Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not great, the image seemed more than satisfactory.
Sharpness was largely positive. A few interiors appeared a little on the soft side, but the majority of the movie came across with good accuracy and delineation.
I noticed no issues with jaggies or shimmering, and the image lacked edge haloes. With decent natural grain, I didn’t sense any intrusive digital noise reduction, and print flaws were absent.
Colors seemed adequate. Leatherface went with a blue and amber-influenced palette, and the hues appeared fine within those choices, though they could seem a bit dense at times.
Blacks were fairly dark and tight, and shadows showed largely appropriate clarity, albeit a little on the dim side. I felt the transfer held up pretty well.
I also thought that the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Leatherface worked fine, though, the forward channels dominated. They showed good stereo imaging for the score and also offered acceptable ambience.
Not surprisingly, the movie kicked to auditory life more actively during its occasional action scenes, and those offered decent use of all five channels. The elements seemed appropriately located and they blended together pretty well, though I never thought this turned into an especially involving affair.
Audio quality appeared solid. Dialogue came across as fairly natural and warm, though the lines did occasionally suffer from iffy looping. Music seemed bright and vibrant, as the score presented clear highs and tight low-end.
Effects packed a good punch, so those elements appeared distinct and vivid. They lacked problems related to distortion, and they demonstrated reasonably deep bass response. Overall, the soundtrack of Leatherface seemed more than acceptable given its age and origins.
Despite the movie’s low-profile, the Blu-ray comes with a nice array of extras, and we launch with an audio commentary from director Jeff Burr, screenwriter David J. Schow, production assistant Mark Odesky, special makeup effects supervisor Greg Nicotero, and actors RA Mihailoff and William Butler. All sit separately for this edited look at the project’s origins and development, cast and performances, story/characters/sequel concerns, budget issues, sets and locations, effects, editing and ratings problems, music and connected domains.
The commentary gives us a pretty terrific overview of the production. It traces the film essentially from beginning to end and does so in a frank, informative manner. These factors make it a consistently engaging and enjoyable piece.
Next comes a documentary called The Saw Is Family. It spans 27 minutes, 58 seconds and includes notes from Burr, Nicotero, Schow, Butler, Ordesky, Mihailoff, and producer Robert Engleman.
“Family” looks at real-life roots for Leatherface, aspects of the original Massacre and the first sequel, and the development of the third chapter. It also discusses story/character/script areas, cast and performances, sets and locations, various effects, controversies during the shoot, ratings/editing issues, and the movie’s release.
With “Family”, we get a brisk examination of the film. Given that it concentrates on the same participants in the commentary, repetition becomes inevitable, but “Family” still delivers a pretty solid overview.
In addition to a surprisingly clever trailer, we find an Alternate Ending (5:20) and a Deleted Scenes documentary (9:45). The “Ending” kills off a character who survives the released version and offers a different fate for another role. It’s neither better nor worse than the “real” ending.
As for the “Scenes Documentary”, it mixes cut footage with comments from Burr and Nicotero about these sequences. The excised sequences feel minor and largely forgettable, but the filmmakers’ remarks and some behind the scenes footage add value to the compilation.
Don’t expect much from Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, as it provides a horror experience devoid of quality. Outside of a chance to see Viggo Mortensen pre-fame, the movie lacks memorable elements. The Blu-ray brings us generally positive picture and audio as well as a reasonable roster of supplements highlighted by a strong commentary. Leatherface fails to live up to even the most modest hopes and expectations.