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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
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Review by Youssef Kdiry | posted February 18, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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DVD (Region 1)

Aspect Ratio: 1.75:1 (approx. Widescreen)

Audio: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround); English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

Features: Audio Commentary (by director Tope Hooper, director of photography Daniel Pearl and star Gunnar Hansen); Theatrical Trailers; TV Spots; Deleted Scenes & Alternate Footage; Blooper Reel; Trailers for "TCM 2, 3,4"; Still Photos Archives (Production Stills, Posters, etc.).

The Movie: 1974. Fresh out of film school, young director Tobe Hooper and his crew shoot a low-budget horror film on a lousy 16mm film stock and call it "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." After its low-key release (and subsequent re-release), "TCM" went on to be hailed as a genre masterpiece --and more importantly, a blueprint of things to come (like 1978's "Halloween" and 1980's "Friday The 13th). Basic plotline is about 5 teens driving in their hippie van through Texas. They come upon a loony hitchhiker, weird gas station attendant and a creepy house in the middle of nowhere, where they are picked off (one-by-one) by the psychotic "Leatherface"-- a human-skin mask/chainsaw-toting freak (who's related to the other aformentioned loonies). One girl, Sally, makes it out of there in one piece. But Leatherface and cannibal company are still out there...waiting for their "dinner."

The Picture: Pioneer Entertainment has done a good job transferring the 16mm print to this DVD (color corrections, HD transferring, the works). But let's face it, the original print is full of scratches and looks pretty bad. But whaddaya expect for a 25-year old movie!

The Sound: Pioneer was also kind enough to remix the original mono soundtrack and give us a 2.0 Surround track. Thanx, folks! A chainsaw never sounded so eerie!

The Extras: Here is where the DVD excels. If you're a "TCM" fan or even just a genre buff, then you'll be in heaven with all of the goodies presented here. My only complaint is the lack of a 60-minute documentary that was put on the VHS and LD versions of "TCM" (if it was placed here, the I would've been verrry ecstatic!). The interactive menus are one of the best, too.

Conclusion: The "TCM" DVD should definitely be added to the shelves of horror buffs, as it is a strong testament to the ingenuity of low-budget filmmakers everywhere (your truly included). Happy chainsawing, y'all!

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