What Is It? Documentary.
Who Is In It? Cast and crew.
Should I See It? Probably Not.
Chapter Four: In Memorium
This is the second documentary on Dark Sky Films' 2-Disc Ultimate Edition of 1974's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and appears to have been created for that presentation. It focuses on six side stories related to the film, with a brief memorial portion for deceased persons involved with the production. Unlike TCSM: The Shocking Truth, it feels like it was put together by professional documentarians rather than AV geeks. On the other hand, it's staid enough to run on PBS after Antiques Road Show, complete with folksy guitar and lots of lingering shots of rural settings. With exceptions, it covers the same ground as Shocking, only in greater and usually unnecessary depth. The seven chapters break down as follows:
- Part One Chainsaw Cameraman: A discussion with cinematographer Daniel Pearl about his career. This fellow went on to direct major music videos for some of the biggest acts in the business, and returned to lens the TCSM remake for Marcus Nispel. A solid segment, though it establishes the static talking heads approach featured throughout the documentary.
- Part Two This Old House: A tour of the domicile from the original film with the head of its fan club. It was a kit house ordered from Sears-Roebuck and delivered from Austin to Round Rock in the late 1800s by horse carriage. It was moved in pieces a hundred miles away to Kingston after the family that lived there moved out some time after TCSM was released. That's about all you need to know, unless you're an avid Bob Villa follower.
- Part Three The Famous Mr. Ed: As in Edwin Neal, the undiagnosed schizophrenic who played the hitchhiker, and was absent from The Shocking Truth. Well, he's certainly animated, and thanks to voice acting has gotten more work than most anyone else associated with TCSM. It would have been nice to have seen him spread out over a full documentary though, as the concentrated blast here wears on the nerves.
- Part Four In Memorium: For Franklin, the Cook, and the production designer.
- Part Five The Good Doctor: Special effects artist for the grandfather and a local plastic surgeon W.E. Barnes. Once you've seen one of these heavily technical numbers, the layman has seen them all.
- Part Six Frightmares & Wastelands: A kind look at the convention circuit.
- Part Seven Life After Leatherface: Gunnar Hansen- Icelandic scholar, writer, documentarian, and interesting if somewhat pretentious guy.
All in all, a strictly okay show for the die hards only, and possibly their grandmothers.