The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 ★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

The Outdated Reviews/Ratings Club
(Reviews/Ratings I disavow):
An American Werewolf in London, The Beyond, Bride of Frankenstein, The Brood, Burial Ground, Christine, Curtains, Day of the Dead, Evil Dead II, The Fly (1986), The Funhouse, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, Halloween (2007), Halloween II (2009), In the Mouth of Madness, Lisa and the Devil, Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Prom Night, Re-Animator, Session 9, The Shining, Silver Bullet, Slumber Party Massacre II, Tenebre, Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 1, Texas Chainsaw "3D", The Thing 1, The Thing 2, Valerie and Her Week of Wonders

The 80's agrees with Texas Chainsaw Massacre more than I originally thought.

I still think most of what I thunk before. I still think it isn't innovative to focus on the behind-the-scenes of Sawyer Family Runs an Amusement Park rather than actually getting to see them interacting with their customers. And, I still think the Chili Cooking Contest scene and its' Dallas Community Spirit theme fails to dig its hooks into anything. And Dennis Hopper's Lefty is not interesting at all. And Bill Mosely is about the most annoying frequent player in the entire genre. The gore didn't thrill or wow me. The ending didn't really satisfy me. The dialogue mostly felt like a replay of the first film- with a few exceptions.

But, like with Night of the Creeps, I have to admit this whole thing plays a lot better on a repeat viewing. This time, I feel I can safely say I saw it all. (Ha.) And I have to give credit to the slight humanization of Leatherface. For 1986, it works. And if one of the slasher icons has to have their relationship with their Killer Tool sexualized- I'm okay with that being Leatherface. Especially after the godawful disaster that was Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (at least if you kill Leatherface, he doesn't just get right back up) (don't ask me how that theory gels with the other sequels- I'll get to those when I get to those) (next month). Tobe Hooper found a way to make the idea of Leatherface being horny / not knowing what to do with his surrogate penis (or real one) genuinely effective. Mostly by having the Final Girl character in need of a distraction to get out of the chainsaw's path.

The first time I saw the movie, only the opening 20 or so minutes really did anything for me. The idea of re-staging / continuing the Sawyer Family adventures in the mid-80's was a novelty that at least had some visual oomph to it. (Thanks to the neon and the idea of having the road to the underground slaughtering area decorated with a museum of tacky American junk.) This is a pretty good-looking followup to the original and it showed Hooper still had some talent after the pretty lousy Lifeforce. And, I actually laughed this time (when Drayton yelled at Bubba-Leatherface to bring Stretch over to Grandpa). Just once, but hey- it's a start. I just wish Lefty didn't feel so... out of left-field. And that Bill Mosely got a death scene befitting his obnoxiousness level. And, for all the 80's films obsessed with football players and games, that we actually saw the rabidly hungry customers Drayton alluded to. This whole franchise is laid on a bed of cannibalism and, all this time, did a single one of the films ever do anything creepy with that?

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