The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 title

Tag Line : After years of silence the "Buzz" is back.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 Tobe Hoopers long awaited sequel was not originally released in the UK when it first came out in the mid-1980's. So when I finally managed to get hold of an American import, I was eagerly looking forward to viewing it.

I knew very little about the film, only that it was by original director Tobe Hooper, the make-up effects were by gore maestro Tom Savini and that it starred the legendary actor Dennis Hopper. With a cast and crew of this calibre, I thought that this would have be a great movie. So you can therefore imagine my utter disappointment at what a complete load of rubbish it turned out to be.

Dennis Hopper stars as Lieutenant "Lefty" Enright, a Texas Ranger who's been chasing after the chainsaw wielding family of cannibals over the past 13 years or so, after they apparently escaped at the end of the last film. Lefty discovers that the chainsaw wielding family has since moved to Dallas, after Radio D.J. Vanitia "stretch" Block (Caroline Williams), receives a telephone request from a couple of young lads, just shortly before they are attacked by Leatherface and his brother Chop Top and their deaths inadvertently go out live on air.

Unfortunately, Vanitia gets abducted by them and taken back to their lair, where they have their mobile catering business (no prizes for guessing what meat they use in the chilli). But, Lefty is on the case, as he follows them back and, armed with chainsaws, goes inside to rescue her and confront Leatherface and family in a chainsaw duel to the death..

The film did have a lot of promise, but is let down by the fact that director Tobe Hooper decided to make this as a campy comedy, rather than a serious horror film, which I thought detracted terribly from the first. Nobody in this seemed to know how to act either, with everyone being either way over the top, or looking like they couldn't be bothered. Even veteran actor Dennis Hopper seemed wooden in this and the annoying synth-soundtrack, which sounded like a chimpanzee jumping up and down on a keyboard,  did nothing to enhance the picture either.

There were a couple of good scenes, such as where Leatherface is on the back of a pick-up truck attacking a couple of snotty teens in a Mercedes, and the aforementioned chainsaw Duel between Lefty and Leatherface was pretty good, but these alone are not enough to save the picture.

A bitter disappointment that makes you wonder why Tobe Hooper bothered.

Overall marks : 4/10

Terrifying Trivia.

  • The film was never officially banned in the UK, the distributors simply decided against releasing it here back in the 80s, because the head of the BBFC, James Ferman, had seen the film at a special horror screening and told them that if they bothered to submit it for classification then he would insist on cutting at least 20 minutes out of it before he would even consider passing it.

  • The film's budget was $4,700,000.

  • Gunner Hansen was apparently approached for the role of Leatherface again, but declined because of the pay, so the part went instead to actor Bill Johnson. The only original actor to reprise his role from the first is Jim Siedow who plays The Cook, or Drayton Sawyer as he's called.

  • The dilapidated amusement park used in the films climax was the former 'Prarie Dell Lake Park', located just off Highway IH-35, South of Salado, Texas. The site has since been demolished and turned into a Caravan Park.

  • The character of Chop Top (Bill Mosely), Leatherface's younger brother, is supposed to be the twin brother of 'The Hitchiker' from part 1. He was supposed to have been in Vietnam during the first movie.

  • The picture of the family "group shot", used on the original US video sleeve, was a parody of the promotional group shot for the movie "The Breakfast Club".

  • Jim Seidow (Drayton/The Cook) retired from acting after this movie.

  • The US laserdisc and special edition tape contained additional unused scenes, these include the family's catering truck getting attacked by rioting football fans outside the Dallas cowboys stadium, only to get turned into mincemeat by Leatherface and Co. There's also additional scene's where Dennis Hopper is following the family to there hideout and we hear the cook complaining about the revenue they've lost after having to leave the football stadium in a hurry. There's also an alternate take of Stretch hiding in the meat room. These are also on the special edition US DVD.

  • The film was finally submitted to the BBFC for a UK video release in 2001, after the new management had liberalised the classification guidelines, and after Bravo TV had rather cheekily shown an edited version of the film a few months previously (without incident). To a lot of peoples surprise, the new censors had few qualms about passing it uncut.

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