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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a franchise consisting of six films, multiple comics, and a video game adaptation of the original film. The original film, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, was released in 1974 and was written and produced by Kim Henkel and directed by Tobe Hooper. The sequels have had various writers and directors attached to them. Leatherface and his family are the antagonists in all of the films in the franchise. Hooper, who had a hand in directing the first sequel, has not had any direct involvement with the rest of the films, aside from co-producing in the 2006 sequel.

The film series is ranked eighth at the United States box office–in adjusted 2008 dollars–when compared to other American horror franchises. The franchise began when a video game adaptation of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre appeared eight years after the release of the film, followed by comic books and 5 sequels.

In 2003, a remake of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, was released, followed by a prequel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning.

In 2013, a direct sequel to the first film, Texas Chainsaw 3Dwas released. In 2016 this was followed by a prequel to the series, Leatherface.


Texas Chainsaw Massacre released in 1974, written by Kim Henkel and Tobe Hooper, directed by Tobe Hooper, was the first and most successful in the series. It is considered the first of the 1970s slasher movies, and originated a great many of the clichés seen in countless later low-budget slashers. Its plot concerns a family of cannibals 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 horror cinema, notable for his mask of human skin, his blood-soaked butcher's apron and the chainsaw he wields. Although the film was marketed as a true story, it did not depict factual events, but instead was (like the film Psycho) inspired by Ed Gein, who acted alone and did not use a chainsaw.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) picks up where the first film left off. Although it managed to recoup its meager costs, the film was considered a commercial flop. Since its initial release, however, it has developed a cult following of its own. Unlike its predecessor (which actually had minimal gore and a documentary-style feel), this film sports a wildly over-the-top, almost operatic sense of campy black humor, as well as an array of gore effects by makeup maestro Tom Savini. The film features an appearance by novelist and raconteur Joe Bob Briggs. Briggs' cameo appearance was originally cut in editing but was restored for the director's cut DVD release of the film.

Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III is a 1990 follow-up to the previous two films. It stars Kate Hodge, Ken Foree, R.A. Mihailoff, William Butler 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. However, it was not a success and New Line had no further involvement in the franchise.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation is a 1994 sequel to the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), directed and written by Kim Henkel. It largely ignores the events of the previous sequels, instead picking up some 20 years after the original. Some consider it a remake, because of the similarity of many scenes to shots in the original. Due to this and other factors, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation has a poor reputation among horror film buffs and critics. It stars Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey, neither of whom had yet become stars.

2003's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), directed by Marcus Nispel, is based on the events of the first film, yet for the most part, follows a different storyline. For example, instead of picking up Leatherface's psychotic brother, the doomed teenagers instead come upon a traumatized survivor who shoots herself in their van. The film gave a backstory to the character of Leatherface, giving him a real name (Thomas Brown Hewitt) and a possible reason for wearing his skin mask, namely a skin disease that had caused his nose to rot away. Fans and critics had a mixed reaction to the film, but it was financially successful enough to lead to a prequel.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006) explored the roots of Leatherface's family and delved into their past. Leatherface's first mask is featured, as well as his first chainsaw murder. A variation of the infamous dinner scene, omitted from the remake, was included here.

A third film featuring the remake's continuity was rumored to have been planned, but producer Brad Fuller has recently said that they have absolutely no plans in the future to continue the franchise. On November 2, 2009 said he was interested in filming Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 3D with Twisted Pictures.


Original Series[]

Film Director Year
1. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Tobe Hooper 1974
2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 1986


Not directed by Tobe Hooper

Film Director Year
3. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III Jeff Burr 1990
4. The Next Generation Kim Henkel 1994

Remake Series[]

Film Director Year
5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Marcus Nispel 2003
6. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning Jonathan Liebesman 2006


Film Director Year
7. Texas Chainsaw 3D John Luessenhop 2013
8. Leatherface Alexandre Bustillo,
Julien Maury

Box Office[]

Note: This information is written before the release of the last two Texas Chainsaw Masscare films.

When comparing The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with the other top-grossing horror franchises— A Nightmare on Elm Street (franchise), Child's Play (franchise), Friday the 13th (franchise), Halloween (franchise), the Hannibal Lecter series, Psycho (franchise), Saw (franchise), and Scream (franchise)— and adjusting for the 2009 inflation, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the eighth highest grossing horror franchise, in the United States, at approximately $315 million, only topping the Child's Play film series with approximately $200 million. The series is lead by Friday the 13th at $614 million, the Hannibal Lecter film series with $573 million, A Nightmare on Elm Street with $522 million, Halloween with $517 million, Scream with $400 million, Saw with $378 million, and the Psycho film series with $371 million.

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