Director: Tobe Hooper
Cast: Dennis Hopper, Caroline Williams, Jim Siedow
Release Date: Available On Collector’s Edition Blu-ray April 19, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 9/10
In 1974, horror fans rejoiced upon the release of Tobe Hooper’s masterpiece, The Texas Chainsaw 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!
Please Note: For comparison purposes we have included (nearly) duplicate screenshots from both of the included HD masters of the film. For each pair, the top image represents the New 2K HD Scan (Disc 1) with the bottom image representing the Original HD Master (Disc 2).
Tobe Hooper’s game changing sequel ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2’ arrives home on Blu-ray once again; this time in what will almost surely be the definitive edition as Scream Factory delivers a wonderful 2-disc Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release certain to impress. The sequel, which was released more than a decade after the original was unleashed on moviegoers everywhere, follows a local radio DJ who inadvertently becomes the target of Leatherface and the rest of the sadistic cannibal Sawyer Family after being used as bait by a Texas Ranger who has a personal connection to the original killings and is prepared to take whatever steps necessary in order to take down this clan of murdering psychopaths once and for all.
Initially met with notable dislike from critics and fans alike, largely due to the fact that this sequel has no qualms allowing itself to be an all-out incredibly dark comedy with gore to spare, even released in theaters unrated (back when such things were doable) as opposed to making the drastic cuts that would be required to appease the MPAA’s criteria for an R rating. Nowadays, the film has actually become quite the cult classic with fans praising its sadistically goofy nature and many considering it one of the very best entries in the franchise. Those folks in particular should be absolutely thrilled to discover that Scream Factory has pulled out all the stops for this fantastic 2-Disc Collector’s Edition release of ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2’ providing fans a truly impressive release.
Fans of both the franchise and simply this entry in particular will almost surely want to make certain to pick up a copy of Scream Factory’s 2-Disc Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release of ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2’ to add to their collections. Featuring impressive high definition video presentations and fairly decent audio presentations, along with a truly impressive collection of bonus content spread between the two discs and including a number of classic extras in addition to some brand new goodies created specifically for this release such as an all new Audio Commentary with Director of Photography Richard Kooris among others, new Interviews with the creative team and a whole lot more (more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below). Altogether it should likely make this generally exceptional release a definite must own for many of the fans.
Overall, this is a generally outstanding release and should easily be the definitive edition of ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2’ on Blu-ray. Including both the original HD master and a new 2K HD scan from the interpositive film element (hence the comparison screenshots we’ve included for those who missed the note at the top) in addition to a magnificent collection of bonus content including hours upon hours of great extras both old and brand new to this release. For those who don’t yet own the film, this is definitely the edition of ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2’ on Blu-ray to pick up, and many fans who already own the film on Blu-ray will probably want to consider double dipping.
Scream Factory’s Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release of ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2’ features 2 high definition transfers of the film. The first disc features a full 1080p High Definition presentation from a new 2K HD Scan from the interpositive film element and utilizing the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The second (or Bonus Features) disc also includes MGM’s original HD master supervised by Director of Photography Richard Kooris, also presented in a full 1080p High Definition presentation and utilizing the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. Please note that this review pertains primarily to the new HD transfer included on the first disc, although we have included screenshots from both of the included HD masters for comparison purposes. As noted above, the top image for each pair is taken from the new 2K HD scan and the second from the original HD master. The (new) high definition video presentation looks pretty great as a whole, delivering a sharp and detailed presentation which holds up beautifully throughout, even during the numerous darkly lit and/or fast paced sequences and never resulting in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, the new 2K HD scan provides a fairly impressive high definition video presentation that should easily please the fans.
The Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release features both a lossless 5.1 channel and a 2.0 Stereo DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. As per usual, I opted to view utilizing the 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack which sounds pretty decent although does suffer from a few noticeable flaws. The crucial audio elements are always crisp and clean, with all dialogue perfectly audible and never conflicting with other auditory elements which may be occurring simultaneously. The surround activity is for the most part accurately placed, although some center channel elements (most noticeable with dialogue) tends to find itself mildly echoing throughout the rear channels while also oddly cutting in and out in the rear during certain sequences. While the 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is still perfectly clear and not overly noticeable in its faults, watching with the 2.0 stereo DTS-HD MA track which is also included as an option may be the best way to go for this one. Overall, while the 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack has some issues, it sounds pretty decent overall, and the option of the lossless 2.0 stereo soundtrack is also available.
Scream Factory’s Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release of ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2’ includes an impressive collection of supplemental material and while the second disc is labeled as the ‘Bonus Features’ disc, please note that both discs include a number of extras. In order to simplify where to track each extra down, we’ve listed the bonus content below, separated by disc.
Included on the first (or Feature Film) disc is the new 2K HD Scan of the feature film from the interpositive film element, along with three separate Audio Commentary tracks; the first a New Audio Commentary with Director of Photography Richard Kooris, Production Designer Cary White, Script Supervisor Laura Kooris and Property Master Michael Sullivan. The second Audio Commentary with Director Tobe Hooper, and the third with Actors Bill Moseley, Caroline Williams and Special Effects Makeup Creator Tom Savini. Also included on the disc are ‘It Runs in the Family Extended Outtakes’ (running approximately 30 minutes in length), a ‘Behind the Scenes Footage Compilation’ (running approximately 44 minutes), an ‘Alternate Opening Credit Sequence’ (approximately 2 minutes), plus a number of ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the film including the infamous Night Hunting sequences (approximately 11 minutes altogether), 2 ‘Theatrical Trailers’ (2 minutes altogether), numerous ‘TV Spots’ (3 minutes altogether), and a number of ‘Still Galleries’.
Included on the second (or Bonus Features) disc is the Original HD Master of the Feature Film which was supervised by Director of Photography Richard Kooris, along with the Feature Length Documentary ‘It Runs In The Family: The Making of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2’ (running approximately 1 hour, 22 minutes), in addition to ‘House of Pain: Interviews with Makeup Effects Artists Bart Mixon, Gabe Bartalos and Gino Crognale) (approximately 43 minutes), ‘Cutting Moments with Editor Alain Jakubowicz’ (17 minutes), and ‘Behind the Mask with Stunt Man and Leatherface Performer Bob Elmore (14 minutes). We are also treated to ‘Horror’s Hollowed Grounds’ which revisits a number of the filming locations from the movie (25 minutes).