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This sensational, extremely influential, 1974 low-budget horror movie directed by Tobe Hooper (Poltergeist, Lifeforce, Salem's Lot), may be notorious for its title, but it's also a damn fine piece of moviemaking. And it's blood-curdling scary, too. Loosely based on the true crimes of Ed Gein (also a partial inspiration for Psycho), the original Jeffrey Dahmer, Texas Chainsaw Massacre follows a group of teenagers who pick up a hitchhiker and wind up in a backwoods horror chamber where they're held captive, tortured, chopped up, and impaled on meat hooks by a demented cannibalistic family, including a character known as Leatherface who maniacally wields one helluva chainsaw. The movie's powerful sense of dread is heightened by its grainy, semi-documentary style--but it also has a wicked sense of humour (and not that camp, self-referential variety that became so tiresome in subsequent horror films of the 70s, 80s and 90s). OK, in case you couldn't tell, it's "not for everyone", but as a landmark in the development of the horror/slasher genre, it ranks with Psycho, Halloween, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. --Jim Emerson
Tobe Hooper's original classic in the most feature-packed edition ever available wotj 5.1DTS, 20PCM and remastered original mono audio mixes, commentary with director Tobe Hooper, cinematographer Daniel Pearl and actor Gunnar Hansen, commentary with actors Marilyn Burns, Paul A Partain, Allen Danziger and art director Robert A Burns, The Shocking Truth documentary, Flesh Wounds documentary, a tour of the TCSM house with Gunnar Hansen, an interview with Tobe Hooper and writer Kim Henkel, Off The Hook documentary with actor Teri McMinn, The Business of Chainsaw documentary with production manager Ron Bozman, deleted scenes and outtakes.