Joakim (Paperinukke)’s review published on Letterboxd:
Hooptober 4.0 - The month of horror. Here, now, forever! - The 1st entry, 1.10.2017.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
Hooptober begins with Tobe Hooper. Even if Hooper had only directed The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, he would be a legend and an inspiration for me. TTCSM is the very definition of horror - one of the only films actually able to disgust and terrify me, without any kind of cheap gimmicks. A spellbinding nightmare, an unnerving feeling, worms crawling inside of your skin for 82 minutes. After such an iconic masterpiece, it would seem obvious that no one - not even Hooper - could repeat the same trick with same ingredients and create something as horrifying for the sequel.
Tobe understood that. Why even make just a copy of its predecessor? Instead of only atmospheric terror, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 emphasizes the black comedy side of the original with the buzz of chainsaws and icky gore. The bits of dark humor certainly were there in the first film, but my mind hardly registered any of that as I was too busy trying to stay alive during the (masterful) torture. After 12 years since the arrival of TTCSM, Leatherface & co stroke back. The film is a grand success, a deranged and twisted return to Texas full of uncomfortable emotions. Simultaneously disgusting & brutally hilarious, I couldn't stop myself from somewhat falling in love with the unique weirdness of this mad "devil's playground" that switches all the time from laughter to deeply disturbing feelings in a heartbeat.
The casting, spot-on. I don't know how many actors could deliver so sweetly the campy lunacy ("TAKE IT ALL DOWN! BRING IT ALL DOWN!") and the urge to catch the crazy cannibals as Dennis Hopper does in his role as the former Texas Marshall "Lefty" who tries to solve the case with the authority of a badass action star. Then there's Caroline Williams as the female protagonist "Stretch" who screams and whimpers, but never quite loses the presence of a strong-willed woman we get to see in the beginning and before the end. Finally, the adorable Sawyers. We've got Bill Johnson's "sexual" freak Bubba (Leatherface), Bill Moseley's enthusiastic music lover Chop-Top, Ken Evert's lovely Grandpa and possibly my favourite member, Jim Siedow's Cook who makes damn fine chili. Simply amazing.
Boys, boys, boys. No, Hooper didn't make something as horrifying - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is a special dish that excites, entertains, disturbs and amuses, sometimes all of those at the same time. Comedy and horror, the two hardest genres to succeed in that I could imagine, and Hooper tackles them in a wonderful manner without completely abandoning the original Chainsaw's petrifying magic. The lights, the sounds, the effects. Occasionally we are being drowned in this familiar pitiless bloodpool, when the feeling everyone should be afraid of catches us. Humor won't save you when it attacks. The film's ending is a definition of its beautiful nature: Hopper's character has a chainsaw duel with Leatherface like some epic hero (those damn dual chainsaws!), Siedow performs a ridiculously funny monologue under a table and Chop-Top crazily chases Stretch. An exceptional campy action horror comedy, where every side of it works. What thrills, what sick fantasies, what a celebration of imagination and what an achievement.
Strange things happened. Strange, fantastic things.