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To celebrate the film’s 40th anniversary, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is getting a restoration and a new theatrical run this summer. The restored version of the film will be presented in 4K, converted from the original 16mm A/B rolls.
According to the announcement, this is the only transfer ever made of the original film rolls. It was commisioned by MPI and Dark Sky Films, and handled at NOLO Digital Film in Chicago. The project took five months of 40-hour workweeks to complete the process.
“This film probably needed the most restoration of any project we’ve done,” NOLO engineer Boris Seagraves said. “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.”
“I haven’t seen The Texas Chain Saw Massacre on the big screen for many, many years,” director Tobe Hooper added. “This 40th anniversary restoration is absolutely the best the film has ever looked.”
The restored version will premiere at SXSW on March 10, with a wider summer release to follow.
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