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Texas Chainsaw (Blu-ray Review)

Well, whether you wanted it or not, you got another Texas Chainsaw “Massacre” film.  Many say this was to erase the puddle of mud that was Michael Bay’s bastardized attempt back in 2003, but quite honestly…I liked that one, Milo and all.  So what’s this latest incarnation about?  Good question!  And I’m really glad you asked because that’s what we are gathered here to talk about today.  Supposedly, this time around this one, Texas Chainsaw without the ‘Massacre” in the title, is a direct sequel to Tobe Hooper’s 1974 classic.  And yeah…if you buy that one I also sell you on the fact that Superman Returns was a direct sequel to the legendary Superman II too.  But whatever, toe-may-doe toe-ma-doe, let’s get going here because I don’t have all day, at least not for this fill in the (blankety blank adjective of your choice) title.

Texas Chainsaw 2

Film 

So as I mentioned above…like it or not…buy it or not…Texas Chainsaw continues the legendary story of the homicidal Sawyer family, picking up where the 1974 classic left off…blah, blah, blah.  Many, many years later after an extensive Act 1 flashback scene that tied in the events of the 1974 classic with what the town folk really did to the Sawyer family we finally meet Heather, Alexandra Daddario, who discovers that she has inherited a huge estate in Newt, Texas from an unknown grandmother.  Now let me stop right here for a brief second.  You all know where I’m going with this.  You can’t tell me you didn’t see my score for the film above.  Alexandra is the best thing about this movie.  If nothing else, she is pure eye candy and I’d watch just about anything to see her again.  Now with that being said, the rest of the movie is complete shite.  I wish I could just stop the review right here, but alas…it’s my job and civic duty to be a verbal guardian of justice and deliver you this Blu-ray review.  Oh how I could just wish I could deliver you from evil, spare your pain and save you from wasting your time on this one.  Let my words be my hammer, my truth and ultimately your deterrent.  I pray for you.

So where was I?  Oh yeah!  To claim her estate, Heather goes on a road trip with three other friends that you couldn’t care less about to discover her inheritance, a Texas mansion.  But like most of us, even ones born with silver spoons in their mouths, Heather quickly discovers that wealth comes with a few strings attached and a very high price tag.  She and her dumb a$$ friends eventually discover the horror that has been waiting a long time ago in the basement cellar.  Let the fun begin.  Hooray!  Hoorah.  It’s like lighting a firecracker and nothing happens.  What a dud!

Really…what it all boils down to is this.  My score of 1.5 above essentially equates to the following.  Alexandra’s presence scores the film a point.  And I’ll give half a point for the filmmakers successfully getting this out in the theaters.  They have to be the smartest men in the world to get people to waste their hard earned money on this garbage.  I didn’t buy into the hype and all the negativity regarding this film when it was released theatrically.  In fact, I was bummed that I missed the press screening for it.  How’s that for irony?  However, I did hear rumblings that there was a twist involved in the film that some filmgoers actually liked.  I was curious about that.  Again, let me be the guardian of the galaxy for you my dear readers.  The twist in here isn’t all that.  You probably have seen more drama and suspense in a Tom and Jerry cartoon.  If you have any sense, you’d stop reading this review right now and take up knitting.

So I wouldn’t really be doing my job if I didn’t at least mention the filmmakers and who’s who in all this mess.  The butchery of this film lies with the script written by Debra Sullivan and Adam Marcus.  I’m not kidding you when I say this is something that I, as the amateur I am, could easily write in a night or two.  It was directed by John Luessenhop and I guess is the seventh film in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, this time in gimmicky 3D.  In addition to Andrea it stars a bunch of people you’ve probably never heard of such as Dan Yeager, Tania Raymonde, Thom Barry, Paul Rae, Tremaine Neverson and surprisingly, Bill Moseley.  And thank God for the 3D gimmick as the ticket sales actually covered the film’s 20 million dollar budget.  Sheer brilliance!  Let’s write a horror film that’s “horrible” and slap 3D on it and make some money.  Heck…now that I think about it that way, why not?  Easy money, yo!

