The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 ★★★½

It's always really, really hard to decide how much or how little I like this film.

For starters, it's a film that shouldn't exist in the first place: a cheesy 80s sequel to the greatest horror film of all time.

It simultaneously manages to have too much and too little continuity: Jim Siedow reprises his original role and Bill Moseley replaces Edwin Neal but does a decent impression, but Bill Johnson's version of Leatherface looks and acts like a completely different character.

Then there's that 80s cheesiness: The awful, cheapo synth score, and the stylised lighting that (a) reduces the impact of all the blood because the scenes are lit in reds and pinks, and (b) makes it look as though the killers have had an interior designer round to do up their secret lair.

Oh, and when it comes to the reprisal of the dinner party scene, Caroline Williams is no Marilyn Burns.

And yet... the scenes at the radio station are all great. The long scene where Stretch is discovered by Leatherface in the hideout is full of different kinds of horror, from gross-out splatter to totes emosh tragedy. And it's impossible to leave the film disappointed when it ends with Williams recreating the final shot of the original film.

And then there's Dennis Hopper, who seems to be in his own world. How did a legend like him end up (a) being in this film, and (b) being the worst thing in it?

Oh, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, you're such an enigma. But I guess that's why I keep coming back to you. One thing's for sure though: you're at least 20 minutes too long.

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