The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

25th Anniversary Special Edition

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Details At A Glance

Category Horror Theatrical Trailer(s) None
Rating Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 1974 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 83:25 minutes Other Extras None
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Movie
Region 1,2,3,4,5,6 Director Tobe Hooper

Force Video
Starring Marilyn Burns
Paul A. Partain
Edwin Neal
Jim Siedow
Gunnar Hansen
RRP $34.95 Music Tobe Hooper
Wayne Bell

Pan & Scan/Full Frame None MPEG 2.0 
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Dolby Digital 2.0 
16x9 Enhancement No Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192Kb/s)
English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, 192Kb/s)
English (MPEG 2.0 , 192Kb/s)
English (MPEG 2.0 mono, 192Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Macrovision ? Smoking Yes
Subtitles French
Annoying Product Placement Yes, mildly
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a horror classic which started the whole "slasher" genre. Made on a shoe-string budget by Tobe Hooper, it was revolutionary in its time, though age has not been kind to this movie, and it is relatively naive and tame by today's standards.

    Sally (Marilyn Burns), her invalid brother Franklin (Paul A. Partain),  and her friends Jerry (Allen Danniger), Kirk (William Vale) and Pam (Teri McMinn) are off to visit a family grave in a graveyard that has been desecrated. Their troubles begin when they pick up a hitch-hiker (Edwin Neal) who is somewhat unbalanced...

Transfer Quality


    According to the packaging, this transfer has been "painstakingly restored from the original 16mm ECO negative", however this transfer is very ordinary indeed by any standards.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. It is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer severely lacks definition and is quite blurry throughout, making the image very hard to look at, particularly early on in the movie. Shadow detail is poor, and occasional low level noise intrudes into the image. One thing I will say for this transfer is that there is little in the way of film grain present in the final image, which is surprising given the 16mm source material.

    Colours were faded and muted. Some of the intensely blue scenes at night showed some chroma noise, but generally colours were too faded for this to be much of an issue.

    MPEG artefacts were seen on occasion and were of two types; the typical MPEG background blockiness, and also some odd motion blur which was not attributable to motion blur, but rather to MPEG motion compensation artefacts. This is despite the bit rate of this transfer being right up at the 10Mb/sec maximum data rate of DVD.

    Film-to-video artefacts were rare, though there was some telecine wobble during the opening credits. Some video artefacts were present in the image, consisting of video dropouts in the image - these exhibited themselves as white lines across the image periodically - they were more frequent during the latter half of the movie, and were quite distracting, especially since this type of artefact is so rarely seen on DVD. Film artefacts were present, but never to a particularly distracting extent.


    There are four audio tracks on this DVD; English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded, English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (original soundtrack), English MPEG 2.0 surround-encoded, and English MPEG 2.0 mono (original soundtrack). I listened to the English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack, and also sampled the original Dolby Digital mono soundtrack.

    Dialogue was muffled, distorted and indistinct throughout, making it hard to understand what was going on. Comparing the original and the remastered soundtracks reveals that a significant amount of hiss has been removed from the remastered soundtrack, though the limited frequency response of the original soundtrack remains.

    There were no audio sync problems with this transfer.

    The music by Tobe Hooper and Wayne Bell is eerie and unusual, adding to the effect of the movie nicely.

    The surrounds were used unevenly and rarely. Some rare ambience and music made its way into the surround channel, but generally the soundtrack was front-and-centre only, with some panned monaural special effects being placed to the left and right of the image.

    The .1 channel had very little use with this soundtrack.


    There are no extras on this disc.


    A small menu animation is used between menu images.

R4 vs R1

    The Region 4 version of this movie misses out on;     The Region 1 version of this film is the version of choice, though from my reading of online reviews of this DVD, it appears as if the image and sound quality are no better than the Region 4 version.


    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre  is a classic movie that is worth at least a rental.

    The video quality is poor, though this can mainly be attributed to the source material.

    The audio quality is poor, though once again this can be attributed to the source material.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Demtschyna
24th December 1999

Review Equipment
DVD Toshiba 2109, using S-Video output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 4:3 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer