The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (18) release from 1974 was meant to be one of the scariest films of all time, and with it being converted onto Blu-Ray, it should look even better. But unfortunately that couldn’t be any further from the truth.
Obviously this was made 35 years ago so at the time it could have been seen as scary, but I found myself to be laughing more than being scared. The acting in this film is beyond appalling and I couldn’t have cared less if the characters died or not. From annoying, whiny voices that only a five-year-old kid would make, to constant screaming that is completely unnecessary and hair pulling annoying.
Anyhow, in case you weren’t aware of the storyline, here we go. A group of friends are on a road trip and pass by the farm where a couple of the group grew up. So they stop by the house, which is abandoned, and a couple of them decide to go find the nearby watering hole/pond/bit of water to jump in. Upon getting there, they find it dried up, but see a house just beyond that. So, of course, they go snooping around and want to see if the people in the house have any spare gas (petrol). Then the killing begins.
To say this has been converted over to Blu-Ray, I was quite disappointed with the quality. I know it’s an old film but I’ve got other films that are almost as old that have been converted much better. There’s lots of grain on the picture and the dark scenes don’t have too much clarity to them. If they wanted to keep the authentic feel to the film and keep it looking old then they should just keep it on DVD. But on the other hand, this was filmed on an old 16mm camera that wasn’t state of the art so this could be the reason the picture quality is like it is.
The picture is poor, but the sound is really good. I only played it through my TV and not surround, but it was still a crisp sound which I was quite impressed with. But on the downside, it made the screaming even more annoying, but the sound of the chainsaw was cool and did help in adding a little bit of atmosphere to a dreary film.
This is the saving grace of the Blu-Ray edition of the film. The actual movie is only 80 minutes long, but you get over 4 hours of extras which include two feature-length commentaries from some of the cast and crew. There’s even a tour around the house that was used in the film with Gunnar Hansen who played the original Leatherface. I found this really interesting as he goes into what was used where and certain things they could and couldn’t do as the house was being rented by someone whilst they were filming. They show the house in 1993 and again in 2000 when it’s been turned into what looks like a B&B. Of course, there’s the token deleted scenes, alternate footage, outtakes and trailers. I’m a bit of a nerd so like my extras, and it’s good to see to people behind the film talk about how the film was made.
Overall, I know this is an old film and is regarded as a classic and was a benchmark for horror films in later years, but in today’s day and age, this has passed it’s sell-by-date. If you’re a big fan of the film or even think it’s an okay film and like your extras, then I would recommend this film. But if like me, you like something a bit more from horrors, then I’d probably go for the remake which has lots more gore and it quite creepy.
The ‘Seriously Ultimate Edition’ of Texas Chainsaw Massacre is available on Blu-Ray from 16th November and will cost you around £13.99.
2.5 out of 5
Danny ‘Ender’ Martin has been part of the Zath team from pretty much the very beginning since he met Zath himself at Leeds Met University whilst studying Business IT. He’s an avid gamer and a big film buff. Danny graduated from the University of Bradford with a degree in Computer Animation and SFX and now currently works at one of the biggest UK games developers, which will hopefully see some of his ideas hit the gaming world.