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Ultra HD : Highly Recommended
Release Date: October 26th, 2023 Movie Release Year: 1974

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Turbine Mediabook German Poster Cover

Overview -

4K UHD Review By: Matthew Hartman

After their already great SteelBook and Mediabooks, Turbine returns to slice up an excellent new Mediabook of Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. If you have Turbine’s previous sets, the same content is here, but this artwork gives fans the hilariously twisted German theatrical poster. Still a great audio mix. Still a great Dolby Vision transfer. Tons of amazing bonus features. If you don’t have this on 4K or just love alternate artwork, it’s an easy call for Highly Recommended

Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
3-Disc 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray + Blu-ray Mediabook, Limited to 500 Units
Video Resolution/Codec:
2160p HEVC/H.265 - Dolby Vision HDR / HDR10
Aspect Ratio(s):
Audio Formats:
English/German: Dolby Atmos, Auro 3D 13.1, DTS-HD MA 1.0, English DTS: HD MA 2.0
Release Date:
October 26th, 2023

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


As we’ve covered The Texas Chain Saw Massacre on 4K UHD a few times now, there isn't much sense in dishing out more content when we’re not going to say anything radically different. Instead, I’ll focus on why I bought a fifth copy of this film on 4K UHD - the cover art. When I was all of about fourteen or fif teen years old, I found a booth at a Detroit comic convention where a vendor was selling foreign movie posters. I couldn’t afford the Japanese version of The Crow, so it came down to a giant French bus station poster of Aliens or the German theatrical poster for Texas Chain Saw which I had only just seen recently for the first time and was becoming a huge fan of the franchise.

I hemmed and hawed for a long time roaming about the convention floor and coming back to the booth to look those posters over again and again. I ultimately went for the French Aliens poster because it’d take up an entire wall in my room, but to this day I still kick my ass for not grabbing the German poster for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre or “Blutgericht in Texas” as it was called. I love the demented “family photo” style like a perverse version of American Gothic. I’ve seen this poster come up for sale here and there, eBay has it every so often but I never felt confident I was getting a legit original and for the price it commands, I'm just not going to drop that coin and take a chance.  

So, when Turbine offered up a new limited-run Mediabook of Texas Chain Saw with this artwork, I again hemmed and hawed about it. I did not need another copy of this film let alone on 4K UHD. Given it was limited to 500 copies, I figured it’d sell out fast and I wouldn’t have to worry about it. But it didn’t sell out. It still hasn’t sold out. So, when I needed to grab a few items to complete pieces of my import collection I found myself staring at this artwork again. And since this is likely the closest I’ll get to having it in any form, my will broke and it ended up in the shopping cart. 

I rarely bend for repressings with new art. If I already have those same discs, I’m good. A SteelBook or other creative swag-filled packaging is so rarely interesting I have an easy time avoiding them. But something about The Texas Chain Saw Massacre shatters my resistance. Standard releases, releases with artwork that look like ground hamburger, SteelBooks, Mediabooks, and oversized cases with flip-up pages. The only release I think I’ve avoided is the Black Maria truck, and that was strictly because of the price tag. But this Mediabook, that was one I couldn’t resist. 

Now for a "real" review of the film, check out our previous reviews for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

2008 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre - Blu-ray Review
2016 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review [Turbine No HDR]
2022 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review [Turbine Limited Edition SteelBook]
2023 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review [Dark Sky SteelBook] 
2023 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review [Second Sight Limited Edition]

Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Turbine chops off another 4K UHD of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre with a new Limited Edition Mediabook. Featuring the German theatrical poster artwork, this three-disc edition is limited to a run of 500 copies. A Three-disc set, the discs are the same string of BD-66 and two BD-50 discs representing the 4K, 1080p, and bonus features respectively. Each disc gets its own tray so no stacking. Within the Mediabook Turbine has reprinted the excellent 64-page book Texas Chainsaw Massacre Legacy by Tobias Hohmann that covers a lot of behind-the-scenes and impact of the first film while covering each sequel and reboot film all the way through 2022’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The booklet is in German but I’ve had no trouble reading through this with the Google Translate app on my phone. Each disc loads to an animated main menu with standard navigation options. 

