‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ Roadmap: A Guide to Leatherface’s Timelines Before Netflix’s 2022 Movie

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has several timelines that are even difficult for longtime fans to keep track of. The franchise remains on serial killer Leatherface, but each horror installment jumps around the continuity. As a result, some of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre timelines contradict one another, which is important to keep in mind leading up to Netflix’s 2022 movie.

‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ (1974)

'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' image in article about timelines holding chainsaw in the air
Gunnar Hansen as Leatherface | LMPC via Getty Images

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is Tobe Hooper’s classic. The story begins on August 18, 1973, as a group of teenagers picks up a hitchhiker who seems a bit off. They soon discover that Leatherface’s family, the Sawyers, worked at the nearby slaughterhouse. However, advances in technology put them out of work. Now, they live in the middle of nowhere and eat whatever they can get their hands on, including humans.

Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns) is the “final girl,” who manages to survive Leatherface and his deranged family. However, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre ends with a cut to black. The film leaves audiences hanging after Sally narrowly manages to escape with her life.

‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2’ (1986) continues the story

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 begins with a disclaimer that law enforcement didn’t find anything as a result of Sally’s report. They weren’t able to locate any killers or victims. However, the Sawyer family continues to haunt Texas over the 13-year time period between the original and the direct sequel.

The Sawyer family now calls Leatherface “Bubba.” Their new prey is a radio DJ named Stretch (Caroline Williams) and Sally’s uncle. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 ends with the Sawyer family ending up dead. However, the franchise didn’t end there.

‘Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III’ (1990) deviates from Hooper’s story

Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III is the first film in the series not directed by Hooper. It completely deviates from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre timeline established in the first two installments. This new timeline notes that a new Sawyer family member named W.E. was arrested after the original 1973 massacre.

Folks now call Leatherface “Junior.” Things don’t fare too well for the new iteration of the Sawyer family with several of them ending up dead. Leatherface initially seems to be one of them, although he ultimately manages to survive after hunting a California couple and a survivalist.

‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation’ (1994) conflicts with its predecessor

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The New Generation references the events of the 1973 massacre. However, it deviates from Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, as law enforcement never arrested a Sawyer family member. The fourth installment falls closer in line with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. Now, the Sawyer family goes by the name “Slaughter” and they work for a mysterious organization.

This time around, a group of teenagers is once again being hunted. However, antagonist Vilmer (Matthew McConaughey) bleeds purple blood after getting hit by a biplane, which hints that he’s actually an alien. Leatherface is among the survivors, although the film never ties into any other continuity.

‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ (2003) is a remake

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a remake of Hooper’s classic film. However, the Sawyer family are now called the Hewitts and the group of victims is headed home from Mexico. Leatherface gets an upgrade to a very muscular figure who acts as a defender of sorts for the family. This is a big change from previous iterations of the killer.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a whole new beginning in the scheme of the timelines. However, there’s still a “final girl” who manages to survive the massacre. Once again, the majority of the Hewitt family survives and continues their massacre.

‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning’ (2006) is a prequel to a remake

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning is a prequel to 2003’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre timeline. The film establishes Leatherface’s birth and how he ended up in the hands of the Hewitts. It answers some questions about his appearance and why he ultimately decides to wear his victims’ faces after he kills them.

This prequel once again displays the slaughterhouse putting the Hewitts out of business. They’re the only residents to stay in the area, as they turn to cannibalism to stay alive. All of the Hewitt family members from the 2003 film make a return. The massacre of a new group of teenagers establishes the “first” massacre.

‘Texas Chainsaw 3D’ picks up after the original

Texas Chainsaw 3D gets rid of the Hewitts and brings the Sawyer name back into the fold. It ignores all Texas Chainsaw Massacre timelines after the original film. It follows Sally right after she reaches law enforcement. However, there are a lot more Sawyers this time around.

A group of vigilantes attacks the Sawyer home, although a woman and her baby nearly escape. However, the vigilantes kill the woman and take the baby. Texas Chainsaw 3D follows that same baby after she’s grown up and seeks to learn more about her family line.

‘Leatherface’ (2017) is a prequel

Leatherface is set before 1974’s original, but within the Texas Chainsaw 3D continuity, creating a trilogy. It follows a group of young men escaping from a mental asylum. However, one of the members of the group is actually Leatherface, bringing an entirely new timeline to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre universe.

‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ picks up 50 years after the original

Texas Chainsaw Massacre is another direct sequel to Hooper’s original film. However, it totally ignores all of the other timelines in the franchise. It brings Sally back, who is now played by Olwen Fouéré. A group of social influencers heads to Harlow, Texas with a potential business venture. However, things don’t go entirely as planned.

The teenagers come across Leatherface’s home, reemerging his chainsaw bloodbath. Now, they must fight if they hope to survive. However, Sally waited a long time to ultimately take her revenge against the man who destroyed her entire life.

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