Leatherface is the pseudonym of multiple antagonists in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise. Originally intended to be, and still seen by many as a single character, the fourth film in the franchise heavily implies that many of the Leatherfaces seen throughout the series are in fact different people. This explains many of the gaping continuity errors throughout the franchise such as his association with different family units, being referred to by different names and his apparent death at the end of the second film.
The original, and all subsequent versions of Leatherface, are based on Ed Gein, who was a real life Wisconsin man who shared Leatherface's traits of cannibalism and wearing human flesh as clothing.
List of Commonalities Edit
Every known version of Leatherface share a number of traits which provide a sense of continuity and confusion to the franchise. All Leatherfaces are murderers who cannibalise their victims and primarily use a chainsaw as their primary weapons. They are all mentally stunted and are abused into subserviance by their associated families who seem to be the cause of Leatherface's behaviour, presumably having raised him in an enviroment in which their mental instabilities are treat as normal. Most Leatherfaces also fear certain members of their families which is a driving force behind much of their massacres.
The main identifying feature of a Leatherface is the mask that they all wear made from the face or faces of past victims. 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." 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. The "Pretty Woman" mask is the first example of the transvestite tendancies which would later be seen to varying degrees across the other Leatherfaces.
The original Leatherface from the first two films. He was responsible for the original and most well known of the chainsaw massacres and was killed at the end of the second film in an explosion after being disemboweled by a chainsaw. He was played in the origional by Gunnar Hanson and in the sequel by Bill Johnson. This Leatherface died in 1986.
The second Leatherface, as seen in Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 was known only as "Junior." Seemingly more angry than his fellow Leatherfaces, Junior seems to kill out of anger rather than fear and is not as afraid or submissive around his family as the others although he does still possess these tendancies. He was played by R.A. Mihailoff and was killed in 1990.
"Leather" is the only known alias of the third Leatherface as seen in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. He is distinct from other Leatherfaces for a number of reason. He is the first version of the character not to be a part of the Sawyer family and is also not depicted as a cannibal. This Leatherface spends more time than any other in drag and seems to revel in it more than his peers, wearing dresses, painting his nails and generally caring more about his appearence. Leather Slaughter was played by the late Robert Jacks and is one of the few Leatherfaces to survive the franchise.
Thomas Hewitt was the Leatherface from the two films in the remake continuity. This version of the character, while still surrounded by his abusive family, is more cared for than his counterparts. Leatherface in this continuity suffers from a facial disfigurement and a skin disease that caused severe deformities and tumors to his face. Due to this disfigurement, his muteness and mental retardation other children bullied the boy. He wore a small leather mask to cover up his deformity which later became a mask made from the skin of his victims. He also had a tendency toward self-mutilation, and a doctor diagnosed him as suffering from a type of neurodegeneration at age 12. He was portrayed by Andrew Bryniarski.
Jedidiah Sawyer is an alternate version of the original Leatherface from a third continuity and is seen in Texas Chainsaw 3D. The events of the first film are still canon in this continuity but the story goes in an entirely different direction following the escape of Sally. This Leatherface is kept in a basement and cared for by his last surviving family member for 20 years. As such this depiction of the character is arguably even more socially unaware than previous versions as well as being much older. Family loyalty is also much more prominant in this version and leatherface is shown to be cared for by a number of family members despite being seen as a burden. He was portrayed by Dan Yeager.
Jackson Sawyer Edit
Jackson Sawyer will be the titular character of the upcoming 2016 film Leatherface, a prequel to the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre that is once again set in an alternate timeline from the previous sequels. Very little is known about this version of the character and it is unknown if or how he fits into the established continuity. He will be depicted as a teenager before the events of the origional film and will be played by Sam Strike.
Comic Continuities Edit
Leatherface has been seen in mediums outside of films, notably comics. These versions of the character do not fit any of the established film continuities and as such are considered seperate characters.