Movie Review: Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation is based on characters created by Tobe Hooper. The movie was written and directed by Kim Henkel and stars Renee Zellweger, Matthew McConaughey, Tonie Perenski, Tyler Shea Cone, Lisa Marie Newmyer, John Harrison, Joe Stevens and Robert Jacks.

When a helpful family invites two lost couples in for a good ol’ down-home massacre, the prom night teens find themselves all dressed up … with no place to escape. To their dismay, the old farmhouse is home to Leatherface and his insane family of cannibalistic psychopaths. Featuring fast-paced fun, standout stars and a horrific helping of the franchise’s own brand of gore.

This fourth installment in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise takes place in 1995 and follows Jenny (Renée Zellweger), Sean (John Harrison) Heather (Lisa Marie Newmyer) and Barry (Tyler Shea Cone), four teens who ditch their highschool prom and hit the Texas backroads to party it up. What happens is, their roadtrip doesn’t last long because they end up meeting the Slaughter family; Darla (Tonie Perensky), Vilmer (Matthew McConaughey), W.E. (Joe Stevens) and good ol’ Leatherface (Robert Jacks) – who’s unfortunately been reduced to more of a whining support player in drag than anything else. One by one the friends become unfortunate victims at the hands (and chainsaw) of this psychologically unbalanced family of pizza loving cannibals but somehow Jenny is able to escape with a little luck and the final girl survives her nightmarish encounter with these rural maniacal misfits from hell.

The new faces in this deranged family include Darla, a charismatic real estate beauty who appears to want to help the kids at first until they learn her true motives and the fact that she’s a part of the pack. Vilmer is a violently deranged tow truck driver with a bionic leg (that comes with a remote control) who’s extremely violent and the worst of the bunch. W.E. is a mischievious figure who’s always up to no good plus he enjoys tormenting poor ol’ Leatherface. There’s also Rothman (James Gale), a mysterious figure who’s closely associated with the family but nothing much is revealed about this man except that he’s a part of a sinister secret organization that was connected to the JFK assassination. We also learn that Vilmer works for Rothman and he’s not happy with the way the lunatic has been handling the family business.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/0-card. The front features the all-new artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some original artwork and movie credits so you have your pick of which side you’d like to use for the front cover. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for the theatrical cut is in high-def and were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio. The picture and sound quality for the Director’s Cut is in high-def with some standard-def inserts so it varies in some scenes as you’d expect but I still didn’t have any major issues with it. 

Bottom line is, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation is easily the craziest installment in the long-running horror series and unfortunately it’s also the worst of the bunch. I’m aware that the movie was filmed under the title as The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and then shelved by the studio which would re-cut as well as rename it and drop the movie on home video in 1997. By this time Renée Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey had made a splash so this did help promote the movie. I remember picking up the DVD at my local video store and thinking how, when, and why did these two A-listers get involved in a direct to home video release and later on I’d discover what had happened. I have to add that these two deliver some great performances, especially McConaughey because his character is freaking intense. I put this one in my so bad it’s good category but that doesn’t mean it’s not entertaining because it is. This serves as maybe a crazy updated reimagining or you can think of it as the embarrassing offspring that carried the cannibalistic torch into the 90s. I mean, their last names were Slaughter after all, hey maybe this took place in an alternate universe. Maybe? Anyway, the movie is a fun slice of horror cheese plus it has cameos from Marilyn Burns, Paul A. Partain and John Dugan who starred in the original horror classic. This collector’s edition features both the theatrical and director’s cuts which includes a few more minutes of cheesy insanity. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation will be available for the first time ever on a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray on December 11th.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time:  Theatrical Cut (87 Minutes – HD) / Director’s Cut (93 Minutes – HD with standard definition inserts)

Rated:  Theatrical Cut – R / Director’s Cut – Unrated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 

Subtitles: English 

Special Features: The extras include some new audio commentary, three new interviews and the original theatrical trailer.

  • NEW Audio Commentary with writer/director Kim Henkel (on Director’s Cut)
  • NEW The Buzz is Back – an interview with Director of Photography Levie Isaacks (11:42)
  • NEW Marked for Death – an interview with actor Tyler Shea Cone (16:01)
  • NEW If Looks Could Kill: The Return of a “Chainsaw Massacre” – an interview with special makeup effects artist J.M. Logan and production designer Deborah Pastor (19:03)
  • Theatrical Trailer (01:38)
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