The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 ★★★★½

HoopTober Se7en - Film #1 / 31
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Ah, so here we are at the beginning of HoopTober! To start things off, I decided to go with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. This is the only film on this year’s list that I’ve already seen, and I have a pretty good reason for rewatching it...

I was not at all a fan of this one the first time I watched it. I thought it 100% flat-out fuckin’ sucked. The original was genre-defining; a macabre and twisted spectacle unlike anything audiences had seen before. How did they go from that...to this??

After mulling it over for the better half of a year, I started to feel like perhaps I’d judged this thing too harshly. I went into TCM 2 expecting an extension of the source material, and I came out disappointed when I got something a bit different. I felt like I still owed it a fair chance, knowing exactly what it is and what it intends to do.

As you can see by the rating above — which, mind you, was once a whopping one-and-a-half stars — I enjoyed it quite a bit more on my second go around. 

I didn’t realize it before, but this movie is a certified gut-buster in every sense of the term - stockpiled full of both hearty laughs and, well, actual busted guts. Every single performance is delightfully vehement and fringing on absurdity; Caroline Williams is a god-tier queen of scream (not to mention a total babe), Dennis Hopper makes for a great “chaotic-neutral cowboy,” and Bill Moseley effortlessly steals the show as ‘Chop-Top’ Sawyer. 

However, although it’s largely framed as a comedy, this flick still has its fair share of uncomfortable moments. As a matter of fact, there’s actually more gore in this one than the first - go figure. Everything in TCM 2 is thinly veiled with a sense of playful levity, but that queasy atmosphere that made the original great lurks just beneath the surface, occasionally rearing its ugly head between the cracks.

I’m not quite sure if it’s a favorite yet, but either way, this was one hell of a fun watch. My advice for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet? DON’T compare it to the original. Just sit back, relax, and have some fun. Trust me, you should have a grisly good time! Sorry I ever doubted your vision, Hoopmeister; here’s to you in the heavens above! 

UP NEXT 🎃: The Funhouse

Drew W. liked this review