The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 ★★★½

Hooptober 5 Film 10/31

4/6 Decades: 1980s
1/2 Tobe Hooper Directed

Lick my plate, you dog dick!

That's what you call a left turn. Departing about as far as possible from the famous nearly-docu style of the groundbreaking original film, and being produced almost a decade later, Tobe Hooper had now directed several 'proper' conventional films, and had become quite good at it in the process. He was a different filmmaker film when he made CHAIN SAW and a brave filmmaker at that -- to turn such a film into a black comedy is almost unfathomable. How would audiences respond? Would there be any other possibility than utter disappointment? I figured there would be no way I'd enjoy this but turns out Hooper is such a great filmmaker he's able to pull off some really tense, and really disturbed sequences--when the radio "fan" arrives at the station, scratching his scalp with a heated end of a clothes hanger it's really unsettling but also ridiculously captivating. This is the perfect Halloween season movie. At one time probably the perfect VHS party movie. Hooper doesn't lean on lame jokes or gags but instead finds humour in the absurdity of a cannibalistic family and mocking the excess of Texan culture.

The second half drags a bit once we enter the madhouse labyrinth of the cannibal home and the dinner scene feels largely the same as the first film but 10x as long. But overall, this is a sequel that could only get better with age and watching it now is a total blast. Very much in the vein of RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, a hugely surprising blast that is almost in contempt of its predecessor.

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