DVD365.net
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Special Edition artwork

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Special Edition

22nd February 2003

The controversial cult horror movie about a chainsaw-wielding serial killer and his cannibal family finally makes it onto DVD.
Marilyn Burns, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain, William Vail, Teri McMinn, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow, Gunnar Hansen, John Dugan, John Henry Faulk
Horror
2
1 Hour 20 Minutes

When Sally and the wheelchair bound Franklin Hardesty discover that the graveyard where their grandfather is buried has been desecrated in a bizarre and macabre manner they decide to check that the grave is still intact. So together with a group of friends they head out over the hot Texas plains to the near deserted town housing the graveyard and the long abandoned farm belonging to their grandfather. Whilst passing a slaughterhouse they notice a hitchhiker and decide to stop and give him a lift. After all, it is another blistering hot Texan day and the stench of the slaughterhouse is enough to make anyone gag.

However, the hitchhiker turns out to be a few pence short of a pound and promptly starts hacking at himself with a knife and lashing out at the curious but equally shocked Franklin. Quickly bundling the hiker out of the van the group proceed with their journey. With fuel in the van running low they decide to turn into a local petrol station for a fill up. Unfortunately, the station is out of fuel so they decide to stock up on the local meat products and head over to the old farm house until the fuel truck arrives the following day.

After arriving at the farm Franklin tells Pam and Kirk about an old swimming hole he use to use as a child. With the sun still beating down the pair decide to head off in search of the water hole and a refreshing dip. Whilst walking towards the water hole Kirk hears a generator chugging at a nearby farmhouse and, hoping to borrow some petrol for the van, heads over to the house to speak to the owner. However, this is the home of the psychotic hitchhiker they picked up earlier and a chainsaw wielding maniac called Leatherface. Let the butchery begin!

For a film made on such a small budget you won't be expecting a picture quality on par with a multi-million dollar Hollywood extravaganza, perhaps something more akin to a late night film on channel five. Although the budget and the ravages of time have not been good, the print is actually in a remarkable condition. There's a fair amount of colour and detail plus the picture is surprisingly free of picture imperfections, although it is very grainy at times. Whilst an occasional dust scratch or whisker is inevitable, the picture still manages to remain free from any artifacting and even manages a consistently high bit rate throughout.

With a minuscule budget you'll hardly be anticipating anything extraordinary from the sound department. Matters aren't really helped much by the fact that in 1976 stereo soundtracks were a few years away yet. As a result there wasn't much to go at on the DVD and you can probably dispense with the surround system for this film. You'll also need a tight reign on the volume control as there are plenty of moments when you need to crank up the volume to hear the dialogue only then to quickly lower it once the incessant screaming starts. Oh well, that's a low budget slasher movie for you.

When the packaging claims that it's a special edition then you're should be expecting something special from the extras. Well, they certainly can't be done under the trades description act here as the disc is positively bursting with additional material. For starters there's the Shocking Truth documentary which runs for nearly the same length of time of the film and is worthy of the cost of the disc alone. It contains some very interesting, and ultimately shady, details about the films production and its eventual cinema release. If that's not enough information for you then there's also a directors commentary including good old Leatherface himself. It's all interesting stuff indeed and it's all polished off with the usual Outtakes Reel, Trailers and Publicity Material.

The inspiration for the Leatherface character is 1950s Wisconsin murderer Ed Gein, whose domineering mother raised him in a God-fearing way and fed him with the belief that all women are harlots. Incapable of dealing with the death of his mother, Gein dug up her grave and brought her body back to the family house and would talk to her in despair. As Gein became more demented he dug up graves and ate human flesh before being arrested in 1958 for the murder of his second victim.

In 1976, Texas Chainsaw Massacre's original UK distributor had to submit the film to individual borough councils in order to get a certificate. The only councils to refuse theatrical screenings were Surrey and Strathclyde. Indeed, the film was subsequently labelled a video nasty and deemed unsuitable for the British masses by the British Board of Film Classification for twenty-five years until 1999. Overkill? Well, the BBFC were concerned that the workers in the Birmingham car plants would go on a killing and cooking frenzy. I always thought that those Brummies could be a little temperamental!

