And so, the law of diminishing returns rings true...
Only the first film is mentioned in the opening crawl (ignoring the 2nd), and Leatherface is the ONLY returning Sawyer, transplanted inexplicably into a new family! (well, a grandpa is in it now, it may be the same one, but he's dead either way).
This time out (as hinted in the title) the goal is clearly to take Letherface to franchise, and pretty much abandon the TCM legacy.
And it fails.. miserably.
With the new family, this could also be seen as a reboot to the franchise; in fact, opening crawls asside, both is entry and the 2nd could be seen as completely unrelated movies, which each have a take on the character of Leatherface, but don't take place in the same fictional universe.
One thing I loved in the first movie (but it was underplayed and a lot of people miss it) is that Leatherface has a verity of masks, which he wears to suit his mood. A the beginning of the film he wears the mask most of us know from merchandising; the "killing mask", and a butchers apron. Later we (briefly) see him in the kitchen, wearing a light blue ladies apron, and an "old lady" mask (with blue rinse); Finally, from dinner onward Bubba puts on his best black suit, and a "pretty" mask (Which is to say it has make-up on and a ladies wig).
To me, if Leatherface is to be expanded upon and taken to franchise, this is the direction to go - almost like a morbid Worzel Gummidge with grotesque skin masks rather than turnip heads! Alas, like the previous entry, this movie features only a "killing mask" (although, admittedly, its a great one).
This time around the man behind the mask is R.A.Mihailoff; who, to his credit, is quite possibly the best thing in the movie, getting just the right balance between retarded and imposing; you wouldn't want to be chased by this dude, with or without his chainsaw! That said, a lot of the time I was put in mind of Kane Hodder (Jason, Friday the 13th parts 6 through 10)* so maybe it's my fondness for that series coming through.
As I've hinted a couple of times already, this entry in the TCM legacy is not a movie I could recommend Nor is it so mind-numbingly awful that I'd tell you to avoid it either... but there are definitely slashers I'd watch before this one.
*I've just read around and it turns out that's because Hodder was the stunt man on this, and pretty much every time the chainsaw is running it IS him.