Video Review


As was the case with their SteelBook release of this film in 2022, the same transfer returns here. While beautifully restored, I love that this release maintains the gritty gnarly feel of the film without looking too clean or pristine. There are differences between the work Turbine did for this set and what Second Sight Did for theirs and I honestly have a hard time choosing one over the other as they’re both great. I guess it comes down to how "clean" you want this particular film to look. Here are E’s thoughts on this effort: 

The drive-in cult classic rips into Ultra HD for a second helping, likely from the same HEVC H.265 encode as the previous UHD release, which was itself struck from a fresh 4K scan of the original 16mm camera negatives back in 2016 but not mastered in the high-dynamic-range format. However, the folks at Turbine Media Group have gone back and released the seminal horror favorite in four collectible UHD packages, bestowing it to the slavering, voracious appetites of horror hounds with a proper HDR media profile that is sure to please their palates. 

This native 4K transfer is a remarkably good upgrade over its SDR predecessors, showing better definition and clarity from start to finish. Granted, coming originally from a cheap 16mm reversal stock, the source won't ever yield the sort of results we've come to expect from the format with a good majority of the runtime looking fairly soft and blurry, but any such instances of poor resolution are inherent to the condition of the stock and the photography. In spite of that, the overall improvements are still perceptible and notable for a source of this vintage and from a micro-budget production, especially for those already familiar with the movie's history on home video. Fans will greatly appreciate every distinct detail, stain, smudge, and scratch inside the Sawyer house while the slight rust stains, scrapes, and scuffs on the outside of the kids' van are plainly visible, and the fine lines along clothing and the stitching in Leatherface's masks are detailed.

On a more important better note — and the reason for this new UHD upgrade — the Dolby Vision HDR presentation dazzles and astonishes thanks to a superb and well-balanced high dynamic range, offering exceptional, right-on-the-money contrast and crisp, pitch-perfect whites. Specular highlights radiate with brilliant luminosity, showing distinct differences in the clouds while the metal trim of the van shimmers and glistens with incredible realism. Brightness levels are equally strong and true throughout with pitch-black shadows that complement the story's creepy atmosphere while maintaining strong visibility during the darkest, poorly-lit sequences. Understandably, there is the occasional blooming in the brightest spots and shadows can engulf the finer details, but all things considered and comparing the last release, this remains a step up. Best of all, Daniel Pearl's photography benefits and really takes advantage of the wider color gamut, displaying intensely animated reds, vivid greens in the foliage, and true-to-life blues in the skies. The HDR video also comes with bolder, richly saturated secondary hues, and facial complexions are highly revealing with healthy, peachy-red tones in the entire cast.

Awash in a natural, dense grain structure that is to be expected and unobtrusive, this new 4K HDR transfer is a genuine surprise considering the source's history and condition, which looks beautifully film-like and cinematic, making it the best the film has ever looked in any format. 

Audio Review


Once again, the same excellent assortment of audio options returns for this disc. While German is the disc’s default language you can choose between a swath of English audio options including DTS-HD MA Mono, DTS-HD MA 2.0, Auro 13.1, and Dolby Atmos. All tracks are winners so depending on how you’re set up or how you want to experience the film, you’re locked and loaded. I personally go for the Mono track more than the others but I can’t deny that the Atmos mix is often shockingly effective. Here is what E. thought of the Auro 13.1 experience:  

As with the previous release, Turbine slaps an exciting and surprisingly excellent bevy of listening options to this UHD edition, all of which are presented in either a German dub and in the original English. First, for the purists out there, fans can choose between the original mono in DTS-HD Master Audio or a great stereo alternative in DTS audio, or they can step it up a notch with a satisfying DTS-HD MA 7.1 upmix, which is actually the default of the Auro-3D codec for those without the equipment. For those wanting to take it to the next level though, the 4K disc also offers the choice between a pair of remarkably impressive object-based soundtracks: an Auro-3D 13.1 mix and a Dolby Atmos track that defaults to Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for those without the equipment. During the pandemic, I decided to redesign my speaker layout in the thirteen-channel Auro configuration due to its versatility, so the choice was, needless to say, a relatively easy one. 

Besides, after watching and hearing this movie on various audio formats for the past four decades — some of which were better than others — I opted to give the Auro-3D option a go this time around. To my shock and amazement, the audio engineers at Auro Technologies did phenomenal work carefully extracting specific audio cues from the new remastered source and moving them to specific areas of the environment without ever seeming forced or artificial. It's not a night and day difference from the Atmos track, so my sentiments remain relatively the same as in my previous review. But in all honesty, I would actually give the Auro mix the edge and rate it slightly higher because it sounds and feels more natural, even true-to-life or vérité. 