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre may have been shocking in its day but by today's standard it is all rather tame and if you want a good old fashioned shock then there are much better horror films out there. In fact, watching the evening news can be scarier than this film. However, this is still a ground breaking horror classic and a total must for all fans of the horror genre. Why? Well, if it wasn't for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre then the modern horror film would probably still involve tiny budgets and Christopher Lee in a Dracula costume. This alone is good enough reason to thank director Tobe Hooper for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

  • The most comprehensive documentary ever produced on TCM - The Shocking Truth (72 mins)
  • Free Original Theatrical Poster
  • 16 Page Collectors Booklet
  • New Director and Crew interviews
  • Full length commentary featuring director Tobe Hooper, director of photography Daniel Pearl and star Gunnar Hansen (Leatherface)
  • Deleted Scenes and Alternate Footage
  • Blooper Reel
  • Original theatrical trailers
  • Original TV advertisements
  • Sequel Trailers
  • Still, Posters and Lobby Card
  • DVD-ROM link
Ryan Reynolds stars in the first-ever live-action Pokemon adventure as Pikachu, the iconic face of the global Pokemon phenomenon, as Pokémon: Detective Pikachu is released on DVD, Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray ...Read more
The Inbetweeners 2 artwork

The Inbetweeners 2

BD
01/04/2018
Better late than never, Jay, Neil, Simon and Will are back for another critically acclaimed, smash-hit comedy adventure as the boys head to Australia to meet up with Jay and discover that his tales of ...
Gomorrah S2 artwork

Gomorrah S2

DVD
19/07/2016
The Shanghai Job artwork

The Shanghai Job

DVD
12/02/2018
Apple Tree Yard artwork

Apple Tree Yard

BDUK TV
20/02/2017
Sightseers artwork

Sightseers

BD
20/09/2014
Braquo S4 artwork

Braquo S4

BDUK TV
10/12/2016
The Luminaries artwork

The Luminaries

DVDUK TV
27/06/2020
An epic tale of star-crossed lovers, destiny, gold and greed, The Luminaries, a lush six-part period drama based on the Man Booker prize-winning novel by Eleanor Catton, arrives on DVD and digital on ...
Marriage Story artwork

Marriage Story

DVDBD
11/06/2020
The Salisbury Poisonings artwork

The Salisbury Poisonings

DVDBDUK TV
03/07/2020
Agatha Raisin S3 artwork

Agatha Raisin S3

DVDUK TV
11/06/2020
Quantum Leap artwork

Quantum Leap

DVDUK TV
01/07/2020
Gangs of London artwork

Gangs of London

DVDBDUK TV
11/06/2020

MIB: International

Features27/08/2019

The Men in Black have expanded to cover the globe, but so have the scum of the universe. And to keep us safe, decorated Agent H and determined rookie M are partnered - an unlikely pairing that just might work. As they face a new alien threat that can take the form of anyone, including MIB agents, they must join forces on a globetrotting ...

Insatiable S1

News12/06/2020

In Insatiable: Season 1, released on DVD and Blu-ray 15th June 2020 from Mediumrare, a disgraced, dissatisfied civil lawyer-turned-beauty pageant coach takes on a vengeful, bullied teenager as his client and has no idea what he's about to unleash upon the world.

Futurama

Review13/08/2016

Off we go, into the wild green yonder with the fourth and, possibly, final feature-length epic of the cult animated sci-fi comedy Futurama.
"Revenge is good for your health, but pain will find you again."
Oldboy (2003)

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

DVDBD3D-BDUHD20/04/2020152

They Live By Night

BD20/04/2020107

Jojo Rabbit

DVDBDDIGITAL11/05/202083

Charlie's Angels

DVDBD06/04/202082

The Nest

DVDUK TV18/05/202066

Quiz

DVDDIGITALUK TV15/06/202058

Babylon Berlin S3

DVDUK TV13/04/202048

Save Me Too

DVDUK TV15/06/202047

Angel Has Fallen

NOTESDVDBDUHD16/12/201989

Bombshell

DVDBDNOTES20/12/201970

JoJo Rabbit

DVDBDNOTES30/01/202064

Radioactive

DVDBDBDNOTES24/04/202061

Racing Stripes

DVD21/06/20052986

Austin Powers

DVD01/12/20071394

The Simpsons S16

DVDUK TV05/12/2013953
Starring #MarkAddy #RafeSpall, #TheSalisburyPoisonings available #DVD #BluRay 13th July by Spirit Entertainment
DVD365.net

The Invisible Man

DVDBDUHD
11/06/2020

The Public

DVD
12/06/2020

Schitt's Creek

DVD
27/06/2020

Greed

DVDBDDIGITAL
20/05/2020