The Texas Chain Saw Massacre - 4K remastered screening 07/18/2014

Saturday evening I was lucky enough to catch a screening of the 1974 cult epic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre , this wasn't just any normal screening though, this particular screening featured Dark Sky's new 4k remastered print of the film.

It's not too often screenings like this happen in Oklahoma and while I had never been to Tulsa's Circle Cinema theater, I didn't hesitate at the chance to see one of my favorite films on the big screen. The 120-something mile drive went by rather quickly and I even had a chance to stop by Gardner's Used Books (one of the biggest bookstores in the state!) I made it to Circle Cinema with enough time to secure a good seat in the middle of the auditorium.  Right of the bat I was impressed with the quality of the theater. When you see theater the first thing you'll notice is the throwback look of the building. This wasn't done for aesthetics, this theater was actually constructed back in the 1920's! I'm sure modifications and restorations have taken place over the years, but that "old time" feel remains. This particular showing was in theater one, the seats were comfortable, the screen was big, and the sound was more than adequate. Did I mention they regularly show horror and exploitation flicks? Why couldn't this theater be closer!?

Onto the film, Dark Sky's previous blu-ray of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was already great so I found myself extremely curious about the new restoration, given the age and quality of the film how much better can it truly look? Thankfully, I can definitely attest that the quality present is superior, especially with the color timing. The other thing I directly noticed was the sound. Perhaps it's just my 5.1 setup not doing the old release justice, but boy I picked up on sounds I'd never previously observed. It added a new strange level to the film's (already) aberrant creepiness. This new remastering does a great job accentuating the film's weird, over-the-top soundscape.

I've seen The Texas Chainsaw Massacre dozens of times and it still remains a wildly frightening film. It's one of (if not the) first films to make people fear rural parts of the country. There are some extremely bizarre visuals in the film that (after all of these years) I've still yet to understand. The shot of the frothing cow, The rant of the old drunkard at the cemetery.

"Things happen here about, they don't tell about. I see things. You see, they say that it's just an old man talking. You laugh at an old man, it's them that laughs and knows better."

Then there's Leatherface, this was back when you could make a film without explaining every minute detail about a particular character. There is no backstory to Leatherface, he's literally dropped in the audience's lap. I can only imagine what is was like seeing this in theaters during the early 70's, the sheer insanity of everything must have been a lot to take in. What an odd and deranged viewing experience The Texas Chain Saw Massacre offers, it's still shocking after all these years.

I want to thank the Circle Cinema Theater for hosting such a grandiose event! I hope to make it back there to see their October screening of The Monster Squad. Dark Sky's 40th Anniversary edition will be available in a few different incarnations. There are one disc and four disc options that will be available on 09/16/2014. There's also a "Black Maria Limited Edition" in the works, details have yet to be announced on this LE but it's scheduled for 10/14/14.

Can't get enough of the 'Saw!? I've gotcha' covered.

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