Leatherface



Villain Overview

Get that bitch, Leatherface! Get that bitch... dog will hunt.

Chop Top Sawyer commanding Leatherface.

Leatherface is the main antagonist of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre series.

The character served as the main antagonist of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the central antagonist of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, the titular central antagonist of Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III.

He was portrayed by the late Gunnar Hansen, Bill Johnson, R. A. Mihailoff, Kane Hodder and Robert Jacks.

Fame and iconicity

He is one of the biggest horror icons but, unlike most of them, he is not supernatural in any way. His main weapons are a chainsaw, a sledgehammer and his own physical strength. He wears a mask made from a person's skin, which he uses to express a personality, and engages in murder and cannibalism alongside his family. Although it seemed that he kills only to survive and feed himself, it is also notable that director Tobe Hooper has stated that Leatherface kills out of fear, not malice, as he believes himself and his family to be in constant danger. Although he is the most recurring villain, he still takes orders from his older family members.

Mask

In the original film, Leatherface wore three different masks: the "Killing Mask", "Old Lady Mask" and "Pretty Woman Mask". Gunnar Hansen commented: "The reason he wore a mask, according to Tobe and Kim, was that the mask really determined his personality. Who he wanted to be that day determined what mask he put on. So when Drayton comes home with Sally, Leatherface is wearing the 'Old Lady Mask' and he's wearing an apron and carrying a wooden spoon, he wants to be domestic, helpful in the kitchen.

At dinner he wears a different face, the 'Pretty Woman,' which has makeup." Also of note, the 'Pretty Woman' outfit consists of a female wig and a black suit, as Leatherface is "dressing up" for dinner, an old deep south tradition which stems from his southern upbringing, and the 'Killing Mask' is the skin mask he wears while chasing and murdering captives. Tobe Hooper also discussed the multiple masks and dinner scene on the audio commentary for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Hansen later added, "The idea of the mask is that there is no personality under the mask. That was the idea in talking with Tobe and Kim. When they created the character, they said he has to put on masks to express himself because he himself can't do it. The way we tried to create him, there is nothing under the mask, which is what makes him so frightening."

Personality

Leatherface is a mentally challenged serial killer. He is not very methodical with his murders, rather going through with them loudly and messy. Each movie has it's own unique take on the character, some being similar to one another.

In the first film, Leatherface shows emotions of fear upon seeing the intruders in his home, as he screams. He is very ruthless with his kills, treating his victims like mere meat. However, when he is at home, he shows submission to his family. Leatherface's older brother, The Cook abuses him and beats him with a broomstick, whom he doesn't fight off, instead he cowers and takes the beating. It is also of importance that he is non-verbal, he relies on his human masks to express himself.

In the second film, Leatherface is mainly the same as he was in the previous film, with the exception of some benevolence, however. Leatherface is seen forming a crush on Vanita Brock, sparing her life and hiding her away from the rest of his family upon finding her in the Sawyer hideout.

In the third film, Leatherface is much more aggressive and cruel due to mental maturity, now with the mind of a rebellious teenager. He shows love for his mother, Anne Sawyer, and his unnamed daughter. It is also implied that this films portrayal of Leatherface is a rapist.

In The Next Generation, Leatherface is somewhat similar to his original counterpart. He is constantly screaming out of fear and cowering whenever he sees a threat. He seems to not have a fondness for violence, as whenever it occurs, he screams, but is seen to be happy during a relatively peaceful dinner.

In Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Leatherface was calm and quiet but started to panic when his mother was dying. He was shown to be loving and caring for his mother, he even skinned her and used her face as a mask out of affection, and later was hugging her dresses and smelling them. Because of her death, he killed out of pure rage, agony and vengeance, unlike the original Leatherface who killed out of fear.

List of Victims

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

  1. Kirk: Bludgeoned with a sledgehammer and hacked with a chainsaw.
  2. Pam: Impaled on a meat hook and frozen to death in a freezer.
  3. Jerry: Bludgeoned with a sledgehammer.
  4. Franklin Hardesty: Hacked 5 times with a chainsaw.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

  1. Buzz: Decapitated with chainsaw.
  2. Rick: Mangled in car crash.
  3. L.G. McPeters: Bludgeoned with hammer and skinned alive.

Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III

  1. Gina: Bludgeoned with sledgehammer.
  2. Sara: Mutilated with chainsaw.
  3. Benny: Back slashed with chainsaw/knocked into a river and drowns to death.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation

  1. Barry: Bludgeoned with sledgehammer.
  2. Heather: Back burned and impaled on a meat hook. Neck stomped on.

"Texas Chainsaw Massacre"

  1. Police officer: Stabbed to death with his own bone.
  2. Driver: Bludgeoned with an air tank.
  3. Ruth: Gutted with glass shard.
  4. Dante: Sliced across the face with a meat cleaver and bled out.
  5. Richter: Bludgeoned with a sledgehammer.
  6. Entire bus of influencers: Killed via chainsaw.
  7. Sally Hardesty: Impaled with a chainsaw.
  8. Melody: Decapitated with a chainsaw.

Trivia

  • Leatherface first appeared in the first film in the 1974 series and in its six subsequent continuations and remakes. Wisconsin killer Ed Gein, who wore a mask made of human skin, was reportedly the inspiration for the character.
  • His name was said to be "Bubba Sawyer" in the second film. In the third film, his nickname was Junior with the family name being Sawyer just like the second film. In official merchandise and the online horror game Dead by Daylight, his name is given as Bubba Sawyer.
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