This generation's classics are Freddy Krueger, Candyman, Michael Myers, Pinhead, and Jason Voorhees who are all great monsters who each have some sort of supernatural power.
But before them all, and based off real life killer Ed Gein was Leatherface, the very human monster from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
He started an era of ultimate killers, each trying to better the other. His film being one of the most terrifying films to hit the screen. Largely banned from its release thanks to its violence only added to its power.
Even though it's one of the only successful films to ramp up the dread and fear with every scene and as said have much violence, including a violent title, Director and co-writer Tobe Hooper wanted the film to be released as a PG, a parental guidance rated film, mainly due to there not being much gore at all. Most of the blood you see is dry on clothing, little cuts, or simply not seen at all.
Even now after 40 years of it's original release, it's still as good as ever. I'm a bit young to have seen it when it came out. But I did see it as a child, and all though it didn't scare me per se, it kept me on high alert, on the edge of my seat wondering what was going on, and what was going to happen next.
That first moment you see Leatherface hit one of the guys over the head, the victim's body twitching on the floor like the cows they were speaking about but ten minutes earlier, then getting dragged through the giant metal door before it's slammed shut sticks in your mind and is known as one of the most famous scenes, and rightly so. But if you ask people to name some of their favourite scenes, you'll end up going through every scene in the movie.
Because they all stick out. The crazy Hitchhiker, the deaths, the crazy family and Grandpa which strangely adds a little humour, a break to the tense film, somehow still keeping you on high alert, to Leatherface swinging his chain saw as Sally, our main character escapes his clutches.
When you compare it to the remake, even though the remake is enjoyable, you can see where they went wrong with it. They made it modern, tried to Hollywoodise it. There's no fear, just pretty people in danger and ramped up gore.
I know, I'm repeating myself, but watching it has got me in the type of mood where I can ramble on about it forever. Even its sequels despite none of them surpassing the feel or craziness of the first. (And some just being quite dire)
So let's move on to the special features:
- Writer-Producer-Director Tobe Hooper - Essentially an interview with Tobe about the film and other things, such as the actors and crew while watching it, some secrets are spoke about, and of course many things already known by many.
- Cinematographer Daniel Pearl, Editor J. Larry Caroll, Sound Recordist Ted Nicolaou - In this commentary it's discussed how many takes were needed for scenes, what happened to props, and generally how they filmed scenes, but there is talk about outside the film and they all have a laugh and joke together.
- Tobe Hooper, Daniel Pearl, and Gunnar Hansen (Leatherface) - This is the first of the older commentaries, it covers many of the things the new commentary with Tobe does, but also how people met, how the actors acted, and what it was like in the Leatherface outfit.
- Marilyn Burns, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain (actors) and Art Director Robert A. Burns - This is actually the most interesting of all commentaries as we hear it from the actors themselves what filming was like and how real it all was. It would have been better to put Gunnar with these guys so we could have heard more of the bad versus the good, but the laughs are real, and it's nice to hear from Robert A. Burns as the actors ask him questions about things on screen.
New Special Features:
Cutting Chain Saw With Editor J. Larry Carroll. (10 minutes, 47 seconds) - J. Larry Carroll talking about The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, his work on other movies and even things like stunt driving and making money!
GranPaw's Tales with Actor John Dugan (15:48) - The Grandpa of the movie was actually played by a younger man, in this he speaks about his relationship to Kim Henkel, what it was like to play the messed up (in more ways than one) grandpa, and how he got into the character. What Tobe Hooper was like when filming, he was apparently a weird dude, and much more.
Horror's Hallowed Grounds (20:21) - A full episode of Horror's Hallowed Grounds, covering the many filming locations of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was filmed, it even jokes around with the scrolling text at the beginning like the film has and meets several different people who now work and live in the buildings used in the film, including the TCM Fan Club President.
A really funny and interesting show.
NEW Deleted Scenes and outtakes. (15:07) - A bunch of deleted scenes and outtakes, which upsettingly is presented silent, due to much of the production audio being missing.
The Older Special Features, released on older releases of the film:
The Shocking Truth (1:12:48) - A Documentary on the film with interviews with most of the cast and crew, covering pretty much everything you need to know of and behind the movie, along with how the film came along and other horror films before and after The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
The Shocking Truth Outtakes (07:41) - Outtakes from the The Shocking Truth Documentary.
Flesh Wounds, Seven Stories of The Saw (1:11:43) - Behind the scenes stories and stories of different aspects of the film told by different people involved, Including the cinematographer, the Hitchhiker, an in memorium of the people who unfortunately passed, Paul A. Partain who played Franklin, Jim Siedow who played the unnamed brother cook, Robert A. Burns, this was filmed before the passing of Marilyn Burns, so she isn't in, but R.I.P Marilyn. And much more, like the making of the masks etc.
Off The Hook with Teri McMinn (17:02) - Teri McMinn speaks about her time before the film and filming as Pam, who erm, had one of the most painful deaths.
The Business Of Chain Saw with Production Manager Ron Bozman (16:25) - Ron Bozman talks about his 40 years in the field, his other movies and of course how he started, with a little known movie called The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
House Tour with Gunnar Hansen (08:04) - Filmed in 1993, Leatherface himself takes us around the house of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
Tobe Hooper Interview (13:46) - Tobe talks about Texas, the film, characters, and more.
Kim Henkel Interview (08:25) - Probably the most interesting interview of the whole Blu-Ray set, considering it's the perspective not really heard of about the film, from the other co-writer.
Deleted Scenes and Outtakes (25:23) - Older deleted scenes and outtakes, unfortunately still most without sound. The Leatherface putting makeup on his mask is unintentionally hilarious, which is why I guess it wasn't in the film.
Bloopers (02:23) - Yet more Outtakes! This time WITH COMPLETE SOUND! It's a shame only a little amount had the original sound that wasn't lost. At least we get a little laugh.
Trailers and TV Spots - Self explanatory, Trailers and TV Spots for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. When the Trailer ends, the TV Spots start straight after.
Radio Spots - Audio only of course, basically trailers on the radio.
And last but not least: Stills Gallery - a couple minutes worth of photographs from and behind the scenes of the movie.
WELL THAT WAS A BIG ONE!
This release of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is easily the best yet, the film is stunning in its 4K restoration and 7.1 audio mix. It looks beautiful and sounds it too. Well, I say it sounds beautiful but most of the sounds used in the film aren't exactly pleasant to the ears.
But you get what I mean, it's clear and crisp everywhere you look and listen.
You can even see some dirt on the camera near the beginning of the film which you couldn't see before, but luckily it only adds to the grim atmosphere of the movie, as does the way the grandpa looks. You can tell it's more makeup and a costume than you could originally, but it also gives more of the impression of a dead guy.
So for this release of the film, ABSOLUTELY PACKED with special features:
You can pre-order the new Steelbook Blu-Ray here, and the 3 Disc Seriously Ultimate Edition DVD here.