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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A review specific to this Blu-Ray edition
For a film that has been the subject of more DVD editions than most, a Blu-Ray release was inevitable, but do we really need yet another edition, (a seriously ultimate edition no-less)?
Well, despite my initial scepticism, I'd argue that this latest release is actually quite justified.

Personally, I'm not always convinced that older, lower-budget films...
Published on 15 Feb 2010 by A.M. Reade

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shame...
Ok, the picture and sound are excellent, however, the disc is missing a few of the special features listed on the back cover. There are no deleted or alternative scenes, and there is no posters, lobby cards section. This may sound petty but seriously second sight, how did this get past QA? Shame because the US region free disc contains both of these features and it's...
Published on 9 Jan 2010 by I. Vaughan


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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A review specific to this Blu-Ray edition, 15 Feb 2010
This review is from: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre - The Seriously Ultimate Edition [Blu-ray] [1974] (Blu-ray)
For a film that has been the subject of more DVD editions than most, a Blu-Ray release was inevitable, but do we really need yet another edition, (a seriously ultimate edition no-less)?
Well, despite my initial scepticism, I'd argue that this latest release is actually quite justified.

Personally, I'm not always convinced that older, lower-budget films really benefit much from the hi-def treatment, and with its grainy 16mm picture, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre hardly seems like an ideal candidate for such a presentation.
So, the transfer on this latest Blu-Ray edition comes as something of a revelation. Yes, the picture is heavy with film grain and obviously it doesn't have the striking sharpness of a modern blockbuster and yet, the remastering has been so remarkably well done, with such richness of colour and surprising clarity of detail, that even within the circumscribed limitations of the source material, the hi-def format is a very fitting showcase for such a great presentation. Audio too is well-served with a choice of 5.1 DTS, stereo, or the original mono soundtrack.

As for the film itself, it hardly needs stating that it is one of the pioneering classics of modern horror cinema. Like Night of the Living Dead, another low-budget independent production, it has clear commercial considerations, but is elevated somewhat by how well constructed it is. The cinematography and art direction in particular are quite startling. Like many American films, it exploits the country's fear of it's own rural lower-class and explores the idea of dark secrets and depravity lurking beneath a veneer of homely familiarity - themes that were quite prescient at the time even if they've since become a little clichéd. Overall though, it has aged well and is still a powerful viewing experience.