I guess I should also mention that 1974 veterans Marilyn Burns, John Dugan and Gunnar Hansen, the original Leatherface, make appearances in this one too.  But so what?  They don’t make it any better.  Poop is poop.  You can spray all the deodorizer on it you want, but it’s still going to stink at the end of the day.  Hey now, maybe that’s why they didn’t release this in the summer.  Can you imagine the smell of poop on a hot summer day?  I know I wouldn’t want to.  There simply were no scares, the kills were all too sudden and boring and quite honestly, and I mean this with all respect, Leatherface was an old fart.  It was like seeing Rocky Balboa as a boxer again at age 70.  Hey now!  Maybe that is possible for Rocky, but no one wants to see that.  Ha ha.  Okay…maybe I do.  At the end of the day it all boils down to this.  Say what you want about the Michael Bay production in 2003.  I know this in my heart to be true.  That is an absolute masterpiece and holy shrine compared to this one.  Maybe we need a breath of fresh air in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise.  YOU THINK?!!!  Are Christopher Nolan and David Goyer available?

p.s. There is an after credit scene and actually…it’s probably the best scene in the film.  LOL.  No kidding.

Texas Chainsaw 4

Video 

Things get downright mean, gritty and visceral on this 1080p MPEG-4 AVC video encode from Lionsgate.  But relax!  I mean that in a good way!  Detail and sharpness are not always the best they can be in this 2.4:1 aspect ratio presentation, but I was very pleased with this video transfer, unlike the film itself.  I don’t have technology that’s capable of 3D playback, but you can definitely see what scenes were meant for the 3D format.  You can’t tell me that chainsaw thrown at the camera was deliberate, can you?  Haha.  Skin tones all looked natural, colors, although muted at times, popped off the screen throughout and black levels all appeared acceptable.  The print was free of debris, noise and artifacts.  My only complaint was some halos in the red colors you saw on the walls down in the cellar.  You normally see them on HD Digital Downloads, but rarely this obvious on the Blu-ray format.  That’s the only reason why the score isn’t the highest it can be here.  And oh…did I mention that every scene that Daddario is in is Blu-ray at its finest?  Well, I did now!

Texas Chainsaw 3

Audio 

The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio surround track is a loud, ferocious and aggressive one as can be expected from a horror title like this, especially given the subject matter, but I had one minor complaint.  It was hard to hear dialog a few times and as a result I feel I could not warrant a perfect score.  How about a near perfect score?  The fact of the matter is the surround audio was more atmospheric and scary than the feature film itself.  It rocked in all aspects as it put you in the middle of the action, no matter how minimal and downright dull it was.  And the chainsaw!  Aw the sound of that sweet sweet chainsaw.  You have to love it.  The ferocity of the gas-propelled chainsaw was what kept me in the film.  Hearing that revving noise was like the sound of beautiful orchestra music to this horror hound’s ears.  If Texas Chainsaw was just Leatherface running around with a running chainsaw for 90 minutes, then maybe it wouldn’t have been that bad.  I’m kidding.  Haha.  Or am I?  You can also find Dolby Digital 5.1 in Spanish and English and Spanish subtitles too.

Texas Chainsaw 1

Extras 

Oddly enough, say what you want about the film itself, there’s no denying it shines in the A/V departments and also in the Special Features too.  Now I have a bone to pick.  I can’t get enough of the constraint supply of extras on my favorite Blu-ray release of the year, Django Unchained, but you mean to tell me for a stinker of a movie like this we have the extraordinary plethora of supplements as listed below?  Not fair!  Not fair at all.  Okay.  I feel better.  I just had to get that off my chest.  All in all this is quite an impressive package below.  You have two separate audio commentaries, digital copies, a 3D version and more docs than you may know what to do with.  Enjoy these!  They are better than the film.  That’s for sure!

