Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

4.5 35
Director: Marcus Nispel

Cast: Jessica Biel, Jonathan Tucker, Erica Leerhsen

     
 

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Director Marcus Nispel's over-the-top remake of Tobe Hooper's unrelenting horror masterpiece arrives on DVD in fine form with New Line Home Entertainment's Platinum Series double-disc release of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the image offers a near-perfect presentation of cinematographer Daniel Pearl's lush photography,See more details below

Overview

Director Marcus Nispel's over-the-top remake of Tobe Hooper's unrelenting horror masterpiece arrives on DVD in fine form with New Line Home Entertainment's Platinum Series double-disc release of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the image offers a near-perfect presentation of cinematographer Daniel Pearl's lush photography, save for some serious signs of edge-enhancement. Likewise, the English DTS-ES Surround Sound audio mix provides an eerie and effective grab bag of directional effects in addition to providing an ideal showcase for the shrieking, room-shaking buzz of the ever-familiar saw. Other audio options include English Dolby Digital EX 5.1 and English Dolby Digital Stereo Surround, with optional English and Spanish subtitles. As with their other Platinum Series releases, New Line has seen fit to include an abundance of extra features that, though slightly repetitive, will certainly have fans swooning. Starting off the extras, three audio commentary tracks cover the "Production," "Technical," and "Story" aspects of the feature, and it won't take viewers long to get the drift that there may have been a few too many cooks in this kitchen. From the revelation that the man driving this project is none other than The Bachelor and Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? producer Mike Fleiss to the admittance by the director that he has never seen the original film, the "Production" commentary is something of a mixed bag; and, while the "Technical" commentary provides interesting, detailed information regarding the photographic and special-effects techniques used in the film (the latter of which is covered more comprehensively in the "Chainsaw Redux: Making a Massacre" featurette), it's the "Story" commentary that offers the most compelling listen, with actors' comments and script changes offering a depth that may have been somewhat lacking in the final product. The aforementioned feature-length making-of documentary "Chainsaw Redux: The Making of a Massacre" offers production insight from such contributors as producer Michael Bay and executive producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form, a chilling glimpse at an all-too-eager Andrew Bryniarski (Leatherface) as he gets onto character and freaks out the actors, and an exciting look at what might have been one of the bleakest horror endings ever committed to celluloid had screenwriter Scott Kosar had his way. Male lead Eric Balfour's hilarious exit on the last day of shooting must be seen to be believed. "Severed Parts" offers an intriguing look at footage that was left on the cutting room floor; although an alternate opening and closing (complete with S.W.A.T. team raid on the family farm) certainly aren't missed in the final product, a few omitted character revelations as well as some excised violence offer a glimpse at a film that would have truly gone for the throat (or crotch as it may be). Viewers in search of a real scare, however, need look no further than "Ed Gein: The Ghoul of Plainfield," a short documentary covering the shocking true-life atrocities that inspired the film. The phrase "truth is stranger than fiction" has rarely rung more true than here, and though much of the featurette is presented with cheesy stock footage, the story of Ed Gein is still powerful and frightening enough to resonate through the somewhat hokey execution. Shot-on-video screen tests for stars Jessica Biel, Eric Balfour, and Erica Leerhsen offer testament to the power of a scream thanks to Leerhsen's formidable shriek, and a handful of trailers (including producer Michael Bay's original audio-only preview) offer a fun look at the film's promotional campaign. A music video for the Motograter song "Suffocate" exposes the new Texas Chainsaw's nu-metal roots, and potential filmmakers get a crash course in production thanks to such DVD-ROM features as script-to-screen comparison and a storyboard viewer. Rounding things out nicely is a bloodstained envelope ominously labeled "Evidence Enclosed," containing numerous grainy, black-and-white stills of chainsaws, mallets, items made from human body-parts, and other chilling images.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jeremy Wheeler
Marcus Nispel's remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a valiant effort to bring Hollywood horror back to its grisly roots, though for all its brilliant photography and brutal intensity, the remake ultimately crumbles under its pandering to the new audience to which it's obviously catering. Where there were once disturbing, unsettling images juxtaposed with sly social relevance, the story is now reinterpreted into a nasty tale of ugliness that, while still chock-full of scares, is void of the shocking, under-your-skin feel that Tobe Hooper's original continues to instill decades after it dug into society's subconscious and changed horror films forever. That said, it's unfair to compare the two films too much, as even the last two dismal Chainsaw flicks were basically remakes of their archetypical ancestor, though the fact remains that producer Michael Bay and company refused to fully grasp why the first film still manages to resonate years later. If their idea was that the original was scary because it had elements stemming from real life weirdo Ed Gein, then why throw in the puritanical slasher ideals in the early moments, immediately separating the viewer from fact to popcorn-loving movie fiction? The answer undoubtedly goes back to the post-Scream youth culture which the filmmakers are nurturing, resulting in an annoying ploy that immediately singles out the perfect-bellied and curvaceous Jessica Biel to be the final survivor in a situation in which not one character should be safe. Thankfully, the rest of the film doesn't fall into too many more stereotypical pitfalls, but it's exactly that sort of thing that makes this mean fright flick far less gonzo and more a by-the-numbers slasher. That said, there are some high points to the flick -- the first being the original cinematographer Daniel Pearl's return behind the camera for this Leatherface epic. His painterly eye does wonders with the budget and lends this horror film an unbelievable look, thanks to his 30-plus years of experience in the field (even if it'd been over ten years since his last feature). It's the feel he brings to the piece mixed with the truly gnarly imagery of the picture that gives the film the uniqueness by which it can live up to the high standard under which it's labeling itself. Another class act with the film is the cast, namely Andrew Bryniarski as Leatherface. Hitting a near home-run as the unstoppable killing machine, the newest chainsaw chopper surprisingly shines in a few subtle moments sure to remind you of the crazed, multi-dimensional work of his earliest predecessor, Gunnar Hansen. Another relief is the young cast members themselves, who tend to not fall into the atypically horrible modern genre acting, with Biel handling her own as the film's newest scream queen and the rest of her crew pulling their weight with the all-too-real mayhem erupting around them. R. Lee Emry also shows up for more of his hilarious foul-mouthed schtick, this time turning in a much more macabre role that is more akin to the outrageous performances known in the series. It's too bad, then, that things just aren't pointed in the right direction. The film works as a modern gore-fest, but loses sight of the original's integral pieces, such as incredibly unnerving sound design, non-music-video-style editing, and frankly, a madman like Hooper at the helm. Better thought of as just another revisionist sequel than a direct remake, Nispel's Texas Chainsaw is better than the jaded horror fan would think, scary-as-hell to any newbie looking for a nasty time, but ice ages away from the original.

