Texas Chainsaw 3D Blu-ray Review
The prologue picks up right after the 1974 events, which started with a van full of hippie teenagers and ended with Leatherface swinging his beloved power tool wildly in the sun. The cops and other townspeople hunters have tracked down the maniac and his family to their isolated farmhouse. Not content with a mere arrest and trial, the party sets the house ablaze, leaving the clan to burn alive.
Cut to present day, where a twentysomething named Heather Miller (Alexandra Daddario, who was nominated for something called the Best Scared-as-S**t Performance at the MTV Movie Awards) gets word that her grandmother has left her estate solely to her and that her cousin is none other than Leatherface, which would have made for some horrifying Thanksgiving gatherings. And wouldn’t you know it, Heather, along with her boyfriend (R&B singer Tremaine Neverson) and best friends (Tania Raymonde, ABC’s LOST; Keram Malicki-Sánchez, IRVINE WELSH’S ECSTACY), hop in a van and head to Texas, where the inheritance—namely a mansion—awaits.
John Luessenhop’s (2010’s TAKERS) TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D may start where Tobe Hooper’s original left off, but it doesn’t even get close to the effectiveness of it. Leatherface (Dan Yeager, taking the skin mask from Gunnar Hansen, in addition to four other imitators), even in his 60s(?), is still up to his tricks, firing up the ol’ chainsaw and hanging intruders on meat hooks. This is old hat and so not scary to anyone who has seen him do it dozens of times before. That said, more loyal fans are rewarded with some nice nods to the original: Leatherface’s older brother, Drayon aka The Cook, is played by Bill Moseley (taking over for Jim Siedow, who played the role in the first two TCM movies but died in 2003), who portrayed Chop Top in TCM 2; final girl Marilyn Burns makes a cameo as Heather’s grandmother; the sheriff is named Hooper, after originator Tobe.
TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D is the first TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE entry released in 3D and the seventh overall. For those trying to figure out where TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D sits in the franchise’s timeline, it exists in an alternate universe than the Platinum Dunes reboots—something we can all envy. It also disregards TCM 2 (1986), TCM III (1990) and TCM: The Next Generation (1994). (The fact that TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D is set nearly 40 years after the events of the original and yet Heather is only in her 20s still doesn’t add up.)
TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D, even with the gimmick (admittedly more welcome than Smell-O-Vision, what with the rotting corpses and decades-old meat), does nothing to reignite interest in the series. In actuality, the only scares here come from the clips of the original that open this entry. Even the Atari 2600 game had more frights.
TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: 2.40:1 in 1080p with MPEG-4 AVC codec. This high-definition transfer of TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D boasts fine details throughout and a look that adds to the atmosphere. In addition, although much of the movie takes place at night, none of the characters or scenarios are muddled in such exteriors.
Audio: English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio; English 2.0 Dolby Digital; Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio. Subtitles in English and Spanish. This is a very effective audio soundtrack, with high-pitched screams, revving chainsaws and various ambient noises all coming through with commendable range.
Audio commentary with director John Luessenhop and actor Dan Yeager: Luessenhop and Yeager give a decent commentary, although they spend far too much time commenting on what’s onscreen.
Audio commentary with producer Carl Mazzocone and filmmaker Tobe Hooper: Mazzocone and Hooper, who come from different TCM generations, sit down to discuss both versions and elements of the genre.
Special “Chainsaw Alumni” audio commentary with stars Bill Moseley, Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns, and John Dugan: This is a bit of a crowded track that may have worked better as a documentary, but the alumni have a fine chemistry that make the track a light-hearted listen.
TEXAS CHAINSAW Legacy (6:46): This featurette gathers a number of interviewees to discuss the significance and influence of the original TCM.
Resurrecting the Saw (9:13) jumps ahead nearly 40 years to focus on bringing TC 3D to the screen.
The Old Homestead (14:50) looks at how the Sawyer residence was recreated for TC 3D to match the one in the original movie.
Casting Terror (12:18): The primary cast (including Alexandra Daddario, Tremaine Neverson and more) share their thoughts on their characters and experiences working on the movie.
Leatherface 2013 (14:53) zeroes in on Dan Yeager, who portrays Leatherface, a character he says is “unique in the pantheon of horror icons.”
Lights, Camera, Massacre (11:31): Here, crew members discuss utilizing 3D, something that had never been used for a TCM movie.
It’s in the Meat (7:49) looks at other (gory) special effects used in the movie.
On Set Subjects: Five Minute Massacres: There are six behind-the-scenes featurettes compiled here, which can be viewed separately or as a whole: “Burning Down the House,” “Trapped in the Van,” “Factory Action,” “Leatherface in Action,” “Hot Times in Louisiana,” and “Bloody Good Times.”
An Alternate Opening (3:21) and the Theatrical Trailer round out the special features.
Also included is a Digital Copy and UltraViolet.