Extras are ported over from the previous DVD version and consist of a generous offering of documentaries, interviews and 2 commentary tracks.
Unlike another reviewer here, my disc contained the deleted scenes, (although they are fairly inconsequential and brief) but is missing the stills and posters gallery. This is the only flaw though on an otherwise fine edition.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seminal horror movie and an essential DVD upgrade, 14 May 2013
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This review is from: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre - The Seriously Ultimate Edition [Blu-ray] [1974] (Blu-ray)
If you want to know how effective TCM is as a horror movie, consider this: director Tobe Hooper was aiming for his film to be given a PG rating, the finished product having little bad language or gore. Instead it was subject to censorship around the world, with the BBFC's director James Ferman declaring that he had a "problem" with the film and refusing to pass it for an 18 certificate. Having your horror movie banned largely on the strength of the atmosphere it creates is high praise indeed. It's interesting to consider why the original "chainsaw" is so more effective than the recent sequels, all of which had the advantage of a higher budget, glossier production and so on. For me, it's very much a case of "less is more". The sparse direction, mundane but creepy dialogue and characters and the low-tech discordant soundtrack all build up a feeling of dread long before Leatherface makes his first appearance, and the basic camerawork and grainy 16mm look add to the realistic documentary feel. The "fish out of water" scenario worked just as well for Alien as it did for this film - in rural Texas, no one can hear you scream. When the horror finally kicks in, it's unrelenting - the suffering of Sally Hardesty is the classic "female in peril" plot device turned up to eleven, and it's this that so upset James Ferman. Technically speaking, this blu-ray release is a significant improvement on the DVD. The HD transfer certainly betrays the film's low-budget origins - the transfer is grainy and uneven with the occasional scratch, but it's sharp and colourful and looks much better than the standard-definition picture. This is probably the best the film will ever look, short of a full-blown theatrical restoration. For sound you have the choice of the original mono track (presented as centre-channel Dolby Digital), stereo PCM, or remixed DTS 5.1. Purists will want to stick with the mono track, but the surround effects on the DTS track are nicely done. It would have been good to have the latter in HD lossless format, but given the limitations of the source material you're not really losing anything. It's worth mentioning that the audio tracks do not appear to suffer from the missing audio cues that affected the Dark Sky DVD release. A comprehensive selection of extras rounds off the package. Overall this is a great release of an essential piece of 70's horror, and a worthy upgrade to previous DVD versions.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A landmark film, 30 Mar 2004
By A Customer
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is undoubtedly one of the scariest films ever made and its raw power remains undiminished to this very day. Made in the hot wastelands of Texas in 1974 with an incredibly low budget, director Tobe Hooper (Poltergeist) has somehow created a genuine fright machine which changed the face of the horror genre completely. The story revolves around a group of teenagers being chased, terrified and murdered when they stumble upon a canabilistic family in the countryside. The main character, Leatherface, has become one of the most notable villians in cinema history; his remorseless killings were loosely based on real life 1950's Texan murderer Ed Gein. You will know already whether this sort of film is for you - if you enjoy slasher thrillers and behind-the-seat suspense, this is the ticket. I stress however that this does not come beautifully presented or has special effects - it is filmed much similar to that of a documentary and is often described as 'gritty'. But don't let this put you off - this actually adds to the realism of the situation and makes it a much scarier experience. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a classic of its generation and deserves to be part of any respectable film collection. Just don't watch it alone.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who will survive and what will be left of them, 5 July 2007
By 
Having seen most of the very best horror films as a youngster in the 1980's, I never got to see this until it was finally lifted from it's ban in 1999 and I have to be honest, when I did see this for the first time, I was a little disappointed, I am now convinced that the reason for this was because of all the hype and the fact that I had waited such a long time to see it plus I watched it in the daytime (not a good idea for a horror film of this quality). I say this because everytime I have watched it since that disappointing first time, I find it more scary on every repeated viewing and I seem to appreciate it more and more as up until about two years ago (at the time of writing) this wasn't even in my top ten horror films, it definitely is now and it will probably stay there for the rest of my life.

This film has such a depressing and grim feel to it and to me this is all the scarier for it as a horror film, it is probably for this reason that some people find it boring because I did on first viewing. if like me you are a huge fan of horror movies and was disappointed with this on first viewing, not because of the lack of gore (if that is all you are interested in then watch the remake) but because it just didn't somehow do it for you, then I would urge you to watch this a few more times late at night as you might just change your opinion about it, I am sure if I can then other people can (I can't be that unique).

For me, it is the all less is more that makes this film scary and from the moment that the youngsters stop and investigate the ghost town like house in the unbearable heat of Texas, I always get a creepy feeling that someone is watching their every move and this is because of the genius directing of Tobe Hooper, I have seen the remake of this and don't find it anywhere near as tense and claustrophobic as this original, then there is that unforgettable ending, in my opinion this is the greatest last 3 minutes to a horror film ever.

