Poor Leatherface. The guy just can’t catch a break. While fellow slasher icons like Jason Voorhees or Freddy Krueger were able to cruise along in film after film, creating complex but (mostly) coherent mythologies in the process, Leatherface has been thrust into an endless churn of reboots and remakes that started almost immediately.
It might be because Leatherface, the chainsaw-wielding maniac from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, was never intended to be a series character. The original film was a one-and-done affair, with no thought paid to how the concept might be revisited in even one sequel, let alone the the nine Jason Voorhees got.
Chain Saw Massacre was a complete idea unto itself, a horror show so traumatic to its viewers that people still are afraid to watch it, or to think about it once the watching is over. My wife hates the film so much that she won’t even talk about the experience. Which isn’t to say the movie is poorly put together, but just the opposite. She doesn’t want to go back to that dark place again. I’ll admit I’m much the same, though I’ve watched the film multiple times.
But Leatherface’s travails began immediately upon the release of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, which was a comedy take on the idea that even fans of director Tobe Hooper, the originator of the series, still hated. It was so reviled that Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III was, despite the numeral at the end, a reboot of the whole shebang, featuring Leatherface surrounded by a completely different cast of characters. This didn’t take off, so we got Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, another reboot, only this time starring Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger before Leatherface went to work on her face. It sucked. And people hated it. Now what?