Horror Movie News and Reviews

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 – Still Running 31 years later

Well it’s time to dust off the old, rusty, blood-caked chainsaw and rev it up! Because we’re taking another trip to Texas… This time it’s not hippies getting torn apart, it’s the yuppies hitting the chainsaw!

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

In this grisly and bizarre sequel to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Radio DJ Stretch (Caroline Williams) is victimized by the chainsaw family as former Texas Marshall (Dennis Hopper) is hunting them down.  Crafting a sequel to a film is no easy task, this can be even more difficult if it’s a sequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. An iconic horror film that basically restructured and established modern horror for a new generation.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

“Tobe Hooper.” Https://Grindhousearchives.files.wordpress.com, 22 Jan. 2014, grindhousearchives.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/20140122-125557.jpg?w=696.

Enter Tobe Hooper who had a three picture deal with the Cannon film group.  This would conclude his third part of his “Cannon Trilogy”. The first was Lifeforce (1985) followed by Invaders from Mars, a remake of the 1953 film of the same title. Both of these efforts would under perform at the box office and would force Hooper into directing the long-awaited sequel horror fans were dying to see. It’s hard to believe now since The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has gone on to produce multiple sequels, remakes and prequels to those remakes. However, Hooper held back on the project for over ten years. Since he had a contractual obligation to Cannon it was time to fulfill it and pay his dues. If Hooper was going to make a sequel he didn’t want to just remake the original, he wanted to deconstruct it.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

Even though The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 follows some of the same story beats of original film, Hooper and screenwriter L.M. Kit Carson take out all of the reality and ramp up the twisted perverse humor tenfold, compete with sinister three stooges. Not wanting to re-create the documentary atmosphere of the original film, Hooper instead put together a Gore-house opera that doubles up the chainsaw mayhem. Who doesn’t love an epic chainsaw battle between Leatherface and Dennis Hopper?

What the Hell’s goin’ on here? That the American way of enterin’ a man’s home, singin’ like that? – Drayton

Gore

In a response to the bloodsoaked 1980s, Hooper employed the master himself Tom Savini to take over the special fx makeup, which would prove so ghastly that the film would be rated “X” and banned in some countries! The special makeup effects in this film are something to behold.  They are just so disgustingly beautiful, and upon re-watching this film I truly miss Tom Savini’s work in the field.

It’s the Devil’s playground.- Lefty

The Cast

The strong performances in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is what holds the entire macabre piece together. Bill Moseley definitely stands out as the bizarre and deranged character Chop Top. Leatherface is relegated to a more sympathetic and non-threatening role. It seems no one will ever live up to Gunnar Hansen portrayal of the chainsaw wielding character we all know and love. Rest in peace, Gunnar Hansen. Dennis Hopper also delivers a great and over-the-top performance that completely keeps within the movie’s tone.  However, can we expect anything less from the late and great actor? Jim Siedow reprised his role as Drayton the Cook and is still awesome, and Caroline Williams (Stretch) also gives an equally good performance, not to mention a memorable scream.

Lick my plate, you dog dick! – Chop Top

Final Thoughts

It’s interesting to look back at this film. Upon its initial release the die hard fans of the original absolutely hated it. It wouldn’t be until years later when this little film would gain a cult audience on VHS, and this is where much of the sequel’s appreciation grew.  I’ve been a long-standing defender of this film and have even gotten into more than a few arguments over it.  Some of which believe it or not almost resulted in fistfights!  It appears Tobe Hooper had nothing to lose when making this much awaited sequel, so he let loose!  The result is a film that’s very much in tune with the characters. In addition, this movie has such an infectious twisted energy.  It may not be the iconic classic that the original was, but The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is still a classic in its own right.

 Exit. E-X-I-T. – Chop Top