The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 ★★★★½

Never have I been so wrong about a film on it's first viewing...

Like a lot of people, I didn't like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 because it felt so different from the original. I was so confused and frustrated about it. But since this year, after watching a lot more Tobe Hooper films, I've began to realize how he works as a director.

He's already perfected horror, subverted it, exploited it, experimented it, homaged it, and even slept on it. Where can you go from here, but to satirize it. He and everyone involved, did not want to make the same film as the original Texas Chainsaw. If you're gonna add on to a classic, you're gonna have to make it differently. And you bet your ass Hooper did it differently.

TTCM was slightly satirical itself. But it was a serious look at violence and the 70s. Grisly, grainy, and very scary. But that was then, in the 70s, with hippies, Watergate, and the Vietnam War. Now? Now's the 80s, with yuppies, John Hughes movies, and Malls. The 80s weren't serious, it had wacky hair, flamboyant clothes, and a lot of synth music. So, the movie's a comedy, or shall I say, dark comedy, and it's really funny.

Absurd. "Leatherface" is in love. "The Cook" wins chili cook-offs. "Chop-Top" is a Vietnam vet. "Grandpa" is still alive. "Lefty" (Dennis Hopper), a mad Texan policeman, is out for vengeance. And "Stretch" (Caroline Williams), a radio DJ, falls prey to men with odd requests. The Original film came when we didn't ask for it, but now sequels are "in", and we're getting what we asked for, even if it's not what we wanted. Happenstance horror was so 70s. We're now forced into the horror.

Brilliantly funny. A spit in the face to the needful want for violence and gore. The horror of this film is that it's not what we expected, and the filmmakers are laughing at us for thinking satisfaction was an endgame. This film was a warning, and was suppose to be the end to the horror sequel. Unfortunately, it forced the hands of the studios to make a more "appropriate" take of the franchise; branching out sequels that try to take the mythology seriously, and repeat contenders to spoofing it's own ridiculousness.

Highly recommended for true Tobe Hooper fans. Remember not to go in expecting something like the Original film.

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