Still front-heavy and faithful to the source, random noises are heard echoing throughout the Sawyer house, adding to the creepiness and making for a satisfying hemispheric soundfield. The real highlight is hearing footsteps on the second floor of the abandoned Hardesty homestead while Franklin whines, and later, when Sally runs frantically around the Sawyer house, we hear the brothers yelling in hysterics and chasing after her in the distance. Granted, a few Foley effects still feel a bit fake, most notably at the beginning with vehicles speeding down the highway, but thankfully, these moments are far and few in between without distracting too much from the film's overall enjoyment.

The mix remains a front-heavy arrangement with plenty of background activity generating an engagingly expansive soundstage with a great sense of presence. Off-screen effects occasionally moving across the three top heights not only broaden imaging with subtle noises of the local wildlife, seemingly coming from all sides of the room, but the voices of the crowd gathering at a cemetery and Wayne Bell and Tobe Hooper's haunting musical score also widen the soundscape with extraordinary fidelity and warmth while lightly bleeding into the sides and overheads. In fact, the music does most of the work filling the room with suspense, thanks to a surprisingly dynamic and extensive mid-range, exhibiting crystal-clear distinction and separation between the various noises without the slightest hint of distortion. Meanwhile, low bass is expectedly light but nonetheless hearty and adequate for a film of this vintage. And dialogue reproduction is distinct and precise in the center from beginning to end, making this three-dimensional mix highly enjoyable. (Auro-3D Audio Rating: 84/100)

Special Features


And again, Turbine offers up their excellent assortment of bonus features for this Mediabook offering. Now this doesn’t have the exact same extras as the Dark Sky release here in the U.S. or what Second Sight produced for theirs, but what’s here is excellent giving you many hours of great material to dig into. 

4K UHD DIsc 

  • Audio Commentary featuring Tobe Hooper
  • Audio Commentary featuring Marilyn Burns, Robert Burns, Allen Danziger, and Paul A. Partain
  • Audio Commentary featuring Tobe Hooper, Gunnar Hansen, and Daniel Pearl
  • Audio Commentary featuring Daniel Pearl, Larry Carroll, and Ted Nicoulau
  • Isolated Score with sound effects 

Blu-ray Disc One 

  • Audio Commentary featuring Tobe Hooper
  • Audio Commentary featuring Marilyn Burns, Robert Burns, Allen Danziger, and Paul A. Partain
  • Audio Commentary featuring Tobe Hooper, Gunnar Hansen, and Daniel Pearl
  • Audio Commentary featuring Daniel Pearl, Larry Carroll, and Ted Nicoulau 
  • Isolated Score with sound effects 

Blu-ray Disc Two

  • TCM: The Shocking Truth (SD, 73 min), which is followed by a small collection of outtakes (SD, 8 min)
  • Flesh Wounds (SD, 72 min)
  • TCM Family Portrait (SD, 61 min)
  • TCM House Tour (SD, 20 min)
  • Horror's Hallowed Grounds (SD, 20 min)
  • Off the Hook (HD, 17 min)
  • The Business of Chain Saw (SD, 16 min)
  • Granpaw's Tales (HD, 16 min)
  • Cutting Chain Saw (HD, 11 min)
  • The 5-Minute Massacre (SD, 6 min)
  • Deleted Scenes (SD, 25 min)
  • Long Lost Scenes (HD, 15 min)
  • Promotional Material (HD, SD)
  • Outtakes (SD, 2 min)

To put it bluntly, I did not need another copy of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre let alone a fifth copy on 4K UHD as well as my standby LaserDisc - but my will is weak. Why did I get another copy? The simple stupid answer is for the cover art. I couldn’t let that German poster artwork version pass me by. For those fans out there who haven’t gassed up their collections with a 4K release of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Turbine did a hell of a job for their release. A great transfer with excellent audio options and hours of great extra features make it a solid option for any fan to consider. If you’re like me and already have one of their first SteelBooks or Mediabooks you’re all set. But then again, if you’re like me, this artwork may be too tempting to pass up. Highly Recommended 

Order Your Copy of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray