The GBHBL Definitive Ranking of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movie Series

What a mess of a franchise The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has become. If you thought the multitude of Halloween films were confusing, you’ve not experienced the wild adventures of Leatherface and his murderous family.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is an American horror franchise consisting of 8 films, with a 9th due out this year at some point. The gritty and iconic original movie was released in 1974 and helped transform Leatherface into an icon of horror. Since then, we’ve had an array of films. Sequels that focused on black comedy, others attempting to reboot the series and trying to be standalone sequels. It’s not been pretty and most have been met with varying degrees of success and failure.

This is our definitive ranking of the series to date based off our original review scores. As always, should two films score the same we will rank them based on which we would rather watch again.

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8. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994)
Our Score: 2/10

 

If you thought Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III was the lowest the franchise could go, you’ve not seen anything yet. The only reason to watch this horrible movie is to see famous actors before they were famous. Just don’t expect greatness from them as their characters are so rubbish.

It’s such an unsatisfying watch but the worst thing about Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation is how far removed from the franchise roots it feels. Considering this sequel comes from Kim Henkel who had previously co-written the original suggests the actual talent lay at the feet of Tobe Hooper.

You can read our full review here.

7. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – The Beginning (2006)
Our Score: 3/10

When a studio has run out of competent sequel ideas for their horror franchises you can guarantee a prequel or origin story is coming next. Very rarely do horror movie fans want a convoluted background story to an iconic killer. Leatherface is no different, although this is more of a story about the Hewitt family than the chainsaw wielding killer.

Boring for the most part with a poorly told story that stumbles from one ‘Leatherface’ moment to another while making little sense of it all. Very violent and very gory to the extent that it often seems overdone. There is little to recommend.

You can read our full review here.

6. Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw III (1990)
Our Score: 4/10

After one seminal film and another beloved, it was time for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise to take a misstep. Enter Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, a bland and forgettable entry in the series.

A total waste of time, famously the movie was edited severely to get it a lower rating and it shows. The end result is surprisingly lacking in the gore department and it makes it feel all the more generic. Although it has to be noted that the story is so ‘meh’ that it’s highly unlikely that a ton of blood, guts and more could have saved it. At best it might have been at least passable and a tad more memorable than what we got.

You can read our full review here.

5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – Remake (2003)
Our Score: 4.5/10

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake isn’t a terrible film, it’s just a pointless film. Upping the gore and nastiness to make up for the lack of grittiness, the story changes are either minuscule or unnecessary.

Another pointless Hollywood remake that can’t come close to the original. It’s not the worst movie in the franchise but it’s certainly the most forgettable.

You can read our full review here.

4. Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)
Our Score: 5/10

The seventh instalment of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, Texas Chainsaw 3D is a direct sequel to the 1974 original movie and nothing else. Yes, this film ignores all the events of any of the previous movies aside from the franchise starting point.

What an absolute wasted opportunity this film is. The story is an absolute mess. It doesn’t link up to the original as it promises and creates plot holes so deep, you could break a leg in them. Before you know it, we’re in bog-standard Texas Chainsaw slasher territory that we’ve seen countless times before. The film offers nothing new or interesting to the lore and gets laughably bad come the end. Leatherface as a sympathetic anti-hero? What the hell is this movie doing?

You can read our full review here.

3. Leatherface (2017)
Our Score: 5/10

In 2017, “Leatherface” became the eighth film in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise. It works as a prequel to 1974’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, explaining the origin of the series’ lead character.

Leatherface tells an intriguing story but one that didn’t need to be told. Why do we need to know what it was that turned Leatherface into the madman that he is in later instalments? Going into this movie I knew there wouldn’t be a satisfying answer. It all makes sense in a predictable kind of way so why even bother?

Sure, it’s a fine enough horror movie with a decent amount of gore as you would expect. Still, it felt like it was holding back a little which is a shame. It certainly has the look and feel of a Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie which is a plus.

You can read our full review here.

2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Our Score: 7/10

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It’s a classic slasher horror that turned the character of Leatherface into an icon. Successful even back in 1974, its popularity has seen it become a franchise with sequels, remakes, prequels and reboots. It’s a classic, there’s no denying that but the question has to be asked… is it actually a good movie?

By time the credits roll, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre will have likely left you feeling cold inside. There’s nothing happy about this movie, nothing to cling on to or feel positive about. It’s a savage horror that still holds up these days. A classic for all the right reasons, there might be better movies in the franchise and better slasher horrors overall but The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was pushing boundaries in 1974.

You can read our full review here.

1. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
Our Score: 8.5/10

Texas 2 1

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is a 1986 sequel to the ground-breaking 1974 classic, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. However, it chooses to take the story in a surprisingly different direction dropping the darker tone of the original for a more comedic edge.

What most are likely to remember regarding this sequel though is the huge increase in gore. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 flings blood & guts around like it is going out of business. The effects are fantastic, extremely visceral but hard to take too seriously.

Texas 2 2

Which basically sums up this sequel perfectly. It’s brilliant, it’s so much fun & not a movie anyone should take seriously. If you’re expecting a movie anything like the original then you’re in for a surprise…a real treat though.

You can read our full review here.