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Sunday, April 17, 2016

TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 (Scream Factory Blu-ray) - The Buzzz is Blu-ray

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is my favorite entry in the series. I'm not sure I ever get flack for saying that though it certainly inspires a proper discussion. This opinion seems to get respect. I've heard that this movie isn't universally adored by all Horror fans, but I find that hard to believe.  It doesn't feel as though I'm fighting an uphill battle when I tell folks just how much I gush for TCM2. Trust me there are franchises with entries that are so divisive that you may as well  have told a vegan, you prefer the taste over veal to tofu.  If you tell folks that your favorite Halloween is Season of the Witch, you may get into a fight... a wrestling match...  or perhaps lose an appendage. You tell them your favorite TCM is part 2, they nod and then tell you why they love Next Generation more (you may not know how to respond to that just yet). I feel like I've written about this movie so many times, seen this movie so many times, recommended this movie so many times that it becomes hard to find new reasons to want to get someone into it. The challenge is in finding something novel to speak about when discussing TCM2, not that my love for it has grown weak or weary. In this case it's simple actually. We have a new Scream Factory Blu-ray out now that is loaded with cracked peppercorns for your enjoyment.

Now we saw a release from Arrow Video that was truly special of this movie not too long ago. It's out of print now, but it had special packaging and an abundance of extras. The transfer was beautiful. It was a true fan edition, and I want that simple fact to accentuate that as a fan of this movie I would feel compelled to own both the Arrow and Scream Factory editions for the same reasons. The SF transfer from the interpositive film element is excellent AND you also get the original HD Master from MGM With Color Correction Supervision By Director Of Photography Richard Kooris . Each of these transfers is unique and it's great to see them in one set. Both are clean and the generally undamaged with good black levels, contrast and color saturation. Having watched this movie on VHS and DVD previously, these transfers are a serious upgrade. Are they on par with the Arrow release in terms of transfer and resto? Sure are. Remember, I watch movies. I do not watch movies side by side with screen cap software... okay sometimes I do. Usually when someone points out minute flaws in a release that are barely noticeable to the naked human eye. When I'm doing this I'm trying to show folks just how hard it is to find the imperfection. I did not do the Pepsi challenge with TCM2. I didn't feel it warranted it because it looks damn good. I figured that was worth mentioning. You've got a Region A release here. The Arrow is Region B. If you're not Region Free, the choice has been made for you. If you are region free, buy both.  I want quality. I expect best effort and attention to detail that focuses on how the movie was supposed to look when released. We have that here. We have a great technical effort.

The extras are chock full of new goodies. We have a list of the newbies below, and a more complete list at the bottom of this review:

NEW Audio Commentary With Director Of Photography Richard Kooris, Production Designer Cary White, Script Supervisor Laura Kooris And Property Master Michael Sullivan
NEW Extended Outtakes From It Runs In The Family Featuring L.M. Kit Carson And Lou Perryman
NEW Behind-The-Scenes Footage Compilation From Tom Savini's Archives
NEW House Of Pain – An Interview With Makeup Effects Artists Bart Mixon, Gabe Bartalos, Gino Crognale And John Vulich
NEW Yuppie Meat – An Interview With Actors Chris Douridas And Barry Kinyon
NEW Cutting Moments – An Interview With Editor Alain Jakubowicz
NEW Behind The Mask – An Interview With Stunt Man And Leatherface Performer Bob Elmore
NEW Horror's Hallowed Grounds – Revisiting The Locations Of The Film – Hosted By Sean Clark Plus A Special Guest

Favorite new extra: Horror's Hallowed Grounds because listening to Sean Clark talk about shooting locations is funny and informative. He does a great job. Wait till you see who the special guest is (not spoiling it). Some of these extras feel downright obscure in nature, but fresh none the less. Commentary hounds will be happy to see three separate commentaries on the release. It Runs in the Family is a previously released 6 part, feature length documentary that is absolutely worth your time and probably my favorite extras on the set.

The release has newly commissioned artwork as well as traditional artwork on the reverse. I'm particularly fond of the new artwork. Hopper's eyes really pop and the exceptionally long chainsaw on the left hand side of the art looks cool.

