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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

  • USA
  • 1974
  • 83 mins
  • DCP
  • English
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Preceded by the presentation of a Fantasia Lifetime Achievement Award to Director Tobe Hooper
Stunning new 4K restoration!

Very little can be written about one of genre cinema’s crowning achievements that hasn’t already been stated multiple times by critics, filmmakers, and those who put their blood, sweat, and tears into the movie itself. But when that legendary slice of film goes through one of the most exhaustive restorations in the history of cinema to celebrate its 40th anniversary, there’s more than enough to work oneself into a frenzy over.

For over four decades, THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE has stood unquestioned as an apex of the horror genre — an unrelenting journey through the dust-swept, bloodstained American Southwest that has become the undisputed godfather of the modern horror film. With its larger-than-life, exploitation-inspired name and the promise that everything you were about to see was true, this blazingly innovative nail-biter from writer/director Tobe Hooper changed the face of terror cinema when unleashed upon the filmgoing world in 1974 — and now, this new digital restoration will forever change the way the world will experience it.

MPI/Dark Sky Films has gone back to the original 16mm A/B rolls — the film that actually ran through the camera — to exhaustively restore every single one of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE’s 120,960 frames using the latest digital technology. Their new 4K restoration (which took Chicago’s NOLO Digital Film over five months of meticulous work) was overseen by Todd Wieneke of Dark Sky Films, and features a brain-rattling 7.1 soundtrack that makes every sawblade and scream sound more terrifying than ever.

And scream you will, whether you’re somehow a newcomer to THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE or you’re about to experience it for the hundredth time. In — which inspired a legion of imitators with similar storylines but never the same ferocity — a group of freewheeling young friends, traveling across the barren Texas, run afoul of a cannibalistic, backwoods family. Dispatched by a chainsaw-wielding sociopath adorned in human flesh, the innocents — and their audience — find themselves facing down a bloodthirsty horror unlike any in cinema history.

Will you survive the saw? And what will be left of you?

— Ted Geoghegan