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Product Details

Release Date:
03/30/2004
UPC:
0794043703126
Original Release:
2003
Rating:
R
Source:
New Line Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital Surround EX]
Time:
1:38:00
Sales rank:
60,527

Special Features

Closed Caption; Bonus items: Removable metal faceplate and evidence file with crime-scene photos; Three feature-length commentaries on the Production, Story and Technical aspects of the film, featuring producer Michael Bay, director Marcus Nispel, actors Jessica Biel, Eric Balfour, and more; Alternate opening and ending; "Severed Parts": Deleted scenes documentary on what was cut from the film and why; "Chainsaw Redux: Making a Massacre": Comprehensive feature-length documentary covering the film's origins, casting, and production through makeup, film scoring, marketing, and fan reaction; "Ed Gein: The Ghoul of Plainfield": Shocking documentary on the real killer that inspired the film; Screen tests featuring actors Jessica Biel, Eric Balfour, and Erica Leerhsen; Art galleries featuring production and "Leatherface" concept art; Original theatrical trailer; TV spots; Motograter "Suffocate" music video; DVD-ROM content: Script-to-screen, storyboard viewer, link to original website and more

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jessica Biel Erin Hardesty
Jonathan Tucker Morgan
Erica Leerhsen Pepper Harrington
Mike Vogel Andy
Eric Balfour Kemper Hardesty
Andrew Bryniarski Leatherface
R. Lee Ermey Sheriff Hoyt
David Dorfman Jedidiah Sawyer
Lauren German Teenage Girl
Terrence Evans Old Monty
Marietta Marich Luda May
Heather Kafka Henrietta Sawyer
Kathy Lamkin The Tea Lady
Brad Leland Big Rig Bob
Mamie Meek Clerk
John Larroquette Narrator
Andrew Prine The Old Man

Technical Credits
Marcus Nispel Director
Jeffrey Allard Executive Producer
Michael Bay Producer
Greg Blair Production Designer
Stacy Brownrigg Sound/Sound Designer
Matthew Cohan Associate Producer
Ted Field Executive Producer
Lisa Fields Casting
Mike Fleiss Producer
Randy Fletcher Asst. Director
Andrew Form Executive Producer
Brad Fuller Executive Producer
Scott Gallagher Art Director
Scott Martin Gershin Sound/Sound Designer
Kim Henkel Co-producer
Tobe Hooper Co-producer
Steve Jablonsky Score Composer
Scott Kosar Screenwriter
Bobbie Mannix Costumes/Costume Designer
Gregory Nicotero Makeup Special Effects
Daniel Pearl Cinematographer
Pat Sandston Associate Producer
Glen Scantlebury Editor
Scott Stoddard Makeup Special Effects
Guy Stodel Executive Producer

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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Disc One
1. Introduction [2:48]
2. August 18, 1973 [5:37]
3. "They're All Dead" [4:59]
4. Pit Stop [4:38]
5. Old Crawford Mill [5:57]
6. A Short Walk [8:34]
7. Wrapping Up [4:48]
8. Vestiges [3:56]
9. "Bring It!" [4:49]
10. Detained [9:22]
11. Face to Face [5:24]
12. "Poor Sweet Boy" [4:45]
13. "Finish It" [5:52]
14. Basement Escape [7:43]
15. Slaughterhouse [6:34]
16. Rescue [5:44]
17. Epilogue [1:05]
18. End Credits [5:27]

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