Blu-ray+3D review: “Texas Chainsaw” trades slash for suspense

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Sharing the always uncertain enticements of fellow fiends Jason and Freddy, Leatherface’s main draw, or in the case of this latest “Texas Chainsaw” installment, downfall, is that he begs to be taken out of his box every decade or so and played with.

And while director John Luessenhop clearly illustrates his passion for the original chain gang, pulling in frames of familiar elements, his suspense-sans-slash execution provides little to loyalists looking for the cult classic’s proverbial punch. Revamps are always tricky beasts, pitted with the thankless tasks of dually bringing in new viewers, while pandering to the past. And when unsuccessful, even partially as is Luessenhop’s, the story sees a fate not unlike the scattered limbs littering Leatherface’s done-to-death chop-shop floor. An audience of the uninitiated may revel in Chainsaw’s new psychological twists and 3D technology, but steadfast saw stalkers will find this pass has run out of gas.

What this disc has got going for it is a slew of special features that autopsy the franchise well; both past and present, from three enviable commentaries that neatly sew up the segmented franchise into a full face, to a cellar full of featurettes. The “Texas Chainsaw Legacy” featurette touches on topics such as the effects of the original film on cinema in the 70’s, the effect it had on the actors involved – both past and present – and what this recent revamp means for the franchise. In kind, the featurettes “Resurrecting The Saw” and “Casting Terror” equally parrot those same themes, with interviews from the cast and crew. For the production process conscious, a generous amount of attention is paid to the film’s set and special effects in the “Old Homestead,” “Leatherface 2013,” “Lights, Camera, Mayhem,” and “It’s in the Meat” featurettes, exploring the creation and implementation of the film’s gory special effects, its attention to detail in the recreation of the Sawyer family farmhouse, while aptly supplying nods to both Dan Yeager – the actor who portrays Leatherface in this latest revolution – and the 3D technology utilized throughout. And though none of the featurettes top the clock at over fifteen minutes for each segment, eager fans who can’t get enough of Chainsaw’s gruesome stuff should be bursting at the seams. So though this attempt sees a familiar face, its makeup is woefully out of place, as “Texas Chainsaw” relents most of its well-known hook.

Studio Synopsis: “Texas Chainsaw” continues the legendary story of the homicidal Sawyer family, picking up where Tobe Hooper’s 1974 horror classic left off.  In Newt, Texas, people have been going missing without a trace for decades. Years later and hundreds of miles away from the original massacre, a young girl, Heather (Daddario), discovers that she has inherited a sprawling Texas estate from an unknown grandmother.  To claim her estate, Heather goes on a road trip with her friends to Newt, but learns that wealth comes at a price when she discovers the horror that waits in the cellar of her new mansion.

dvd texas chainsaw geek 300x358 Blu ray+3D review: Texas Chainsaw trades slash for suspense Studio: Lionsgate
Running Time: 92 minutes
Rating: R
Number of Disks: 1

Special Features:
- Audio commentary with producer Carl Mazzocone and filmmaker Tobe Hooper
- Audio commentary with director John Luessenhop and actor Dan Yeager
- Special “Chainsaw Alumni” audio commentary with stars Bill Moseley, Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns and John Dugan
- Texas Chainsaw Legacy Featurette: A look back at the history and 40 year legacy of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series with filmmaker Tobe Hooper
- Resurrecting The Saw Featurette: A look at the development of Texas Chainsaw with Director John Luessenhop, Producer Carl Mazzocone and Writers Adam Marcus, Debra Sullivan, Kirsten Elms and Stephen Susco
- The Old Homestead Featurette: A detailed look at the re-creation of the shooting location from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre with Production Designer William A. Elliott and cast members (and Chainsaw series alumni) Bill Moseley, Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns and John Dugan
- Casting Terror Featurette: Interviews with the cast including Alexandra Daddario, Trey Songz, Tania Reynolds, Keram Malicki-Sanchez, Scott Eastwood, Sean Sipos and others
- Leatherface 2013 Featurette: An interview with Leatherface actor Dan Yeager on his interpretation of this legendary role, along with a look at the creation of Leatherface’s costume, mask and signature chainsaw
- Lights, Camera, Mayhem Featurette: A look at the film’s 3D photography with Director of Photography Anastas Michos along with a look at the creation of several sequences from the film
- It’s in the Meat Featurette: An detailed look at the film’s grisly special make-up effects with Make-Up Effects Supervisor Robert Kurtzman, and Make-Up Artists  Alex Diaz and Mike McCarty
- On-Set Short Subjects: Five Minute Massacres
   *Burning Down The House
   *Trapped in the Van
   *Carnival Time
   *Leatherface In Action
   *Hot Times In Louisiana
   *Bloody Good Times

Additional Resources:
Central Cast: Dan Yeager | Alexandra Daddario | Trey Songz | Scott Eastwood | Tania Raymonde | Shaun Sipos
Director: John Luessenhop
Central Writers: Adam Marcus | Debra Sullivan
Theatrical Release: January 4, 2013
Blu-Ray/DVD Release: May 14, 2013
Genre: Horror | Thriller
Supporting Cast and more Writers found HERE

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