The incredibly hard working folk over at Dark Sky Film just announced a theatrical release date for their painstaking 4K restoration of Tobe Hooper's peerless horror classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. You will be able to catch it on the big screen on the 20th of June.
Over the course of 5 months, Todd Wieneke and his team transfered all 120,360 frames of the actual original 16mm print (swoon) through the ARRISCAN film scanner, getting rid of all manner of aberration. As Bloody Disgusting reports:
“There were hundreds, if not thousands, of instances where you’d find a splice mark cooked into the middle of a frame. Some frames would have close to two hundred dirt events on them. We also spent a lot of time stabilizing the image. When doing a digital scan of a conformed 16mm print with a splice at every cut, it can be tough to achieve the high standards we all aspire to in the era of digital cinema. What might have passed as acceptable in the 70′s looks jarring now. So we worked hard to smooth out the tremors that almost inevitably occur when scanning this type of film element. There were tears in the film that we had to digitally rebuild from adjacent frames. There were tens of thousands of things we were dealing with,”
So 40 years on from it's original release, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre looks in remarkably rude health. Tobe Hooper's shocker classic caused quite a stir when it appeared in 1974 but it almost seems to be getting better, or perhaps stranger, with age. So much controversial art has a tendency to lose its edge as the years roll by but there's so much about this low budget gem that feels as weird and singular as it must have back then.
A gentle monster with a keen eye for interior design, a manic ending like no other and a dinner scene that looks like a Stanley Kubrick nightmare. Four years after its original release John Carpenter would change how the studio execs felt about horror. His own classic Halloween was lauded for making good off a ridiculously low budget- thanks largely to Carpenter's inherent creativity- but Tobe Hooper managed to create this wonderful nightmare for even less. How incredible to see it back up on the big screen, in ludicrous 4K, cackling like a lunatic once more. Be sure to seek it out.
What controversial favourites would you like to see getting the 4K treatment? Let us know in the comments below.
The Texas Chainsaw massacre returns to cinemas on June 20th