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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
  
   
 Directed by: Tobe Hooper
 Starring: Dennis Hopper/Lefty
Caroline Williams/Stretch
Bill Moseley/Chop Top
  Bill Johnson/Leatherface
 
RATING

PLOT-CRUNCH:


That crazy Texas family is still around, killing people to make chili and winning all kind of awards for it. Things go sour when Stretch (Williams), a hot radio DJ tapes one of the murders heard on her radio show. The family gets pissed and hunt her down. Fortunately for her, bad ass lawman (and related to some of the kids that died in the first one) Lefty (Hopper) arrives in town with determination in his eyes, the Lord on his side and lots of chainsaws. He’s there to put an end to those wackos and send them back to hell Texas style. Chainsaw dueling anyone?
  

THE LOWDOWN:


What starts off very promisingly (great opening sequence where two drunk teen meet their fate at the hands of Leatherface) quickly turns into an embarrassing mess. I admire that Hooper didn’t want to repeat himself but this is drivel. The tone of the movie is polar opposite to the tone of the original. Yes kids we have another horror comedy on our hands (god I hate that word). This time around the crazy family is no longer real and brutal, they have become the Three Stooges. Most of the humor falls flat on it’s chainsaw, the Chop Top character (expansion of the Hitchhiker character, I hear he might be his brother) is suppose to be a hoot, too bad his endless rambling is torture to sit through, Leatherface falls in love (urg), the cook yells all the time and chainsaws become phallic symbols. Seeing Leatherface do pelvic thrusts with his chainsaw or running on the spot like Road Runner is just absurd. Capped with a finale that seems rushed, a scene lifted from the first one and a silly last frame this movie fails on most counts.. On the plus side, Dennis Hopper is a treat as the chainsaw wielding savior, the line "The Saw I s Family" is born and the amusement park setting (not nearly as effective as the abandoned house in the original) is somewhat interesting (lots of Christmas lights). But that’s not enough to save this flick. Is the chainsaw already out of gas????
    

ACTING:


Dennis Hopper (Lefty) is just great, he has his own unique presence and elevates any movie he’s in. This one is no exception…he just rocks and hams it up for our viewing pleasure. Caroline Williams (Stretch) also gives a good show, she’s a focused actress with great lungs. Any depth Jim Siedow (the cook) gave to the character in the first is almost totally absent here. Gone are the levels the character played on. Nice to cruel to both at the same time. He just yells all the time. Bill Moseley (Chop Top) is the "Jar Jar Binks" of the chainsaw series, I couldn’t wait for someone to shut his yap. We all know Leatherface (Bill Johnson) is a weak minded nut, kind of like a child but in this one he’s just a big old sissy.
 

GORE:


A few bloody servings: Head sawed in half, man with skin peeled off his face, chainsaw in the gut. But even though Tom (he’s a great dude) Savini handled the effects, they sometime looked cheesy.
   

T & A:


Nudity is not on the menu.
   

DIRECTING:


A few nice shots, but Hooper is not good with comedy and seems to have forgotten how to build suspense…the fact that the "family" is no longer scary doesn’t help.
   

SOUNDTRACK:


Some 80’s rock song. Surprisingly some of them worked.
   

BOTTOM LINE:


Larry (The Cook), Curly (Chop Top) and Moe (Leatherface) are no longer gritty psychos but cartoon morons. Bigger budget, bigger chainsaws do not make better movie. This movie is not scary, nor is it funny…so what’s left? Dennis Hopper…that is all. I will admit seeing Hopper have a chainsaw duel with Leatherface is kind of fun but it’s not enough. Hooper did do something different "yes" but he should have kept the "feel" of the original. This marks the descent of the Chainsaw series and Hooper’s career.
 

BULL'S EYE:


The movie cost 4.6 million to make.

There’s a special video edition out there with more footage. We get a group of rioting football fans getting slaughtered by the family. We get Joe Bob Briggs talking splatter with some broads until Leatherface shows up and slaughters him. And a few more scenes.

The Arrow interviews Bill Moseley here

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The Way The Arrow Points...

   
 I’d BUTCHER my family to see this again
 HANG me but I dug it a lot
 An ok way to KILL two hours
 Just sling an ARROW in my head and let me die in peace

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