As for the movie itself. Let's see. Why should I recommend that you should watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 if you haven't seen it already? I usually tell people that it's quotable with one liners spread neatly through the movie like a hot plate of Texas BBQ. The soundtrack is a favorite of mine. IRS Records really out did themselves with this one. Favorite track on the album is No One Lives Forever by Oingo Boingo. Beyond that TCM2 is filled with mayhem and gore that is simply beautiful and really goes for the gross out. There are scenes in this movie that make me a little queasy. I love them all. There are few stronger casts in all of the Horror-verse with strong leads in Caroline Williams, Dennis Hopper and Bill Moseley balanced with supporting actors that might as well be A listers. The radio station/invasion scene is still a favorite of mine in any Horror Picture. The new reason, the reason that I'm going to give you this time: Caroline Williams has the greatest legs ever touched by a chainsaw. You'll see just what I mean in the aforementioned radio station invasion scene.

When I was a kid I'd rent this movie all the time. When I would host all night Horror marathons at my house, I'd always try to find a way to sneak this movie in even though the goal was to watch new movies that we hadn't watched before (typically with T&A). The Breakfast Club homage on the cover always made me smile and was not lost on me. The opening synth hits and narrative concerning the back story for the movie hook you. It's amazing to me now that some of you will get a chance to watch this movie for the first time with the benefit of this kind of extra package and with proper transfers that will keep the picture from being way too dark. I can remember watching the movie when I was a kid thinking it was difficult to see certain elements in the secret family lair. The second half of the movie is dark. You'll never have to worry about missing a detail. You're all spoiled! Time to spoil yourself with Scream Factory's loving chili cook off winning Blu of a Doc Terror favorite.

You can order your copy now via Scream Factory or DiabolikDVD:
https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-horror/the-texas-chainsaw-massacre-2-collector-s-edition
or
http://www.diabolikdvd.com/category/Horror-[sl]-Thriller/Texas-Chainsaw-Massacre-2-(Scream-Factory)-(Blu~Ray).html

From Scream Factory:

THE BUZZZ IS BACK!

In 1974, horror fans rejoiced upon the release of Tobe Hooper's masterpiece, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The movie raised the stakes of in-your-face filmmaking and changed the face of horror. Twelve years later, Hooper and the Sawyer clan are back with this deviously entertaining sequel, starring Dennis Hopper in one of the most deliciously crazed performances of his career.

For a decade, Texas Ranger Lefty Enright (Hopper) has sought to avenge the brutal murder of his kin by the cannibalistic Sawyer family – Leatherface, Chop-Top, The Cook and Grandpa. With the help of a radio DJ (Caroline Williams), who's also bent on putting an end to the terror, Lefty finds his way to the Sawyers' underground slaughter shop, where a battle of epic proportions will soon rage... and the line between good and evil gets chopped to bits!
Bonus Features

DISC ONE:
NEW 2016 2K HD Scan From The Interpositive Film Element
NEW Audio Commentary With Director Of Photography Richard Kooris, Production Designer Cary White, Script Supervisor Laura Kooris And Property Master Michael Sullivan
Audio Commentary With Director Tobe Hooper
Audio Commentary With Actors Bill Moseley, Caroline Williams And Special Effects Makeup Creator Tom Savini
NEW Extended Outtakes From It Runs In The Family Featuring L.M. Kit Carson And Lou Perryman
NEW Behind-The-Scenes Footage Compilation From Tom Savini's Archives
Alternate Opening Credit Sequence
Deleted Scenes
Still Galleries – Posters And Lobby Cards, Behind-The-Scenes Photos, Stills And Collector’s Gallery
Theatrical Trailers
TV Spots

DISC TWO:
MGM's Original HD Master With Color Correction Supervision By Director Of Photography Richard Kooris
NEW House Of Pain – An Interview With Makeup Effects Artists Bart Mixon, Gabe Bartalos, Gino Crognale And John Vulich
NEW Yuppie Meat – An Interview With Actors Chris Douridas And Barry Kinyon
NEW Cutting Moments – An Interview With Editor Alain Jakubowicz
NEW Behind The Mask – An Interview With Stunt Man And Leatherface Performer Bob Elmore
NEW Horror's Hallowed Grounds – Revisiting The Locations Of The Film – Hosted By Sean Clark Plus A Special Guest
It Runs In The Family – A Six Part Feature-Length Documentary Featuring Interviews With Screenwriter L.M. Kit Carson, Actors Bill Moseley, Caroline Williams, Bill Johnson, Lou Perryman, Special Makeup Effects Artist Tom Savini

3 comments:

  1. Ed Gein was from Wisconsin and is suspected of several murders which took place between 1954 and 1957. He never used a chainsaw in the killing of his victims.

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  2. "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" based on a real-life event? Vague explanations are common and seem to be the stuff of urban legend. The quick easy answer to the question is no, the film does not depict an actual event. What it was that influenced the creation of the story told in the film and how it has come to be perceived as factual will be explored in this article. My Blog

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