The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 ★★½

Film 4 of Hooptober 6.0:

Man, what a disappointment. Let me get to the good part first. The production design from the radio station to the ghoulish amusement park is absolutely spectacular. Any time the camera followed through the labyrinthian tunnels, the ground and walls were just littered with so many sharp, atmospheric details. Dennis Hopper, as well, is totally innocent. His character, Lefty, is definitely underwritten but he never overplays his Texas archetype instead letting his seething obsession undergird every moment of his time onscreen.

Uh, and then there's the bad, which was almost everything else for me. I love the idea of making a movie about Leatherface's family (Truly bizarre that RE7 actually improved on this idea), but Drop-Top and Drayton Sawyer are two of the most abrasive, irritating characters i've ever seen. Drop-top's hippie cannibal is another great idea on paper but as played as Moseley, his personality is completely one-note and based in gross tics rather than any kind of character foundation.

And I thought Stretch was going to be one of the great Final Girls when this started but her performance nearly immediately descends into awkward histrionics once she starts getting involved with Leatherface's brood. Her performance never feels meticulous enough for the scenarios and her constant screaming just further undermines her character's sense of reality. It's all the more frustrating when you have great scenes like the grace note dance with Leatherface or the genuinely harrowing scenes with L.G. It's just a bummer all around, but I think i'd still watch a DC of this.