It is no coincidence that most of the scariest horror movies are low budget and this is another one of them because most of the actors look tired and depressed because at the time of filming they really were and this is to their credit that they worked so hard to make this the classic that it now is. A little tip to any director that wants to make a classic horror movie, over produced means less scary, watch this as an example. OUTSTANDING HORROR.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of few horror's that make a town look real, 17 April 2002
By A Customer
What I really liked about this film personally was that it painted a real picture of life in Texas. Rather then trying to make it unreal for Hollywood by adding little touches like thunderstorms and owls hooting in the dark, it kept its unique realistic charm by setting the scene in a humid farming community which I think(Along with its advertising slogan "It happened!'')adds to the fear of the film.
You may think that judging by what I have said that the killing scenes are realistic to.
In a way they are in that there is no corny chase music like in most slasher films. The closest you will get to music would be the occasional clash of the symbles to catch you off guard.
The actors do a pretty good job to, you can feel the closeness between them.
But more importantly the portrail of fear and abandonment by friends before they are killed off in a desserted farmhouse in the late afternoon is on top form as well.
With that said I recommend this film to those with real respect for horror classics as it is the closest idea of how dysfunctional familys in America can get.
It is sadly not done justice by the sequels which were basically made just to flaunt messy kills by a now legendary killer, which I hope was not Tobe Hoopers original intention.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Version We've Been Waiting For, 6 Jan 2009
By 
John Wilfers (Dublin, Ireland.) - See all my reviews
I've been a fan of this movie for years and this is far and away the best version we've ever had of it. From the second I put the DVD on, I knew it was something special. The titles, usually a bit blurry, were pin sharp in this restored, remastered version and the voice-over sounded like the narrator was sitting right next to me because of the Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.

I didn't like the picture quality on the Universal release a few years back and I thought the version I'd recorded off the TV was of better quality. That's all history now with this version. The colours and sound are now so vivid, it's like watching a new movie. You can hear the cars whizzing past in the background as Franklin tries to go to the bathroom by the roadside and the eerie soundscape Tobe Hooper created sounds even eerier now. The chainsaw has a real growl to it that it didn't have before. They've finally dug out the movie that's been hiding all these years in inferior, scratchy prints.

"The Shocking Truth" documentary from the Universal release is included again here, at the end it says that Teri McMinn and cinematographer Daniel Pearl wouldn't or couldn't be interviewed. The good news is that in this release there are new interviews with Teri and Daniel Pearl, so we finally get the complete picture from all participants. There are some hilarious anecdotes about marijuana in "The Business of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre" interview.

Forget all the other versions of this movie. This really is the Seriously Ultimate Edition. They've made a great film even greater. Crack out the Headcheese, relax and prepare for one hell of a ride.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Original and Best...A Classic, 4 April 2005
By 
Techie Glenn (Leicestershire, England) - See all my reviews
Tobe Hoopers classic film is finally done justice with this release. Firstly at the point of writing it may be prudent to address a small problem on this page. The Amazon review here is (or possibly 'was' by time this is posted) referring to the remake, not the original that is on sale here.
Made on an ultra low budget, this film is a superb example of how to make a horror film. The first half of the film rakes up the tension like the climb up to the top of a roller coaster then we are dropped mercilessly into one of horrors most sustained assaults on the senses.
The furore that surrounded this film when it first came out was astounding and by today's standards the film can seem relatively tame to jaded (or CGI spoiled) eyes being as it is much less explicit than many films now. However for those who care to allow themselves to be immersed in this film it can be one of the most terrifying experiences a film can offer.
Where it lacks in on screen gore it more than makes up for with the quality and imagination of the filming and particularly the editing which makes the violence feel strikingly real. The feeling of impact during some of the films most notorious scenes is enough to make even the most seasoned horror film fan wince and all this is done with barely a drop of onscreen blood being spilled. The fact that this film is relatively bloodless should not put any splatter fan off of this because despite this it is still incredibly strong stuff and is more effective in many ways for not attempting the horrific 'money shot' which often, even with the best of intentions and the highest budgets, fail to live up to their full potential. Incidentally, the lack of bloodshed of screen was a decision made by Hooper in an attempt to get a PG certificate from the MPAA (the uber-strict American counterpart to our BBFC); a rather extraordinary (and somewhat amusing) aim considering the ferocious nature of this film.
Now one of the most common criticisms of this film is levelled at the Actors. Well admittedly none of them was likely to be given a certain gold statue for their performance but then how many low budget films, especially in the horror genre, could afford that kind of talent. Even those who did appear in these films in those days tended to change their names for the sake of some anonymity. So yes the acting is by and large shaky but let's face it, SO WHAT! It doesn't stop many people watching soap operas. This said, the performances from Ed Neal (The Hitchhiker), and Gunnar Hanson (Leatherface) are superbly over the top and Marilyn Burns as Sally Hardesty is rightly one of horrors iconic screaming victims, how the hell she could ever talk again after filming this is WAY beyond me.
Now for the inevitable bit, the comparison to the remake. Well, I most definitely side with the original release, why, because it is superior in so many ways. The remake had a relatively huge budget thrown at it and it shows. Too much attention was spent on aesthetic and not enough attention on content, style and film craft. It felt as if a producer said "let's make it more gory", sadly it lacked the rawness and energy of the original and it certainly looses out in the key performances. Leatherface certainly felt very two dimensional in the remake to the point where you can imagine the director saying to the actor "Here's your motivation. You're the bad guy, you wanna chop teens up for the hell of it" whereas with Gunnar Hanson's portrayal there was much more (dare I say it) subtlety, depth and indeed characterisation.
But now back to this release... This special edition is a welcome and well packaged release. Of particular note are the retrospective docco on the making of the film and the excellent and often amusing commentary by Hooper and Hanson. The other features are also very impressive including the excellent selection of deleted scenes that make for fascinating viewing.
This, for me, is the best release of this film. Packed with extras as a bonus to an excellent, landmark horror film I can't recommend this enough to any serious horror film fan.
Your collection is woefully inadequate and incomplete without it
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the ultimate TCM, 4 Nov 2008
By 
I love New York (Not in New York) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the great horror movies.

