squires, John (August 29, 2017). "Bill Moseley Played Chop Top in a 'Chainsaw 2' Sequel We May Never See". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  48. ^ a b Jaworzyn, Stefan (2004). The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Companion. Titan Books. p. 235. ISBN 978-1840236606.
  49. ^ "Mortal Kombat X Kombat Pack 2 Characters Revealed, Includes Leatherface, Xenomorph and More". 4 December 2015.
  50. ^ "Meet Mortal Kombat X's newest fighters: Leatherface, Alien and Triborg". Polygon. 12 January 2016.
  51. ^ "[Exclusive] Leatherface Joins Slasher Game 'Dead by Daylight' TODAY!". 14 September 2017.
  52. ^ "Season Six Reloaded: The Haunting of Verdansk Descends Upon Warzone™ and Modern Warfare®".

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]