The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre is finally being released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, nearly 50 years after the Tobe Hooper-helmed horror classic made its controversial theatrical debut.
Dark Sky Films is releasing a director-approved 4K restoration of the film, with nearly seven hours of bonus content, on Feb. 28, 2023, at a suggested retail price of $44.98. A Steelbook edition is priced at $54.98.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre terrified audiences when it was released in a politically and socially tumultuous America in 1974. Facing a storm of controversy, censorship and outcry, the film is now considered a landmark motion picture and cultural milestone.
The film follows a group of young friends (played by Marilyn Burns, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain, William Vail and Teri McMinn) who while roadtripping through Texas in a van who fall victim to a bizarre family of cannibals — including a huge masked madman known as Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) who always has a gas-powered chain saw at the ready. The shocker originated many elements of the slasher genre, including the use of power tools as murder weapons, a hulking faceless killer, a desolate rural setting, and the sadistic slaughter of innocent young victims.
Upon its initial theatrical release, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was banned in several countries, and many theaters in the U.S. stopped showing it due to complaints about its violence. But the low-budget film was hugely successful, grossing more than $30 million domestically, and is now regarded as one of the most influential horror movies. It led to a franchise that continued the story of Leatherface and his family through sequels, prequels, a remake, comic books and video games.
Disc one of the new Dark Sky Films release includes the 4K UHD feature film and four commentary tracks: from writer-producer-director Hooper; Hooper with actor Hansen and cinematographer Daniel Pearl; actors Burns, Danziger and Partain with production designer Robert Burns; and Pearl, editor J. Larry Carroll and sound recordist Ted Nicolaou.
Disc two features the film on regular Blu-ray Disc, along with a new, never-before-seen feature-length documentary, The Legacy of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and several featurettes. These include “The Cinefamily Presents Friedkin/Hooper,” a conversation about the film between Hooper and The Exorcist director William Friedkin; “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Shocking Truth”; “Flesh Wounds: Seven Stories of the Saw”; a tour of the TCSM house with Hansen; “Off the Hook with Teri McMinn”; and “The Business of Chain Saw: An Interview with Production Manager Ron Bozman.” Also included are deleted scenes and outtakes, a blooper reel, trailers, vintage TV and radio spots, and more.