Story: It’s the summer of 1973 & 5 unsuspecting youths are about to stumble into a living nightmare. After picking up a mysterious hitchhiker, things go from bad to worse as these 5 friends are stalked by a local madman & fall victim to the texas chainsaw massacre.
The Film Itself: This new redux version of the cult classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre was a pleasant surprise. It’s best to not know anything about it going in, and even if you have seen the original, the plot has been changed enough to give you some surprises. The spirit & unsettling mood of the original are still present, yet on it’s own, the film manages to be a very successful horror film, delivering suspense, gore & some good scares. Director Marcus Nispel’s visual eye is what really makes this movie as good as it is. For example, the shot in the suicide scene is like nothing I’d ever seen before. All of the actor’s involved really delivered as far as realism to their relationships and emotion. Andrew Brynarski’s portrayal of Leatherface is one of the meanest, most brutal versions of him on film. He knows exactly what he’s doing and he genuinely enjoys & takes pleasure in the horrible things he does. Die hard fans of the original (such as myself) might feel at a lose for the lack of the family & cannibalistic elements, as well as the deletion of the original’s dinner sequence; but that’s reason enough for people to go back & watch the original.
Special Features: New Line does another great job on their Platinum series DVD. This is one of the coolest packages for a disc I’ve seen. The metal face plate is a great collectible & the package folds out to look like a saw. Also included is a case file folder featuring notes, pictures and reports from the “crime scene”. All this and we haven’t even popped in disc 2 yet! This is one of those rare discs where you really should watch every feature on here, because they’re all highly entertaining. The deleted scenes are presented in a featurette with director Marcus Nispel talking about a deleted subplot & why some of these scenes were dropped. The gory kills are included in this feature, along with before & after comparisons. ‘Chainsaw Redux: Making A Massacre’ is a very extensive 90 minute making of special, which covers every aspect of the movie, starting with the history of the original right up to the release of the new film. Everyone involved in the film is interviewed & if anything, it makes you appreciate more what these filmmakers were attempting to do with their Chainsaw movie. Other features include some conceptual artwork & all the trailers and TV spots. (including the great almost all black teaser shown at the fango con a few years back, dubbed here at the “Michael Bay” teaser). The first disc sports 3 commentary tracks. I only watched the one with the director, producers & actors & it was a decent commentary track. It sounds as if it’s edited in from interviews session. Go buy this disc now. Seriously. Best Buy had run a promotion where if you buy the new Texas Chainsaw on DVD, you could get the original for free. Look into it. – robg.