Tuesday, 17th October 2017. 11:00:49am ET
Reviews Movie Reviews The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

 

Movie: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Special Edition)
Company: Pioneer
Format: DVD
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 2/23/04

In 2003, with added publicity due to a somewhat inferior remake hitting the theaters, Tobe Hooper's original 1974 classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was reissued on DVD in a special edition with a plethora of bonus materials. Very loosely based on the murders of Ed Gein, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the story of five friends who, after travelling to check on their family grave plots due to reports of grave robbers, unfortunately cross paths with a bizarre, twisted family and experience true terror at their hands.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, despite its fairly low level of gore (comparatively speaking) and often short and to-the-point murder scenes, is a violent and quite disturbing and effective film. Its somewhat gritty, lo-fi documentary style helps to make the experience more organic and bring the film's rather surreal and nightmarish events into reality. Especially effective is the infamous dinner scene that was left out of the recent remake. Even more impressive is the fact that the film still holds up after 30 years. While many have tried (including Rob Zombie with House of 1000 Corpses), few films if any have managed to capture the dark vibe and disturbing nature of this original classic.

Tobe Hooper has gone all out for the special edition release. He supervised a new stereo sound transfer as well as using modern technology to tweak some of the picture elements by adjusting brightness, contrast, and color. You'll find dark night sequences bathed in blue as well as a more foreboding atmosphere to the infamous house. Fans of the film will likely delight in the commentary by Hooper, the infamous Gunnar Hansen (the actor who played Leatherface), and director of photgraphy Daniel Pearl. Hardcore fans will also like the deleted scenes (mostly roughly assembled raw footage with commentary) and the blooper reel (which isn't really amusing, but provides some outtakes), although it's probably not something the average viewer would be interested in. You'll also find still photos as well as trailers and ads for the first three Texas Chainsaw Massacre films and an early preview of the fourth.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a true horror classic as well as a slasher staple. If you're a fan of the film…or if you've never seen it before…do yourself a favor and pick up this special edition DVD. With tons of extras and a great enhanced transfer of the film, this one certainly deserves a place in the collection of any horror fan.


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