Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns), her paraplegic brother Franklin (Paul A. Partain) and their friends, Jerry (Allen Danziger), Kirk (William Vail) and Pam (Teri McMinn) are out traveling across Texas when they decide to visit the old family homestead. They pass by a cemetery where it has been discovered that several graves have been desecrated.
They pick up a hitchhiker (Edwin Neal) who creeps them out and cuts Franklin before running off. They stop at a gas station but the owner (Jim Siedow) informs them that he’s out of gas. They head to the homestead hoping to get gasoline on the way back. Once they reach the homestead they look around. Kirk and Pam find a neighouring house and decide to see if anyone is home and willing to sell them gas.
The family who live next door are a deranged group of cannibals. The owner of the gas station, the hitchhiker and of course good ole Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen). Leatherface quickly disposes of Kirk and Pam and soon its a game of “Hey lets go see what happened to the others!” which ends with Leatherface doing what he does best.
Director Tobe Hooper crafts a masterpiece of terror and suspense with this movie. After all this time it is still intense. Hooper also made a sequel that followed the family as they continued killing people but also making a “special” barbecue. Dennis Hopper co-starred as the uncle of the missing brother and sister from the first film looking for revenge in the form of a chainsaw sword fight.