Film Review: Fantasia Celebrates Leatherface 40 Years Later

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a remastered version of the film has come out, and it is pretty awesome! The restoration of the film contains a 4K scan and a newly re-mastered 7.1 soundtrack, along with a few other features that I imagine will bring curious genre horror fans to the theaters upon its release. I know that was the case Wednesday night. The film sold out at rapid speed with tons of fans patiently waiting in line, all 698 seats were filled at the Fantasia premier of the remastered film.

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Director Tobe Hooper was there and accepted the Fantasia lifetime achievement award and stuck around after his film for some Q&A with the audience.  I had the pleasure of a brief encounter with the horror legend, and director, who seemed very nice and timid, not what you may expect from the mastermind that created one of the scariest films ever made which became the staple for many horror genre movies to follow, through the decades.

Some of his other movies include Poltergeist, Salem’s Lot and Night Terrors. Since the original screened back in ’74 there have been numerous sequels to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, none in which Hooper directed, but they were nothing in comparison to the original. Mind you it is very rare that a sequel even comes close to the original.

“I haven’t seen The Texas Chainsaw Massacre  (’74) on the big screen for many, many years. This 40th anniversary restoration is absolutely the best the film has ever looked. The color and clarity are spectacular, displaying visual details in the film that were never before perceptible. The newly remastered 7.1 soundtrack breathes new life and energy into the film. I am very much looking forward to audiences experiencing this film as they never have before.” — Tobe Hooper

 

If you’re a true fan of horror movies, I’m sure you have seen The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Even if you have, definitely check out this remastered version; it’s quite an experience to see a movie four decades old that is so fresh and riveting on the big screen.

Inspired by real life serial killer Ed Gein, Hooper created the film, with a smart script and a small budget using documentary-style camera work.  In it, five teenagers hit the road in Texas.  Two of them, Franklin Hardesty (Paul A. Partain) and his sister Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns), are there to visit their grandfather’s grave.  Burns who has been in a few other horror films over the years could have easily been the scream queen of her generation after her flawless, terror-driven performance in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

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The gang makes a stop off at the wrong farm and encounter a grotesque family gone awry. With the decay of the economy leaving the family unemployed and directionless, the father and sons start using their previous  job skills acquired at the slaughterhouse of butchering animals to hacking up travelers. It’s only a matter of time before each teen encounters the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface.

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“Pure and simple, a horror genre masterpiece, 40 years later and still delivers spine-tingling fear in its audience.”-Debra Heather

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre played at Concordia Theatre Hall located at 1455 Boulevard de Maisonneuve Ouest on Wednesday July 30th at 9:45.

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