The Return Of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Documentary

One of the drawbacks of Columbia dropping The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (part 4) from theaters in order to hide it from mainstream Matthew McConaughey fans, is that the film's never gotten the special edition every other film in the series got, even the remakes. They even had a quality behind-the-scenes documentary ready to go, shot during the filming of the movie. But no, we're left with nothing but barebones cheapies, and that doc has gone completely unseen to this very day.
Unseen that is, unless you've stopped by the filmmaker's website,, where director Brian Huberman sells the film directly on DV-R for $30 (though that at least includes shipping). Considering the flack Twilight Time is getting for charging $35 for a special edition blu-ray (also including shipping, just for the record), I'm sure a lot of fans will balk at paying that much for a DV-R. But I threw down for it, so enjoy this review!
The Return Of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Documentary is a nicely edited collection of on-set action, an extensive interview with writer/ director Kim Henkel, and a very silly instrumental introduction. It runs 55 minutes, and gets pretty in-depth, though of course it doesn't include any of the controversy of the film's release, since this was completed before Next Generation hit theaters. But there's plenty to see here, from interviews with the cast and watching them shoot dangerous stunts, down to arguing about adding one more day to the shooting schedule. Often Henkel's interview is used as narration for what's going on. And if you haven't managed to locate an uncut version of Generation, this doc shows a bit of the deleted subplot involving Renee Zellweger's abusive stepfather.
Unlike some entries in the series, TCM4 is a real Texas movie, shot in Texas by Texans. We see one dialogue is ruined because somebody fired a shotgun off in the woods behind them. At another point, Henkel receives a mysterious package from an unknown fan wearing an "Ed Gein Fan Club" t-shirt. And yes, we get camera time with both McConaughey and Zellweger, and even Zellweger's stunt woman. There's even a fun interview with the couple who owns the house they used as "the family"'s home.
The film appears to have been sourced from tape. I'm guessing it was shot on video? But it's a clean, steady image; nothing second generation or anything. It doesn't have that tell-tale video roll at the bottom of the screen. This is probably the best the doc will ever look. I saw clips of it used in a special on E! about the entire Texas Chainsaw series, and the footage looked the same there.
I don't know how well this would stand up as a straight-forward documentary on its own right. But as a companion piece to the film itself, for fans, it's pretty excellent. It's what we should have gotten on on the original studio DVD release. Recommended for fans who've been waiting to even the score with how TCM4's been treated on DVD.

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