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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre [Collector's Edition] [2 Discs] [DVD] [2003]

Release Date:03/30/2004
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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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    96% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (135 out of 141)

    Special Features

    • 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
    • Closed Captioned


    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
    One of the most infamous horror films of the 1970s is revisited in this remake produced by action-spectacle maven Michael Bay. In the summer of 1973, four teenagers -- Erin (Jessica Biel), Morgan (Jonathan Tucker), Kemper (Eric Balfour), and Andy (Mike Vogel) -- are driving through Texas on a road trip when they pick up a hitchhiker, Pepper (Erica Leerhsen), who is on her way to Mexico to score some dope. With Pepper adding to the party atmosphere, the other four decide to join her, but as they're passing through a small town in Travis County, they see a bloody and distraught girl (Lauren German) wandering by the side of the road, and after stopping to help her, they realize she's been involved in something horribly traumatic. As the kids try to help the girl piece together the story of what happened, they find themselves drawn into the web of a murderous family of subnormal cannibals. Inspired -- like the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Psycho, The Silence of the Lambs, and Deranged -- by the crimes of Wisconsin multiple murderer Ed Gein, this remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre also features narration by John Larroquette, who narrated the original film (it was his first screen credit), as well as supporting performances by R. Lee Ermey, Andrew Prine, and Andrew Bryniarski. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Jessica Biel
      Jessica Biel - Erin Hardesty
    • Jonathan Tucker
      Jonathan Tucker - Morgan
    • Erica Leerhsen
      Erica Leerhsen - Pepper Harrington
    • Mike Vogel
      Mike Vogel - Andy
    • Eric Balfour
      Eric Balfour - Kemper Hardesty

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.