Geoff T’s review published on Letterboxd:
Geoff T's Hoop-Tober 3.0 Challenge
Tobe Hooper Triple Bill #3
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
Hooper finally returns to what put him on the map in the first place. This is a polarizing sequel for many, and I can understand why. With Cannon Films as producers, it abandons the gritty seriousness the original had, and goes in a much more comedic and tongue-in-cheek direction. Hooper claims the original also had humour, but I'm honestly not buying it.
Right from the start you know this is going to be a different experience. Those demented Sawyers are back, 12 years after the events of first which according to records, never actually happened. However, bizarre chainsaw murders are still occurring over Texas left and right. Now they're after radio DJ Stretch, after she plays on on-air tape of some obnoxious teens being drive-by chainsawed to death by Leatherface (while the music of Oingo Boingo blasts out).
This killing attracts the attention of a local police deputy named Lefty (Dennis Hopper), who is supposedly the uncle of Sally and Franklin Hardesty (from the original film) who wants to prove the events from 12 years ago happened after what happened to his nephews. After Stretch ends up trapped in an abandoned theme park of horrors where the Sawyers now reside, Lefty grabs his own series of chainsaws and sets off there to extract revenge.
It's much, much different in overall tone, but I kind of enjoyed the new approach. The humor does come off as a bit awkward and forced at times, though I did get a good laugh out of some parts, like the scene in the radio shack (Bill Mosley chews the scenery excessively here) and that amazing chainsaw duel between Left and Leatherface. The gore has been ranked up a lot as well (done by Tom Savini himself), with one especially nasty moment being a hammer head-bashing.
Really, everything in it is just so batshit crazy it defies belief. Those expecting something like the original will be disappointed. However, If you crave a more humorous take with plenty of scenery-chewing performances and over-the-top violence (but with some of the original's griminess left over), then it fits the bill nicely. Hell, I thought it was a laugh.