Filmed in the 70's on a shoe string budget it comes across as it is meant to as a grimy and sleazy shocker.

The usual bad acting in places doesn't matter one bit as you get drawn in knowing you are watching one of cinemas legendary films. It will shock you how little blood is actually shown on the film.

This is a fantastic edition with some amazing extras and the steel book looks great. I just hope that they have now covered everything and this is the last run.

5 Stars and please no 8 disc mega definitive edition next year.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HD is the future!!, 4 Dec 2006
By 
Gordon C. Tait (OSNABRUCK, OSNABRUCK Germany) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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If you're a fan of this film then this is the copy to have. My other "digitally remastered" copy was what I regarded as the definitive...until I saw this! The 2-disc set comes in a magnificent metal case with fantastic atrwork. There's heaps of extras, although most of them are on the other releases but still a few new features. And the best part is the HD quality and 5.1 remix. The colours are noticably deeper and the detail is more than one thought possible from a film shot on 16mm. You can see every little detail with a very wide tonal range. As for the film, it's still a classic and way ahead of its time. There's no film with such a claustrophobic atmosphere. This is the ultimate edition for sure until the DTS version is released. Buy it now!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HORRIFIC AND TERRIFIC..., 4 Nov 2003
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I first saw this this low budget horror film on the silver screen when it was first released in the nineteen seventies. I went to see it with my then husband and spent most of the film cowering under my jacket. I remembered it as one of the most frightening films that I had ever seen.
Time has jaded me somewhat, as I was able to watch it the film the second time around without resorting to cowering under my jacket. Of course, the second time I saw it was on my television screen and not a giant theatre screen, which probably helped. It is still, however, one of the most frightening films ever made.
Based upon a true story of a nineteen fifties psycho named Ed Gein, the film has a quasi-documentary feel to it with its grainy footage and cast of virtual unknowns. The film is a visual cornucopia of terror and horror, though there is actually very little gore shown on screen. The unusually macabre sets and the relentless sound of the chainsaw bandied by Leatherface are enough to make the viewer tremble.
The storyline is simple. A group of five teens set off in their van and end up in a rural area, where two of the teens, Sally and Franklin, a brother and sister, are checking out some of their family history. Unfortunately, they come across a house inhabited by one heck of a family of crazies. From the moment they do so, the viewer is taken on a heart-pounding, one-of-a-kind film experience. Deftly directed by Tobe Hooper, this low budget film is a masterpiece for its genre. It is simply one of the scariest and best horror films ever made. Bravo!
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