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Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3

cast: Kate Hodge, Viggo Mortensen, Ken Foree, William Butler, and R.H. Mihailoff

director: Jeff Burr

81 minutes (18) 1990
EV VHS rental or retail
Also available to rent or buy on DVD

RATING: 3/10
reviewed by Thomas Cropper
Leatherface is back... again, like a bad party guest who just won't get the hint. This time there is a whole Leatherface family, including a Mama, a Papa (of sorts), a couple of brothers and a cute little girl who likes playing with skulls and stabbing people with nails: family values at their best.
   Leatherface, we're told at the beginning of the movie, is on the loose - or at least he might be on the loose - that is to say "we think we fried the right guy, but we might not have." Texan justice I suppose. But what is beyond doubt is that somebody's out there, in the desert, killing away like a good-un' - a perfect time to take a trip out into no-man's land. That, at least, is what a young couple, Ryan (William Butler) and Michelle (Kate Hodge), think as they pass the police checks and head out into the wild.
   "Whatever you do, don't stop," the cop advises. Can you guess what they do? They drive off and find the first creepy looking gas station they can find staffed by the hillbilly version of Norman Bates. (Nice lad, keeps himself to himself, loves his Mama.) He's not Leatherface, but it's pretty clear that he's on first name terms.
   From the outset, the omens don't look good. They're about to break up. That is to say, they're about to try some time apart, which means that though she'll be upset when her beau inevitably gets carved up, she'll bravely find a way of moving forward. "We were drifting apart anyway," she'll say to herself before hotfooting it through the trees.
   Our hillbilly's got a friend. Viggo Mortensen, pre-Lord Of The Rings sporting a fetching looking cowboy outfit. Once again, he's not Leatherface, but... you get the idea. Between them they lay a trap for our young couple. Somewhere in the wild they'll be driven off the road and there they'll finally get to meet 'Junior', chainsaw and all. Of course, they're not alone. There's a girl who's been running around the woods for about a week now. Leatherface must be getting old. And there's another guy out there and he's got a gun. Let the party begin.
   There's no real merit to this film. It's implausible - almost laughable - and it's not really very scary. Everyone who's marked for death gets offed at the allotted time, and there's even the traditional - oh my god, we thought he was dead, but now he's back - moment at the end. Sorry to spoil the surprise. You can get yourself into a state where you'll enjoy this movie, but you'll need plenty of alcohol.

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