Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 15th, 2008
BluRay released: September 30th, 2008
Approximate running time: 84 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English, Dolby Digital Mono English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
BluRay Release: Dark Sky Films
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.98
Synopsis: A group of teenagers en route to visit one of their friends grandfathers grave. They soon run out of gas and are unable to get any tell the station opens in the morning. One of boys decides to go looking for some gas and what he finds is the home of leather face. One by one they start to disappear as they try to find out where their missing friends went.
Tobe Hopper’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the most frightening movies ever made. Its power to send chills down your spine is even more impressive when one considers that most of the violence is implied or off screen. Hopper with Texas Chainsaw Massacre uses the more is less technique that had been so masterfully executed in Alfred Hitchcock’s film Psycho. The plot for Texas Chainsaw Massacre is overlooked by many as being simple when upon closer inspection one can clearly see the deeper subtext that Hooper cleverly injects in a subtle way.
Tobe Hooper’s direction is nothing short of masterful as he sets up many classic horror set pieces that over the years have since been borrowed by countless filmmakers. The acting while not the films strongest asset it is more then adequate with a tour de force performance from Gunnar Hanson as Leather Face. Hanson perfectly captures the primal and child-like facets of the cold blooded killer known as Leather Face. When talking the lasting impact of Texas Chainsaw Massacre one must never overlook in invaluable contribution of Cinematographer Daniel Pearl whose combination of shadow and light vividly set the nihilistic mood of the film.
Dark Sky Films presents The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. The Transfer for this BluRay release is a noticeable improvement over Dark Sky Films superb transfer for their Ultimate Edition DVD release from 2006. Fans of the film will be thrilled just how well this film holds up in HiDef.
This release comes with three audio options Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English and Dolby Digital Mono English. Removable English and Spanish subtitles have been provided. All three audio mixes are in great shape with the slight edge with the Dolby Digital Mono mix coming across as the best of the lot.
One new extra has been included for this release a seventeen minute interview with actress Terri McMinn titled “Off the Hook”. Teri McMinn’s interview nicely compliments the rest of the extras and gives a deeper perspective into her role and thoughts about the film. All the remaining extras have been ported over from Dark Sky Films Ultimate Edition DVD. They are as follows two trailers, three T.V. spots and two radio spots for Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Other extras include two audio commentaries. The first audio commentary is with Marilyn Burns, Paul A. Partain, Allen Danziger and Robert A. Burns. This audio commentary while not as interesting the second audio commentary included with this release does provide many great stories about the making of this film. The second audio commentary is with Gunnar Hansen, Daniel Pearl and Tobe Hooper. This audio commentary is one of best I have ever heard as all three men fill every moment with insightful comments that add deeper meaning to the film. This audio commentary track was ported over from Elite’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre DVD. There is also an extensive still gallery, a blooper reel, a tour of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre house with Gunner Hansen, Dr. W.E. Barnes presents “Making Grandpa” this extra is a still galley that shows the progression of the makeup as it is put on, outtakes from the “Shocking Truth” and about twenty six minutes of deleted scenes & outtakes. Other extras include David Gregory’s excellent feature length documentary about the film titled “Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Shocking Truth”. This seventy three minute documentary includes interviews with most of the cast and crew. All the participants talk vividly about working on the film and how they feel about it nearly thirty years later. Other topics include its influence on the horror films that followed it. Rounding out the extras is a brand new documentary titled “Flesh Wounds: 7 Stories of the Saw” which runs about seventy two minutes in length. This documentary includes interviews with Daniel Pearl, Tim Harden, Gunner Hansen, Tobe Hooper, Tom Sullivan, Mike Wyatt and tributes for Paul Partine, Robert Burns, and Jim Siedow. One would have thought that most ground should have already been covered with the wealth of extras included for this release and even though “Flesh Wounds: 7 Stories of the Saw” offers very little that isn’t already know. It is a more sober affair where all the participants talk about what they have been doing since making the film and how they feel about the film all these years later. One minor quip about this documentary is that in between each segment the music interludes felt unnecessarily stretched out. Overall The Texas Chainsaw Massacre debuts on BluRay via a flawless release form Dark Sky Films, highly recommended.