As has become something of a mainstay in the series, Leatherface and his Grandpa have relocated to a different Texas, where they're now living with another lot of relatives. Before Hitch-hiker, Cook and ChopTop all got themselves killed, family get-togethers must have been a hoot. Although I'd imagine no-one invited Vilmer McConaughey, since that character was an annoying cunt, even by Sawyer standards.
Travelling through Texas, bickering couple Michelle (Hodge) and Ryan (William Butler) happen across the remaining Sawyers during a horrible car crash incident. Luckily, mental survivalist Benny (Foree) is on hand to take some of the strain with his M-16. He's no Dennis Hopper, but its good to see the Sawyers meet yet another force they can't quite defeat. One does get the feeling that Hopper would've eaten the lot for breakfast though. Especially Viggo Mortenson, who plays things in an inexplicably quite camp manner.
No Dennis Hopper and no overacting Bill Moseley means that none of the performances go overshadowed. Kate Hodge impresses both as damsel-in-distress and tough-as-nails final girl. Viggo Mortenson is both fun and menacing, as are all of his onscreen family members. Ken Foree is inevitably the best of the bunch, simply by virtue of being Ken Foree. A little of the enthusiasm he shows here surely wouldn't have gone amiss in Dawn of the Dead and might have made the outcome a little less grim. He clearly has a ball playing Benny, and the scenes in which he dessicates the remaining Sawyers are amongst the best in the movie. Leatherface is the hardest he's ever been here. He looks mean and pissed off throughout, and the leg brace he wears only makes him seem more intimidating. None of that phallic-chainsaw-lovey-dovey nonsense that troubled TCM2. I guess seeing so many of his relatives murdered by idiot teenagers and Dennis Hopper finally made the big fella grow up a bit.
Alas, Leatherface was to be the last legitimately good TCM movie. What followed in the series was a transvestite Leatherface, Matthew McFucking McConaughey, an overrated Sheriff Hoyt, pointless prequelisation and a total dearth of inspiration. I daresay there'll be more Massacres further down the road, but the original trilogy will always hold a very dear place in my heart.