TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2: GRUESOME...
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
What's it about
A young radio show host (Caroline Williams)is terrorized by the Sawyer (LOL@JOKE) family while former Texas Marshall 'Lefty' Enright (Dennis Hopper) attempts to hunt them all down.
Is it good movie?
Ok, so picture this.
It's the eighties, and horror is simply booming. You remember back when you were a young man, and you'd watched the original TCM, and absolutely loved it. The low budget and creep factor helped to make a fantastic, original and scary film that you absolutely loved.
Then, Cannon pictures released a sequel, starring no one from the first film, but amazingly still directed by Tobe Hooper and starring the awesome Dennis Hopper. What could go wrong?
This film is a trainwreck, How it can be considered to be a TCM film is really beyond me, I can't lie. On the level of showing how wacky and zany the Sawyer family is, it works. Choptop (the always awesome Bill Moseley), the Cook and Grandpa are all zany, twisted characters who always boss Leatherface around. Speaking of Leatherface, why didn't Gunnar Hansen reprise his role? What a bummer. The new guy, Bill Johnson, is ok, but the character has been turned into a sexually confused, frustrated oaf who's bossed around constantly by his family while sometimes hacking people up. The saw is supposed to be his penis, get it? Yeah, I didn't think it was that funny either.
The movie is played as a strange sort of attempt at dark comedy. I appreciate the new 'interpretation' of the situation, but I have to be honest, a family of cannibals whose centerpiece is a skin-wearing, chainsaw wielding murder probably shouldn't be portrayed as a comedic one. That's just my opinion. Don't get me wrong, there are some good scenes, and some nasty gore, and Dennis Hopper actually manages to steal the scenery more often than not.
The problem here is that this strange mix of horror and humor really just never gels together properly and just left a bad taste in my mouth. The elaborate sets, the overdone characters, the ridiculous finale in the Sawyer's underground lair, I just couldn't wait for it to be over.
Sorry, but this one just didn't do it for me. I'd rather watch Part 3: Leatherface, and that one barely makes any sense!
Video / Audio
1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen is our video presentation, and it does look a bit dated, I'm not sure if they cleaned this one up since its initial bare bones release.
Sound, however was a fine 5.1 mix, newly done for this DVD.
It Runs in the Family is a six part featurette that details the making of the film. Strangely enough Dennis Hopper and Tobe Hooper make no appearance. What gives?
We also get some deleted scenes with explanations as to why they were not used. I dug the explanations, and thought the scenes were a nice addition.
Hooper does show up in a commentary track with David Gregory, which is very informative and worth a listen, if for no other reason than to find out what he was thinking!
The crown jewel here is the commentary track with Bill Moseley, Caroline Williams and Tom F'n Savini, who are so entertaining as they travel back to the past and share their many fond stories about making the film.
Oh yeah, some still galleries too.
Watching the supplemental material really makes you wish this film was..you know, good. The actors had a blast making it, and Savini's effects were awesome, but I still thought the movie was bizarre and really left me wanting more, almost like a parody. However, that being said, the extras are great, and if you like this flick, you should really pick this disc up.