3D Blu-ray Review “Texas Chainsaw”

Directed by: John Luessenhop
Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Dan Yeager, Tremaine Neverson, Tania Raymonde, Thom Barry, Paul Rae
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Lionsgate
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Running time: 92 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

There is something about Leatherface that makes him such a great horror icons. “Texas Chainsaw 3D” is a direct sequel to the original 1974 film and literally picks up in the same day after the original’s events. The ending film’s is weakest point, so I was hoping for a director’s cut to fix that. Oh well, the film has it problems but it is overall a fun time to watch. The 3D effects are used to add extra “Chainsaw-in-your-face” but doesn’t really add much depth and only works in terms of gags. Fans of the series will enjoy the return of series stars including Bill Moseley, Gunnar Hansen and Marilyn Burns. If you are a fan the Leatherface series, then this is worth checking out…just expect tongue-in-cheek.

Official Synopsis: In Newt, Texas, people have been going missing without a trace for decades. Years later and hundreds of miles away from the original massacre, a young girl named Heather (Daddario) discovers that she has inherited a sprawling Texas estate from an unknown grandmother. To claim her estate, Heather goes on a road trip with her friends to Newt, but soon learns that wealth comes at a price when she discovers the horror that waits in the cellar of her new mansion.

The Blu-ray release is titled “Texas Chainsaw” but does still features both the 3D and 2D presentations of the film. The 1080p transfer looks very sharp and works well with the 3D presentation. I am very impressed with the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track but I would have loved to see a bit more scares in the film to fully take advantage of it. But there is still a lot of rip-roaring chainsaws sawing by you ears. There is also an UltraViolet digital streaming copy included.

The special features are impressive and worth checking out if you enjoyed the film. There are two audio commentaries track. The first is with producer Carl Mazzocone and Tobe Hooper, who is the director of the first “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. This is a very interesting track and a must listen for any fan. I was excited to hear what Hooper has to say about the film. The second track is with the returning cast from past “Chainsaw” films including Bill Moseley, Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns and John Dugan. This is a fun track with the cast.

“Texas Chainsaw Legacy” is a trip through the 40-year legacy of this series. A must watch for any fan. “Resurrecting the Saw” features director John Luessenhop, producer Carl Mazzocone and writers Adam Marcus, Debra Sullivan, Kirsten Elms and Stephen Susco talking about reviving this series (again). “The Old Homestead” is feature on re-creating the location from the first film. “Casting Terror” is a chat with the new cast of the film. “Leatherface 2013” is an interview with the new Leatherface actor Dan Yeager. “Lights, Camera, Mayhem” is a look into filming in 3D with DP Anastas Michos. “It’s in the Meat” is a look into the special make-up effects with make-up effects supervisor Robert Kurtzman and his team. Lastly there are “On-Set Short Subjects: Five Minute Massacres”, which are fun bumps into the production.

Film Review "Texas Chainsaw 3D"

Directed by: John Luessenhop
Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Dan Yeager, Tremaine Neverson, Tania Raymonde, Thom Barry, Paul Rae
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Lionsgate
Running time: 92 minutes

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

When I first saw 1974’s “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, I believe I wasn’t able to sleep for weeks. Leatherface is overall one of my favorite horror icons. He has changed so much over the years within the various sequels, remakes and prequels – some for the better and some not. “Texas Chainsaw 3D” is a direct sequel to the original 1974 film and literally picks up in the same day after the original’s events. I was especially excited about this creative twist to this franchise but unfortunately the thrill of keeping this sequel with the same feel of the first wares off quick. Still though, I can’t say that I didn’t have fun watching this film.  It is not perfect but the 3D effects are sharp and really add a lot to the film. Also for those that need a refresher on the original, there is quick recap of the original film’s keys scenes in the opening credits.

