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Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation – Collector’s Edition (1994) - Blu-ray Review

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Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation - Collector's Edition

Renée Zellweger.  Matthew McConaughey.  A bizarre chainsaw wielding family.  Leatherface.  The Illuminati.  Wait, wait, wait.  WHAT!? 

We were warned.  We didn’t listen.  This movie was always going to come out on Blu-ray and now, after months of preparation, the end (or is the beginning) is near.  The Next Generation has arrived, but this isn’t Star Trek.  What it is, though, is something incredible: we all are going to have put on big boy pants for this movie.  Why?  BECAUSE WE WERE WRONG.  Absolutely.  Truthfully.  110% wrong.  Unless, of course, you were ALWAYS on its side, defending it against all the HATE out there.

And the film begins with the hottest and reddest pair of lips the series has ever seen.  Scream Factory has, as they promised, finally delivered to us the film that can divide horror audiences in half – with or without a gassed-up chainsaw – like no other.  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation is upon us and it is a thing of beauty.  Green eggs and all.  BUT, you must watch the Director's Cut.

"Scream Factory has, as they promised, finally delivered to us the film that can divide horror audiences in half – with or without a gassed-up chainsaw"


Love it or hate it, this film – the fourth in one of the wackiest film franchises in horror history – FINALLY gets an honest release.  I mean, if you are ever going to fall under this movie’s spell, then it is going to be here with Scream Factory’s 2K restoration of Kim Henkel’s $141,000-grossing REMAKE of Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Starring Lisa Marie Newmyer and Tyler Cone as Barry, this horror film – presented here in a HD Theatrical Cut and a SD Director’s Cut – is simply NOT what its Rotten Tomatoes score suggests it is: campy trash.  The film, and I agree with Joe Bob Briggs on this one, is far scarier and better than its maligned legacy suggests it is.  Just watch the Director’s Cut (and try not to whine to terribly because it is in standard definition) and tell me otherwise.

The film features one hell of a crazy performance from McConaughey as a pure hillbilly psychopath.  In fact, McConaughey as Vilmer, the older brother to Leatherface (Robert Jacks), and his performance is so off the charts INSANE that the initial reactions were wildly NOT in his favor.  Truth will out, though.  McConaughey NAILS this performance and, yes, it works in putting us at unease with unpredictability.  “RUN! RUN! RUN!” Maybe, just maybe, we were not ready for the full McConaughey.

And all this yacking about a crossdressing Leatherface just needs to stop.  Again, this turn (and turn again) in the context of this horror movie, provides a nice contrast to the leg brace heaviness of McConaughey, whose performance is a disturbing portrait of anything but a “silly boy” asshole.  Add to that Tonie Perensky as Darla and Joe Stevens as W.E. Slaughter and you have one hell of a memorable family.

Oh yeah.  Remember?  The Illuminati is in this flick and they, as it is suggested, are the ones pulling the strings of the shitstorm that is this murdering clan of psychopaths.  They show up in the final minutes of this movie as sort of puppet masters to the real horror that lurks among the car wreckage in this fictionalized version of a too far gone and out eastern Texas.  But why?  Merely to preserve serious horror it seems. 

Filmed during one of the greatest cinematic BOOMS in Austin, Texas – we’re talking the period of time that produced Dazed and Confused and El Mariachi Henkel’s film features a lot of the same crew members of those films and, with the look and feel of the original always in mind, he and his crew shot this film with the purpose, as explained in the supplemental material, of getting the series back on track. 

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation - Collector's Edition

Are there unresolved problems here with the script?  Oh, yes, just ask the pilot who saves the day from the sky.  He saw what?  And HOW?!  And the whole secret society connection doesn’t quite work, coming across as maybe a little too X-Files-ish for this festival of horror schlock. 

But Henkel’s film, operating as a horror sequel, is not the piece of shit movie you’ve been reading about.  It just isn’t. plain and simple.  The attacks are strong, the kills are twisted; the effects are practical; and, HELL, that first appearance of Leatherface on the front porch while Heather has her back to him?  Christ.  It STILL haunts me . . . as does the unchoreographed assault and struggle in the house (which ends with her in a freezer)!

Maybe this release from Scream Factory will cause you too to reconsider your initial reaction to Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation.  Let the screaming begin!

3 beers

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation - Collector's Edition

MPAA Rating: R for demented mayhem and torture, and for strong language.
Runtime:
95 mins
Director
: Kim Henkel
Writer:
Kim Henkel
Cast:
Renée Zellweger, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Jacks
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
The Buzz Is Back!
Memorable Movie Quote: "You see, I can't leave. He's got this implant in my head and all he has to do is hit a button and BOOM! Just, BOOM!"
Theatrical Distributor:
New Line Cinema
Official Site:
Release Date:
October 7, 1994 (limited)
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
December 11, 2018
Synopsis: When a helpful family invites two lost couples in for a good ol' down-home massacre, the prom night teens find themselves all dressed up ... with no place to escape.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation - Collector's Edition

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- December 11, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: None
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Scream Factory gives genre fans exactly what they want with this release.  We get two SCREAMING versions of the film, albeit one in standard definition, as well as some good textures to boot.  Presented in a strong 1080p transfer, the film has never before looked this crisp. Colors are vivid and fine details are noticeable. The desert skies are a true azure and the land is full of lush browns and spotted greens. Skin tones are warm. Occasionally, the red tones overcompensate in some areas, but a sharp-looking release nonetheless. The faithful English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is an incredible accompaniment to the feature. Great sound textures and crackling dialogue throughout. In other words, all of the screams – from Leatherface, too – can be heart reverberating throughout your house.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • See Special Features.

Special Features:

Two Cuts Of The Film

  • The Theatrical Cut (87 Minutes - HD)
  • The Director’s Cut (93 Minutes - HD With Standard Definition Inserts)

 

  • NEW Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Kim Henkel (On Director's Cut)
  • NEW The Buzz Is Back – An Interview With Director Of Photography Levie Isaacks
  • NEW Marked For Death – An Interview With Actor Tyler Shea Cone
  • NEW If Looks Could Kill: The Return Of A "Chainsaw Massacre" – An Interview With Special Makeup Effects Artist J.M. Logan And Production Designer Deborah Pastor
  • Theatrical Trailer

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation - Collector's Edition

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