The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 ★★★★

You Gotta Be Fucking Kidding: The 1980s Horror Month

I've been wracking my brains since this film finished trying to think of a weirder sequel than this.

Sure, there have been sequels to weird films that have been equally, if not more, weird. But I mean in terms of a comparison to the original when it comes to the tone and genre. Everything about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is outright bizarre - I've never seen a sequel that so fragrantly and deliberately looks to flount the tone of the original and not really care what people think of it, right down to the greatest movie poster of all time - and why the fuck isn't it the poster of choice on here? You people have no goddamn taste sometimes.

To be honest, there were a lot of moments during this film that I felt like it was just stalling for time - some scenes are bizarrely strung out to the point where I genuinely think there's nothing actually happening for about half the running time. But rather than making it a drag or boring, it adds to the surreal atmosphere of the whole thing, especially as almost nothing makes ANY BLOODY SENSE IN THIS FILM.

I didn't actually know this was a Cannon film beforehand so I was all set for some cheap and enjoyable follow-up but this is completely ridiculous. Is that bridge where that guy gets his head sliced open at the start the longest bridge in the world? What the hell was Stretch talking about when she got Leatherface to rub her one out with his chainsaw? Why was she called Stretch? Where did Dennis Hopper go near the end? Whose idea was it to give Dennis Hopper a chainsaw? Why did that guy not die after Bill Moseley (who is brilliantly deranged in this) hit him 600 times in the head with a hammer? Why did Hopper look like a corpse when she visits him in his hotel room? Are these my feet?

I don't actually want the answers to any of these questions but the key to many really enjoyable films is that they can pose loads of stupid questions like these but the fun isn't in the answers - it's in the fact that they're loopy enough to pose them at all. What makes it all the more strange is the fact that, in places, this is a lovely film to look at, or at least I thought it was anyway. Dusty old Texas has rarely looked quite so drainingly sun bleached for a start.

Then there's their lair. Seemingly endless tunnels decorated with ghastly garb and fairy lights, littered with assorted kitsch junk, you can see why Hooper wants us to spend so much time down there. I can't even be sure he didn't really want us to spend the whole film down there. That would have been just fine by me. As long as I didn't have to hear Caroline Williams' screams reverberating through them, it would have been even better,

Williams is as splendid at times as her boots, but if there was one thing I would change about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, it would be that scream. But then again, I probably would in her situation, longer and louder. Hopper seems to be warming up nicely for the following year's Blue Velvet, and quite frankly I could listen to Jim Siedow calling people coonshits for ages.

Also v. impressed by Leatherface's tie, I must say.

Steve G liked this review