The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
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Critic Reviews for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
No matter how adeptly Chainsaw 2 was put together, it would remain just another exploitation flick for fans who get a tingle from watching blades slash into flesh and innards peep out.
Part 2 has a lot of blood and disembowelment, to be sure, but it doesn't have the terror of the original, the desire to be taken seriously. It's a geek show.
The arguments for the desensitising of the audience are complicated, the ones for their dumbing-down are less so. But what bugs me, speaking as a gnarled old woodsman, is the way these movies keep turning tools into weapons.
f you like your horror funny and aren't too squeamish -- say, you're a big fan of Re-Animator or ... Evil Dead 2 -- then Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 will be right up your alley.
An entity of evil in the excellent original, Leatherface is transformed into a buffoon in this ham-fisted outing, to the point that Jerry Lewis should have been cast in the role.
Audience Reviews for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
A ridiculous sequel that makes you endure a bunch of obnoxious hillbillies in a lame and unscary gorefest, trying to be the most gruesome and grotesque it can be but sinking deep in its terrible attempts at a dark comedy.
I consider the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" the greatest horror movie that's ever been produced. The grisly realism and berzerk psychology on display is, and always will be unparalleled. I could easily argue that the site of Sally Hardesty breaking down into hysterical incapacity, while Leatherface violently wielded his chainsaw in a frustrated tantrum, brought the saga to a very satisfying conclusion. Perhaps, the story could have been expanded. Unfortunately, the original was never done justice with a competent sequel. In the genre of horror, a successful brand name is rarely laid to rest. No matter how inept the ideas for future chapters appear. It's an easy way to make money. The first attempt at a sequel came from Tobe Hooper, the man who was responsible for the original. Unfortunately, Hooper never created anything memorable, or even good after "Chainsaw"( And yes, I'm including "Poltergeist"). Hooper's plans for the continuation of his masterpiece was to take the sequel in a new direction. So in 1987, "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2" was unleashed, with nearly no resemblance to its predecessor, whatsoever. Instead of grim atmosphere and the ambiguous use of gore, the idea here was to go over-the-top. While the effects on display were probably state-of-the-art at the time, thanks to the talents of Tom Savini, the constant blood bath does little to sustain much entertainment value. It's just a matter of what you see is what you get. There's no substance, just shock value. This error in judgement was mild compared to other "artistic" liberties that were forced upon the franchise. Apparently, Hooper was under the impression that the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" was hilarious? It's true. Hooper considered his horror classic comical. Somewhere between the gritty realism, invalids being mutilated by chainsaws, sledgehammer assaults, and a girl being left alive hanging from a meathook, the humor was lost on the audience. Imagine that. So once again, Hooper's plan was to go over-the-top. What the audience got was "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2"... the dark comedy. For the most part, I experience a massive disconnect when I view dark-comedies. If I want to watch something funny, I'll watch something funny. When I want to experience horror, I'm in a different mood. Not to mention, nothing in "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2" is actually amusing. It's just campy and extremely irritating. Nothing is as awful as the introduction to the film, featuring two rowdy students causing mischief on the way to a football game. The dialogue is absolutely painful, and what transpires is constantly insulting to the intelligence. It's just something that I'm embarrassed to watch. Even if the movie was able to recover from the shoddy opening sequences, which it doesn't, the introduction would still serve as a black eye to the remainder of the proceedings. As far as the family is concerned, in the sequel Hooper decided to name the clan, the Sawyers. Get it? See that's the kind of highbrow humor that's on display here. Brilliant, right? Anyway, the Sawyers are completely overexposed in this film. Leatherface is completely emasculated as he falls head-over-heels for the Stretch character. You know, for some reason, the character is far less intimidating once we witness his premature ejaculation. (That's right, without going into the ridiculous details, that actually occurs. So there's a giant, wearing a dead skin mask, violently wielding a chainsaw, and he's not the least bit imposing, because someone thought that would be funny.) "The Cook" gets entirely too much screen time rattling off limp puns (No pun intended for the previously mentioned Leatherface scene). The most offensive addition to the clan is without a doubt, Choptop. Choptop is basically a poor man's imitation of "The Hitchhiker" from the original. Anyway, he hee-haws through the entire film, poorly executing pathetic dialogue, on his way to the losing end of a humiliating cat fight with the film's female protagonist. "The Grandpa" is still alive too. You see, he has to be. This is a "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" sequel, so for some reason, the writers feel that they're obligated to recreate the infamous "dinner scene". Predictably, it was performed with the utmost sloppiness this time around. The film's only redeemable quality was Dustin Hoffman's portrayal of the "Lefty" character. He's the only actor that was able to pull of a one-liner, in a film littered with quotes that would disgust Henny Youngman. Years later, Hoffman would go onto admit that "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2" was the worst film that he ever participated in. He was right. I hate this movie, and it's not even the worst sequel in the series. It has come to my attention that it's actually a lot of people's favorite chapter in the entire series. I suppose the original "Chainsaw" can be somewhat of a chore to sit through. Especially if you're not a fan of intense horror. This is much lighter, both in mood and substance. So I guess it's just a matter of taste. You know, one man's trash...
I will confess that upon initial viewing I was extremely underwhelmed by the radical change in tone in 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2'. Over the years I've warmed to the concept of a kamikaze satire about the nuclear family (the tagline was "The saw is family"). Whereas the 70's cult classic was noteworthy for its cinema verite style and minimalist gore, the sequel is guilty of 80's-era excess (ex. A chainsaw is thrust into Leatherface's midsection during a duel). The opening decapitation on a Texas bridge from makeup effects maestro Tom Savini is fiendishly scuzzy. Leatherface is no longer a burly butcher with vacant supernova eyes, he is a henpecked buffoon who sashays with his chainsaw more than he terrorizes people with it (the chainsaw is explicitly a phallic symbol). Country bumpkin L.G.'s (Lou Perryman) flayed appearance is certainly conducive to the gag reflex and the audience is genuinely saddened to see him in agony. Bill Moseley as the decaying Vietnam vet Chop Top fluctuates wildly between nuisance and comic relief. I will always lament that 'Part 2' is a grungy, amusingly hellacious follow-up isn't a tonal companion piece. However Tobe Hopper galvanizes our expectations and that is a cause for celebration.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 Quotes
|Drayton Sawyer the Cook:||I thought you took care of her already.|
|Chop-Top:||Yeah well, Leatherface killed her once already, but LOOK! She's Red-faced. Oh, Bubba's been playing with her, Bubba likes her. Bubba's got a girlfriend!|
|Lt. "Lefty" Enright:||It's the Devil's playground!|
|Chop-Top:||me and my little brother listen to you every night|
|Chop-Top:||Me and my little brother listen to you every night.|
|TV Commentator:||On the afternoon of August 18th, 1973, five young people in a Volkswagen van ran out of gas on a farm road in South Texas. Four of them were never seen again. The next morning the one survivor, Sally Hardesty-Enright, was picked up on a roadside; Blood cloaked and screaming murder. Sally said she had broken out of a window in Hell. The girl babbled a mad tale: a cannibal family in an isolated farmhouse? chain-sawed fingers and bones? her brother, her friends hacked up for barbecue? chairs made out of human skeletons? Then she sank into catatonia. Texas lawmen mounted a month-long manhunt, but could not locate the macabre farmhouse. They could find no killers and no victims. No facts; no crime. Officially, on the records, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre never happened. But during the last 13 years, over and over again reports of bizarre, grisly chainsaw mass-murders have persisted all across the state of Texas. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has not stopped. It haunts Texas. It seems to have no end.|
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