If you are a fan of the franchise, then you will be excited for the fact that this film brings back actors from past films in the franchise. Bill Moseley who played Chop Top Sawyer in “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2”, came back to portray Drayton “The Cook” Sawyer (taking over for the late Jim Siedow). Marilyn Burns who played Sally Hardesty in the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, returns as a character named Verna. John Dugan who played Grandpa in the 1974 film comes back to reprise his role. Lastly, Gunnar Hansen who portrayed Leatherface in the 1974 film also has a brief cameo. Brief is the key word for all of this though. I was extremely excited about this but was left thinking…”That was all?”. You barely don’t even get a glimpse of John Dugan as Grandpa, blink and you miss it. Overall, I still like the ode but wish it was incorporated a little more.

The story picks up after hours of first film with an angry mob going after the house of the Sawyer family to get revenge after the confession of the young girl Sally that escaped. The mob ends up burning the house and the family, supposedly killing every last member – or so they thought. The story picks up years later where a girl named Heather (who has the hardest time not showing off her stomach and very tiny waist) finds out that she has a grandmother that she never knew and has inherited the family house. After realizing that her life has been a lie and she was the only one who escaped the night of the massacre. [Note: the original took place in 1974 and this is suppose to place about 20 years later but ends up being present day with iPhone’s etc., so I think there is an issue with the timeline]. The girl and her friends take a road trip to check out the house. Of course they find that they are not alone in this house and the reign of the Sawyer family is far from over.

Now back to the 3D! Since the film was heavily marketed for its use of 3D, I was excited to experience the horror in this format. There are a lot of in-your-face chainsaw scenes, which are a lot of fun and expected. The best though (which I am not going to divulge) involves a skin mask. If you see this film then 3D is definitely the way to go. The film was also very gory, in parts. Is it bad that I wanted more though? Maybe we are just too desensitized since 1974, don’t get me wrong though since the film definitely rocks in the gore department. In fact, it had to be re-cut before release, since it originally received an NC-17 rating. So hopefully we will get an unrated Blu-ray (boo-ya!). Of course I have a feeling that we have seen the last of Leatherface and the Sawyer family.

Richard Riehle talks about playing Santa Claus, “Office Space” and “Texas Chainsaw 3D”

Richard Riehle is best known for his cult favorite role of Tom Smykowski in “Office Space”.  He has played Santa Claus more than five times, including films like Disney’s “The Search for Santa Paws” to “A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas”.  Besides comedies, he has also broke out in the horror genre with films like “Hatchet” and the upcoming “Texas Chainsaw 3D”.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Richard about his amazing career to date and his love for what he does.

Mike Gencarelli: After playing roles in over 150 films and over a 100 TV series; what keep you drives and keep you inspired?
Richard Riehle: I love it because every project is a new experience and adventure. You go from playing Santa Claus one day to a serial killer the next. It offers all sorts of opportunities to try new things. Whether it is for a physical or psychological role. It is just great.

MG: Since it is the Holiday season, I have to ask what do you enjoy most about playing Santa Claus five times now, most recently in “A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas”?
RR: They are all different. It ranges from “The Search for Santa Paws”, which is a family film with talking dogs, to “A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas”, where I am a bong smoker [laughs]. I just love it.

MG: Can you tell us about how you got involved with “Office Space”?
RR: “Office Space” was just an amazing experience. Mike Judge spent a long time casting it, partly because he wanted a group of people that enjoyed hanging out with each other. I think that aspect really shows in the film. We got down to Austin and he told us flat out that we are going to be working some long hours but that every night he would take us out to the clubs or dinner. We just had a great time. It was a 26 day party.

MG: Can you reflect on the cult following that the film and your role Tom Smykowski has developed over the years?
RR: It has been absolutely amazing. When it first came out it wasn’t in theaters very long. We were excited about the good response it got and our work in it but we figured that it was done with. But about six months later, people were stopping me in the streets and asking me to quote the film. It just so happened at the time, I was doing a show for Fox, so I ran into Mike and he said it just came out on VHS and cable and has developed this whole new life. The most amazing part for me is that it has continued still through today. People are still quoting the film and spreading the word to their friends that haven’t seen it. It is just great.

