Texas Chainsaw Massacre The Next Generation

Other than being a somewhat terrible entry in the spotty Texas Chainsaw franchise, Texas Chainsaw Massacre the Next Generation‘s claim to fame is that it featured both Renée Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey, right before their careers blew up. Legend has it that both Zellweger and McConaughey tried to bury the film once they became famous – although McConaughey denied this, saying he loved making the movie. In 2016, Zellweger said of the film: “It was very low-budget.” That’s an understatement. The Next Generation starts off like your typical Chainsaw pic – a group of young people, Zellweger among them, are attacked by a family of crazy cannibals – which includes both the infamous Leatherface, and McConaughey. Then the film gets really weird, introducing a subplot about a secret society. This is a total misunderstanding of what made the original film so powerful. And yet, The Next Generation is worth watching, just to see the young Zellweger and McConaughey on the cusp of fame, running around alongside Leatherface.

Special Features to Note: 

It was always a long shot, but I’ve always held out hope that one day, Renée Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey would sit down for new interviews to be included on a Blu-ray release. Sadly, it will probably never happen. The two actors are likely content to leave The Next Generation in the past. Instead, this Scream Factory release features an interview with DOP Levie Isaacks, where he talks a bit about shooting the film, makes it abundantly clear how slapdash the production was – for instance, they had no locations to shoot at when filming began, and had to drive around looking for them on shooting days. 

In another interview, special effects creator J.M. Logan reveals he was hired to create the robotic leg brace for Matthew McConaughey’s character, but what he really wanted to do was work on Leatherface. Logan, who was only 18 years old at the time, talked the the producers into hiring him to do everything by quoting them a price of $1500 for the entire movie.  There’s also talk here about how the film was supposed to “get back to the essence” of the first film, unlike the other sequels…which obviously isn’t what happened. 

Special Features Include: 

  • Two Cuts Of The Film – The Theatrical Cut (87 Minutes – HD) And The Director’s Cut (93 Minutes – HD With Standard Definition Inserts)
  • 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
  • NEW Marked For Death – An Interview With Actor Tyler Shea Cone
  • 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
  • Theatrical Trailer

 

Maniac

There are some horror movies that feel wrong. Wrong in the sense that we’re watching something we really shouldn’t be watching. That we’ve stepped out of the realm of fictional film and into something more akin to blood-splattered home movie. The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre is like this. Ditto Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. And so is Maniac, William Lustig‘s sleazy, icky, nasty splatter-fest starring the habitually sweaty Joe Spinell. Set in a dirty, filthy, crime-ridden New York, Maniac tells the tale of a serial killer (Spinell) with extreme mommy issues. He stalks the city, scalping women – and bringing the scalps home to place on his mannequins. It’s a horror classic, but it’s definitely not going to be for everyone. Spinell is scarily believable as the sad-sack killer, and the gore effects by Tom Savini are out of this world. This holiday season, why not gather the entire family around the TV and watch this glorious 4K release of one of the most unpleasant movies ever made?

Special Features Include: 

This new release from Blue Underground is packed. “Maniac Outtakes” features long lost footage that no one has seen until now. It’s raw material from the sets of the film, shot behind the scenes. Grainy, washed-out, and raw, these outtakes fit right in with the tone of the film itself. Director William Lustig narrates the footage in a droll, amusing manner. It’s like a time capsule back into the production. 

“Returning to the Scene of the Crime” has Lustig revisiting filming locations, and reflecting on 1970s New York. “The 70s were the golden age of serial killers!” Lustig cheerfully says. “We had some of the most interesting serial killers ever!” “God I hate Times Square,” he says later, driving through the spot. “Tourists.” The featurette shows things as they are now, intercut with how it looks in the movie. Lustig talks about how a hotel they shot in – which is now a fancy-looking spot – was the scene of an actual double-homicide, where two prostitutes had their heads cut off. He also talks about how the shotgun scene – where Spinell’s killer blows the head off some poor schlub, played by Tom Savini, was illegal, because they fired a real shotgun, and there’s no permit for that.

“The Death Dealer” has the legendary Tom Savini discussing his make-up work in the movie. Savini talks about how in the era of Maniac, he was doing one splatter movie after another. There was no real budget – he got about $5000 for the movie. Joe Spinell was constantly coming up with stuff that was too extreme to create (“He wanted to bite stuff off…in the nether regions.”)

Special Features to Note:

  • Audio Commentary #1 with Co-Producer/Director William Lustig and Co-Producer Andrew W. Garroni
  • Audio Commentary #2 with Co-Producer/Director William Lustig, Special Make-Up Effects Artist Tom Savini, Editor Lorenzo Marinelli, and Joe Spinell’s Assistant Luke Walter
  • NEW – Returning to the Scene of the Crime with William Lustig
  • NEW – MANIAC Outtakes Featurette
  • Anna and the Killer – Interview with Star Caroline Munro
  • The Death Dealer – Interview with Special Make-Up Effects Artist Tom Savini
  • Dark Notes – Interview with Composer Jay Chattaway
  • Maniac Men – Interview with Songwriters Michael Sembello and Dennis Matkosky
  • Theatrical Trailers, TV Spots, Radio Spots
  • Mr. Robbie: Maniac 2 Promo Reel
  • The Joe Spinell Story
  • MANIAC Publicity
  • MANIAC Controversy
  • BONUS CD – MANIAC Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Jay Chattaway
  • BONUS Collectable Booklet with new essay by author Michael Gingold

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