Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation is a 1994 American horror film written and directed by Kim Henkel, and starring Renée Zellweger, Matthew McConaughey, and Robert Jacks as Leatherface. The plot follows four teenagers who encounter Leatherface and his murderous family in backwoods Texas on the night of their prom.
The film was screened as The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 1994 and 1995 before being shelved by Columbia Pictures. Two years later, it was re-cut and released under the title Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation on August 29, 1997, after Zellweger and McConaughey had both become major Hollywood stars, but was a critical and financial failure. Though a full soundtrack was never released, a companion single featured in the film performed by star Robert Jacks and Debbie Harry was released on compact disc in 1997.
In May 1996, four teenagers—Jenny, Sean, Heather, and Barry—leave their senior prom after Heather and Barry get into an argument. They are forced to take a detour off the main highway onto a wooded backroad. Heather becomes distracted when she thinks she sees something in the woods, and accidentally crashes into an oncoming vehicle. The other driver exits his car and collapses. Panicked, Jenny, Heather, and Barry leave to find help, while Sean waits with the injured motorist.
Jenny, Barry, and Heather stumble upon a rural real estate office occupied by a tawdry woman named Darla, who calls her tow trucker boyfriend Vilmer to the scene while the three rest. Vilmer soon arrives at the accident, where he breaks the injured motorist's neck before chasing after Sean with his truck and running him over. Meanwhile, the three depart Darla's office, but become separated when Barry and Heather chase a passing car, leading them to a derelict farmhouse. While Barry attempts to enter the house through a back door, Heather is attacked by Leatherface, who drags her inside and stuffs her in a meat freezer. Barry is held at gunpoint by W.E., one of the house's occupants, but manages to enter the house, where he is bludgeoned by Leatherface. Heather then escapes the freezer, and Leatherface hangs her on a meat hook.
Meanwhile, Jenny is approached by Vilmer's truck, and he offers to drive her to the accident. Their small talk soon grows disturbed, and Jenny sees the bodies of Sean and the other motorist in the back of the truck. She leaps from the car and runs into the woods, where Leatherface appears with a chainsaw. She flees, soon stumbling upon the farmhouse, and runs inside. Leatherface breaches the front door, and Jenny jumps from the second-story window onto the roof. She manages to leap from the roof and hang from a telephone line, but Leatherface cuts it with his chainsaw and she falls into a greenhouse below.
Disoriented but unscathed, Jenny runs back to Darla's real estate office. Darla initially comforts her, but W.E. soon arrives, and Jenny realizes they are in cahoots with Vilmer. W.E. taunts Jenny with a cattle prod before stuffing her in the trunk of Darla's car. Darla picks up pizza on the way to the farmhouse, where she discovers Heather attempting to crawl away on the road. She sheepishly hits her with a tree branch before summoning the others to bring her back to the house.
Inside, Vilmer taunts Jenny, but she manages to take control by obtaining a shotgun. She takes Darla's car keys and attempts to leave, but is stopped by Vilmer. She is taken back inside and dressed by Darla, who confides that Vilmer works for a secret society operation, the "same people who killed JFK." Jenny is taken to the dinner table, surrounded by the corpses of the Sawyer family in addition to Leatherface, who is now dressed in drag. Vilmer explains Leatherface's plan to take Jenny's face. A melee ensues, which is interrupted by the arrival of Rothman, a mysterious man in black, near dawn. He expresses disdain for the manner of Vilmer's exploits, and displays an array of piercings and scars on his abdomen before licking Jenny's face. After he leaves, Vilmer crushes Heather's skull in frustration and begins cutting himself. Leatherface and Vilmer attempt to decapitate Jenny with a chainsaw, but she manages to break free.
Jenny flees the house and is pursued by Leatherface, who chases her to a dirt road in the woods. She is picked up by an elderly couple passing by in an RV, but they soon crash when Vilmer chases them with his truck. Jenny escapes and is followed by Vilmer and Leatherface on foot, but a small airplane mysteriously appears, descending on the scene; the plane's wheel strikes Vilmer's head, killing him, before flying away. A limousine appears, and Jenny enters it to find Rothman, who assures her he plans no harm. He explains that the horrors she experienced were intended to be a spiritual experience, but that they were poorly-executed due to Vilmer's inadequacies.
Later, while being questioned by police at a hospital, Jenny becomes distracted by the sight of a catatonic patient being wheeled by on a gurney. Back at the scene of Vilmer's death, Leatherface swings his chainsaw maniacally, screaming.
- Renée Zellweger as Jenny
- Matthew McConaughey as Vilmer Sawyer
- Robert Jacks as Leatherface
- Tonie Perensky as Darla
- Joe Stevens as W.E. Sawyer
- Lisa Marie Newmyer as Heather
- John Harrison as Sean
- Tyler Cone as Barry
- James Gale as Mr. Rothman
- Chris Kilgore as Rothman's Chauffeur
- Grayson Victor Schirmacher as Grandfather Sawyer
- Lisa Caraveo as Brenda
- Paul A. Partain as Hospital Orderly
- John Dugan as Cop At Hospital
- Marilyn Burns as Sally Hardesty