MG: I have the “Office Space” stapler on my desk [laughs]
RR: [laughs] I will tell you a fun story about that stapler. I was at a cigar place in Beverly Hills. We were about to leave but my friend said that Sammy Hagar just called and said he was coming in and always brings a bunch of really beautiful girls. So we ordered another round and waited. Sure enough he came in with all these beautiful girls. Before we left my friend said he wanted to show me his humidor, which was right under Arnold Schwarzenegger’s. So as we were leaving two of Sammy’s girls where heading to the bathroom and they stopped me and said “Oh you were in “Office Space”, can we have an autograph?” I said “Sure” and they asked me to put down the line about the stapler. I said that actually wasn’t me and that was my buddy Stephen Root…but I was in the film. I asked them again if they still wanted an autograph and they said “Yes, please…and can you put down your line about the stapler?” [laughs].

MG: You not only just play roles comedies, you have a nice range into horror genre like “Hatchet”; what do you enjoy most about switching it up in films like that?
RR: “Hatchet” was sort of my introduction to horror. I have always enjoyed watching them but for some reason I never got cast in them. A buddy of mine, Joel Moore, was played the lead in the film and called and asked if I wanted to fill in for someone that dropped out. I told him “Of course” and that I was waiting to do one. It was just such a great and fun experience. Since you are dealing with these horrific things, it is usually one of the most fun sets to be on – horror films in general. Horror films are also shot all over, so you get to go to all sorts of strange and cool places. I did one called “Growth” and we got to shoot in Martha’s Vineyard, which was terrific and we got to explore the island, which was amazing.

MG: Tell us about your role of Farnsworth in “Texas Chainsaw 3D”?
RR: “Texas Chainsaw 3D”, which comes out January 4th, was shot in Shreveport, Louisiana. I had never been there either. We shot a bunch of it on this old munitions plant from WWII. The film is really a great idea and it works really well. They go back to the original “Texas Chainsaw” from 1974 and start from the last shot of that film with Sally jumping into the pickup truck. Leatherface goes back to his house after his dance of frustration. The local police chief shows up at the house and tries to bring him in but the family will not let him do it. A group of vigilantes show up and level the place and everyone is thought to be dead. 18 years later, the grandmother of the whole group, who is living in a mansion outside of town, dies. I play Farnsworth, her lawyer, and I have to find this girl that supposedly didn’t die during the attack and bring her back and offer her this mansion. But then of course…all hell breaks loose!

MG: Do you have a role that stands out for you’re as most memorable or challenging?
RR: I certainly love Tom Smykowski in “Office Space”. It was a wonderful experience doing it and since then it has lived on. I really like playing Carlson in “Of Mice and Men”, which was a while back. He is the guy that shoots the dog. I also did a TV series on Fox a while back called “Grounded for Life”, which was a wonderful experience as well. The thing is that it goes back to your first question; every role is so interesting and different and each with their own individual challenges. My next role is always going to be my favorite.

MG: What other projects do you have in the cards for 2013?
RR: It is hard to tell. A lot of the projects I do are these little independent films. The greatest difficulty is not so much getting them in the can, as it is finding distribution. I did this Western called “Dead Man’s Burden”, which I really liked. Clare Bowen, who is one of the leads in “Nashville” right now, is the lead in that. It was shot in New Mexico with no time and money. So that was recently shown in an LA film festival and I thought it came out really good. So keep an eye out for that one hopefully soon.

“Texas Chainsaw 3D” Prize Pack Giveaway [ENDED]


In theaters January 4th

To celebrate release of “Texas Chainsaw 3D”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway the following prize pack items below. If you would like to win one of this great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email and let us know your favorite horror character. This giveaway will be open until January 7th at Noon and is only open to residents of the United States. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Media Mikes will randomly pick out winners and alert the winners via email.

