The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is 40 years old this year, and for its birthday, the seminal low-budget horror flick is getting a remastered 4K theatrical release. The movie's director, Tobe Hooper, said the 4K version, which premiered earlier this year at Austin's SXSW festival, "works as well, if not better, than it originally did." A new trailer for the remastered version, full of dead things, skin masks, and screaming victims, allows the non-squeamish to check for themselves.
A limited budget meant Hooper had to use cheaper options to record his movie. The film was shot on 16mm film stock with no negative, and the final version, while full of iconic imagery, was packed with visual errors, tears, and dirt. Boris Seagraves, who worked on the remastered version, said he dealt with "tens of thousands" of imperfections. "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."
Dirt may have been carefully picked away from the Texas Chain Saw Massacre, but the 4K version looks to have retained the original's grainy, gritty feel. Hooper himself helped with the restoration process, working on the remastered movie's 7.1 sound mix and color grading, providing notes on a rough cut of the film put together by colorist Michael Matusek. The remastered version is appearing in selected cinemas across the United States between now and August — Entertainment Weekly has the dates.