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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: A Family Portrait (1988)

DVD Cover (MTI Home Video)
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Movie Connections:
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
> The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
> The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
> The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: A... (1988)
> Leatherface: The Texas... (1990)
> The Texas Chainsaw Massacre:... (1994)
> The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
> The Texas Chainsaw Massacre:... (2006)
> Texas Chainsaw (2013)
Documentary, Film & Television History
Brad Shellady Brad Shellady
John Dugan John Dugan
Jim Siedow Jim Siedow
Edwin Neal Edwin Neal
Gunnar Hansen Gunnar Hansen
Forrest J. Ackerman Forrest J. Ackerman
Review by Tristan
Added: June 12, 2007
Released in 1974, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre quickly rose to a cult status, and today still remains as one of the top horror movies in the last century.

Just shy of an hour, this documentary cycles through the talking heads of Gunnar Hansen (Leatherface), Edwin Neal (the Hitchhiker), Jim Siedow (the Cook) and John Dugan (Grandpa).

In this hour or so, the cannibalistic family shares some on and off set anecdotes about everything from how they were cast, filming nightmares, the cult status that has attached itself to the film, and how acting in this movie has changed their lives, for better or worse.

One particularly funny story, which all members touched upon, was the filming of the infamous dinner scene. The scene took 26 hours to shoot, and during this time all 4 family members were required to stay in the room for continuity purposes, all smelling awful due to the hot Texas heat. Not to mention the fact that the adjacent room was full of the bone decor, and on the table in front of them was sausage and other meats which were rotting, and causing people to take leave, shall we say.

Also mixed in with the documentary are the occasional clip from the movie and a deleted scene or two. These don't really offer much, other than a brief shot focused on what the interviewee was just discussing.

Now, to be clear, this is not a documentary on the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It is a series of interviews with the family who killed and tortured the kids in the movie. Don't pick this up expecting it to be very informative, or very behind-the-scenes. The directors and writers are not involved, this is merely a project of a very dedicated fan.

As for the DVD itself, well aside from a few trailers, cast filmographies, and a 5 question trivia section, this is a bare-bones DVD with essentially nothing on it. I picked mine up for $10, and I would have to say it was worth it. Wait till this one hits the bargain bin if you're on the fence about it. If you're a big fan of the film however, it's a well spent $10.

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