Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III is the second sequel to the 1974 film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and was directed by Jeff Burr. It was released by New Line Cinema on January 12, 1990. The film is both a sequel and a reboot to the previous movies, as the original Sawyer family and apparently the Leatherface character died in the previous film.
The film stars Kate Hodge, Ken Foree, William Butler, and a then-unknown Viggo Mortensen. At first, New Line Cinema intended to produce the film as the first of several sequels in the series. However, the film did not prove a financial success, although Jeff Burr did receive a nomination for the International Fantasy Film Award at the Fantasporto film festival in 1990.
Leatherface gained a certain amount of notoriety prior to release due to a battle between New Line Cinema and the MPAA, which initially rated the film an X because of its graphic violence. It was the final film to receive this classification before the MPAA replaced X with NC-17. The studio eventually relented, and trimmed the more graphic elements, however, in 2003 it released the uncut version in VHS and DVD formats. The film was rejected by the British Board of Film Classification upon submission for theatrical release in 1990, and the trimmed version gained an 18 certificate when submitted for video in 2004.