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Top Leatherface Kills

Leatherface and his popular chainsaw in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Running scared.

Leatherface isn’t known for the diversity in his kills like that of his comrades like Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers or Freddy Krueger. He generally sticks to his one weapon of choice, the one in the title of the film itself; the chainsaw. But he is a trained butcher and does have expertise in all of the tools of the trade. If it’s for slicing, grinding or hanging meat, Leatherface has access to it and there’s a good chance he’s used it in the past. Here are some of the best examples of what this crazy backwoods skin-wearing cannibal can accomplish when he really puts his mind to it. We present to you, the Top Leatherface Kills of all-time.


Morgan was a character people wanted to die pretty much from the get-go in the 2003 remake (unless that was just me.) He started off as apparent comic relief, but then quickly turned out to be the new Franklin, voicing his dissatisfaction with everything in a louder and louder manner as things get worse and worse. Yet you still have to feel a bit bad for him, because as much of an asshole as he had been throughout the entire film, Morgan actually died a hero. Or tried to, anyway, as Leatherface quickly overpowered him, hung him up by a chandelier and began to saw him in half from the groin up. You don’t see much, but like the original movie that only makes you wince harder. He did give Jessica Biel’s Erin time enough to get away, though, so points for effort.


This one’s not so much for the inventiveness of the kill itself, as much as it is due to the fact that there are few if any characters that people have wanted to see die in a horror film more than Franklin. He was loud, obnoxious, aware that he was bringing down the entire trip and nonetheless whining about it at every turn. Every slasher movie since had a character like Franklin, an obnoxious character who argued every single point at every turn. The thing is, Franklin does not even know how bad of a situation they’re actually in, pretty much until he’s dead. He’s freaking out and whining constantly, but he’s given no reason to believe that anyone’s in serious trouble, so this is just how he acts normally. Despite being confined to a wheelchair, Franklin forces his sister Sally to haul him into the woods so that he can help her look for her friend, Jerry. The death scene comes out of nowhere. They’re calling Jerry’s name and suddenly Leatherface springs from the darkness, revving up the saw and really letting poor Franklin have it. We don’t actually see anything of what that saw does to the guy, but our minds fill in the details.


Starting out the sequel and establishing its very different tone were these two characters, Buzz and Rick, drunken high school seniors driving along an abandoned stretch of highway. They wearing goofy “X-ray” glasses and are loud, obnoxious and completely over-the-top characters and we definitely can’t wait for them to die even before we actually know that they’re going to. They call in to the local radio station (on which most of the plot is centered) to harass the DJ, Stretch. She’s not amused and tries to get them to hang up, but they keep calling back, through the afternoon and well into the night. She is fed up, but then another sound can be heard over the phone. A chainsaw. The boys meet up with the only other vehicle on this lonely stretch of highway and it’s driven by Leatherface and co. Leatherface, standing on the back of the truck, revs up the saw and goes to town on the two young drivers. In the first film, we saw nothing and it’s clear from the first kills here that that’s not the case. Makeup legend Tom Savini provided the effects for this one, and it’s memorable, as we watch the saw go right through the side of the driver’s head.


Kirk is the movie’s first death, and while there is some suspense buildup, it really comes out of nowhere. He sees a nearby farmhouse where he can ask for some gas. He goes to the door and asks if anyone’s home. He opens the door, asks again, no answer. He steps inside. The first sign that something’s wrong is the sound of pigs squealing, but this is a Texas farmhouse and that’s not out of the realm of possibility. So he steps a little further inside, and then Leatherface appears before him. He stands there, raises a sledgehammer and brings it down on Kirk’s head. Kirk convulses before Leatherface drags him back toward the workshop and slams the door shut. It’s one of the best reveals of a killer in horror movie history, it sets the tone for the rest of the movie and perhaps even the franchise that followed it.


Almost moments following the death of Kirk is the death of his girlfriend, Pam. She goes inside to find her boyfriend, instead finds a room full of bonework arts and crafts. Leatherface spots her and she runs screaming out of the house. For a brief moment it looks like she is going to get away. Then, Leatherface grabs her and hauls her back inside. He holds her up over his shoulder and brings her back to the slaughter room where he took her boyfriend. She’s squirming around a lot more and he needs something to do with her, so he walks across the room and sets Pam down on a large meat hook. The scene is still cringe-inducing 40 years later, even if you never actually see the hook make contact with the skin. You see enough, and that’s the key to the whole movie. You see just enough to make it work, and nothing more. This scene floored audiences and became the most recognized kill, having been imitated in every sequel and remake that followed.

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Written by Nat Brehmer
In addition to contributing to Wicked Horror, Nathaniel Brehmer has also written for Horror Bid, HorrorDomain, Dread Central, Bloody Disgusting, We Got This Covered, and more. He has also had fiction published in Sanitarium Magazine, Hello Horror, Bloodbond and more. He currently lives in Florida with his wife and his black cat, Poe.
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