The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is 40 Years Old

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is 40 years old. How do I know this? I received the 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition in the mail.  Go figure.

(I’m also giving away the Limited Deluxe “Black Maria” Collector’s Edition box set)

The box set contains four discs–two DVDs and two Blu-rays–and four audio commentaries, including two with director Tobe Hooper. If you like that kind of thing.

The box set also contains a slew of featurettes, deleted scenes, trailers, outtakes and more. If you like that kind of thing.

Me, personally? I’m all about the movie. And thankfully, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre still holds up incredibly well… perhaps even better than I recall from the last time I watched it many moons ago.  While the acting is a little suspect in a few places (oh well), the movie is still as creepy as all get-out and gets increasingly disturbing as the story develops. Time often doesn’t do movies like this any benefit–watch certain “greats” from the 1990s and they’ll already come off as incredibly cheesy–but The Texas Chain Saw Massacre overcomes its weaknesses, primarily thanks to just how raw it is presented.

The innocent teens who get massacred may be generic and over-acted, but the craziness they encounter is still so crazy, so gritty and so straightforward that doesn’t really matter. Hollywood continues to try to recapture the magic of movies like this (I am a fan of the Jessica Biel remake, by the way) and typically fails, because the craziness or rawness feels forced, fake or overly stylized. No one will ever saw The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is overly stylized.

This 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition “appears in an all-new 4K digital transfer and with a newly created 7.1 surround sound mix,” whatever that means. What I do understand is that even in DVD format (my Blu-ray player is in the other room and I was too lazy to get up from my chair), the movie looks terrific, much better than I thought it could. If you care about that kind of thing.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is 40 years old. Which means that if you grew up loving this movie, you’re getting old. And that if you don’t already own the movie, now may be the right time to invest in a copy. But mainly, it just means that you’re getting old.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: DVD Releases, Featured, Horror Movies