  • Audio commentary with producer Carl Mazzocone and filmmaker Tobe Hooper – It’s interesting hearing Tobe Hooper speak, but do you really want to sit through this again?
  • Special “Chainsaw Alumni” audio commentary with stars Bill Moseley, Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns and John Dugan – Like I said above, ditto.
  • Texas Chainsaw Legacy (HD, 6:46) – This featurette takes a look back at the history and 40-year legacy of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series with the brilliant Tobe Hooper.  I do admit to liking this one as he talks about the film he made when I just came out of my mom’s womb that year.
  • Resurrecting The Saw (HD, 9:13) – This featurette gives us an inside look at the development of the film with drector John Luessenhop, producer Carl Mazzocone and all the contributing writers.
  • The Old Homestead (HD, 14:50) – Here’s where we get to take a look at the re-creation of the shooting location from the 1974 film with crew, cast and series alumni.
  • Casting Terror (HD, 12:18) – Here we have interviews with the cast.  Can you guess which one I only care about?
  • Leatherface 2013 (HD, 14:53) –Here we have an interview with Leatherface actor Dan Yeager on his interpretation of the iconic role and a look back at the creation of the costume, mask and chainsaw.
  • Lights, Camera, Mayhem (HD, 11:31) – I found this one to be interesting, but only because I’m looking at it with a filmmaker’s eye.  It kind delves deep into the subject of 3D and the challenge of shooting scenes that way and the respective gear.
  • It’s in the Meat (HD, 7:49) – It’s a curious title, isn’t it?  Here we have a look at the film’s special make-up effects.  However, as we all know, even great effects can’t make a bad movie good.
  • On-Set Short Subjects: Five Minute Massacres (HD) – Here we get what it’s like to actually be on set and see everything unfold.  If you’re a filmmaker, you’ll actually like these.  They include Burning Down The House, Trapped in the Van, Carnival Time, Leatherface in Action, Bloody Good Times and Hot Times in Louisiana.
  • Alternate Opening (HD, 3:21) – Yep!  You guessed it…an alternate opening!  It’s actually a little bit more humorous, but of the same subject matter as our film we are discussing today begins with.
  • Theatrical Trailer (HD) – You really need to be reminded about what you just watched?
  • Blu-ray 3D – Oh yeah, in case I forgot to mention, there’s also the 3D version of the film housed on the same Blu-ray disc that everything else is on too.  How wonderful!
  • iTunes Digital Copy – Yea!
  • UV Digital Copy – Boo!

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Summary 

Let’s put it this way.  If poop had a younger brother it would be called Texas Chainsaw.  Did you notice they didn’t even put the word “massacre” in the film title?  To do so, in my humble opinion, would be an absolute massacre and insult to the 1974 legend.  Thank the Gods they had enough common sense in that regards.  Right?

So I have seen my share of bad horror movies this year and it goes a little something like this.  With Lords of Salem being the worst and Mama being third worst, this one claims my coveted second place finish.  Good work Texas Chainsaw.  You’ve earned it.  It’s not easy to suck that bad.

And ordinarily this is the section in the review where I try to sway you and encourage you to support our site by clicking the pre-order link below; I don’t want your money.  Keep it for some toilet paper or household goods that you may need.  There’s nothing you need to see here.  These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.  However, since the studio obligates me, there is a link below…if you so choose.  The fourteenth of May can’t come fast enough.  Not!  SKIP IT!  BURN IT!  SHOOT IT!  Whatever you do, DON’T WATCH IT.  You’ve been warned.

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Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

2 Responses to “Texas Chainsaw (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    That fact that all these people actually sat down to do a commentary for a film that shamefully ties itself to the original two is astonishing.

  2. Gregg

    This is the best review you’ve ever written. I loved it! Keep your money. Use it for some household goods. LOL! For what it’s worth, I too enjoyed the Michael Bay version.