- Directors: Tobe Hooper
- Producers: Tobe Hooper, Lou Peraino
- Writers: Kim Henkel, Tobe Hooper
- Genres: Horror, Thriller
- Actors: Marilyn Burns, Gunnar Hansen, Edwin Neal, Allen Danziger, Paul A Partain, Jim Siedow, Teri McMinn, William Vail, John Dugan
Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns) and her brother Franklin (Paul A. Partain) travel with three friends to a cemetery holding the grave of Hardestys’ grandfather. They aim to investigate reports of vandalism and corpse defilement. Afterward, they decide to visit an old Hardesty family homestead, and on the way, the group picks up a hitchhiker (Edwin Neal). The man speaks and acts bizarrely, and then slashes himself and Franklin with a straight razor before being forced from the group’s van. The group stops at a gas station to fuel their vehicle, but when they find out from the proprietor (Jim Siedow) that the pumps are empty, the group continues to the homestead, intending to return to the gas station later after a fuel truck makes its delivery. Franklin tells Kirk (William Vail) and Pam (Teri McMinn) about a local swimming hole, and the couple heads off to find it. Instead, they stumble upon a nearby house. Kirk decides to ask the residents for some gas, while Pam waits on the front steps.
Receiving no answer but finding the door unlocked, Kirk enters the house; Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) suddenly appears and kills him. Pam enters soon after to find the house filled with furniture made from human bones. She attempts to flee but is caught by Leatherface and impaled on a meathook. At sunset, Sally’s boyfriend Jerry (Allen Danziger) heads out to look for the others. Finding the couple’s blanket outside the house, he investigates and finds Pam still alive inside a freezer. Before he can react, Leatherface appears and murders him, stuffing Pam back inside the freezer afterward.
The men torment the bound and gagged Sally while Leatherface, now dressed as a woman, serves dinner. The old man from upstairs is still alive, and brought to the table to join the meal. During the night, they decide Sally should be killed by “Grandpa” (John Dugan) out of respect for his work at the slaughter house when he was younger. “Grandpa” is too weak to hit Sally with a hammer, repeatedly dropping it. In the confusion, Sally breaks free, leaps through a window and escapes from the house, running out into the road. Leatherface and the hitchhiker give chase, but the hitchhiker is run down and killed by a passing semi-trailer truck. Armed with his chainsaw, Leatherface attacks the truck when the driver stops to help, and is hit in the face with a large wrench wielded by the driver. Sally escapes in the bed of a passing pickup truck as Leatherface waves the chainsaw above his head in frustration.