* Five (5) Pairs of Run-of-Engagement Passes
* “Texas Chainsaw 3D” Official Posters
* “Texas Chainsaw 3D” Official T-Shirts
* “Texas Chainsaw 3D” Official Shotglasses
* Horror DVD Prize Pack – including “Scream”, “My Bloody Valentine” and Saw: The Final Chapter”

Lionsgate’s TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D continues the legendary story of the homicidal Sawyer family, picking up where Tobe Hooper’s 1974 horror classic left off in Newt, Texas, where for decades people went missing without a trace. The townspeople long suspected the Sawyer family, owners of a local barbeque pit, were somehow responsible. Their suspicions were finally confirmed one hot summer day when a young woman escaped the Sawyer house following the brutal murders of her four friends. Word around the small town quickly spread, and a vigilante mob of enraged locals surrounded the Sawyer stronghold, burning it to the ground and killing every last member of the family – or so they thought.

Decades later and hundreds of miles away from the original massacre, a young woman named Heather learns that she has inherited a Texas estate from a grandmother she never knew she had. After embarking on a road trip with friends to uncover her roots, she finds she is the sole owner of a lavish, isolated Victorian mansion. But her newfound wealth comes at a price as she stumbles upon a horror that awaits her in the mansion’s dank cellars…

With gruesome surprises in store for a whole new generation, TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D stars Alexandra Daddario, Dan Yeager, Tremaine ‘Trey Songz’ Neverson, Scott Eastwood, Tania Raymonde, Shaun Sipos, Keram Malicki-Sanchez, James MacDonald, Thom Barry, Paul Rae and Richard Riehle, along with special appearances from four beloved cast members from previous installments of the franchise: Gunnar Hansen (the original Leatherface), Marilyn Burns, John Dugan and Bill Moseley. The film is directed by John Luessenhop (TAKERS), from a screenplay by Adam Marcus & Debra Sullivan and Kirsten Elms, based on a story by Stephen Susco and Adam Marcus & Debra Sullivan and based on characters created by Kim Henkel and Tobe Hooper, and produced by Carl Mazzocone. Lionsgate presents a production and Main Line Pictures production.

Blu-ray Review “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2”

Director: Tobe Hooper
Starring: Bill Moseley, Dennis Hopper, Caroline Williams, Bill Johnson, Lou Perryman, Chris Douridas
Release Date: September 11, 2012
Distributed by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 101 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was released in 1974 and is still one of the most disturbing films I have ever seen. It has had three direct sequels, a remake and two sequels to that remake with the latest “Texas Chainsaw 3D” coming in January 2013. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2” is one hell of an ambitious big-budget sequel to a very small horror film. It might not have been the best idea for Hooper to go so mainstream in the sequel but is has become one of horror best sequels. Bill Moseley gives an amazing and cult classic performance as Chop-Top. The last Dennis Hooper is such a nut as Lefty. Of course Caroline Williams nails the role of Stretch, which is also such an iconic role in horror genre.

This sequel is not only more horrific but also funny as well. It follows Lefty (Hooper), who is a Texas Ranger looking to seek vengeance against the flesh-eating family from the first film. He also goes head-to-head in one of the most notable high-octane chainsaw showdowns with the legendary Leatherface. Radio deejay, Stretch, (Caroline Williams) is kidnapped and brought in between this battle and the family’s madness.

The Blu-ray presentation looks great with its restored 1080p transfer and original aspect ratio: 1.85:1. The audio track is decent but could have used a little extra umph with its DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. The special features are very impressive with the ported extras from the 2006 DVD edition. There is a commentary with Director Tobe Hoooper and David Gregory, director of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Shocking Truth”. This is a little dull but still worth-wild for fans. There is another commentary track with actors Bill Mosely and Caroline Williams and special effects makeup creator Tom Savini. This one is the best and most recommended. There are six deleted scenes in “The Cutting Room Floor” mostly dealing with an abandoned story dealing with the Sawyers going hunting in the city. “It Runs in the Family Documentary” is an amazing 90 minutes documentary covering every aspect of the production. Lastly there is original Theatrical Trailer included.