The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)


I remember seeing this flick on the Special Edition VHS when I was a kid. Luckily it contained extra footage that's not added in the DVD, but I've since sold that copy many years ago. I always thought the first three TCM movies were pretty good (first obviously being the best), and I pretty much ignored the horrible fourth movie. Although this movie isn't as good as its predecessor, it's still a good watch, especially if you're a TCM fan like myself.

The movie starts off with a couple rowdy teens causing trouble on the road. They call a local radio station and pester the DJ (Caroline Williams) and get murdered by non other than Leatherface himself while still on the phone with the radio station, which gets the ordeal recorded via a cassette. The DJ attempts to bring the evidence to a Lieutenant (and brother to wheelchair-bound Franklin), who's been hunting down the murderous family for years. Once the family finds out about the tape, they make way to the radio station to make sure all the evidence is destroyed. Now it's up to the local DJ and the revenge-driven Lieutenant (Dennis Hopper) to stop them once and for all.

Original TCM director Tobe Hooper returns for this installment to follow-up the huge success of the first. In some ways the movie does succeed in continuing the story of the family by showing them expanding the cannibalistic business and such, but it does have its share of plot-holes. One thing I didn't like about the movie was the fact that they gave Leatherface a heart by falling for the lead DJ chick, which eventually works in her favor. It seemed like they wanted to expand the Leatherface character, but also give an excuse for the lead to survive longer. In this sequel we're introduced to a new character named Chop Top (Bill Moseley), who is very similar to the dead "hitchhiker" character in the first, but far more crazed. Other than that, Grandpa returns, as well as Jim Siedow as "the cook" and fatherly figure of the boys. We also get some slight back-story into the family's history, but it's really brief and subtle stuff.

Although Dennis Hopper was one of the stars, he sadly doesn't have as much screen-time as one would think. He does have a cool battle with the family with a couple smaller chainsaws. The movie also has some good gore from effects-master Tom Savini, which is a plus since the first didn't have any. In the end it's a decent sequel to the first TCM, but it's an overall good watch if you're simply a fan of the series.

Doesn't live up to the original, but does manage to be fairly entertaining. Worth a check.
Doesn't live up to the original, but does manage to be fairly entertaining. Worth a check.