Before I talk about the best of the Chainsaw sequels I just want to say that yes, this counts as a Hidden Horror because most non-horror loving normal people don’t even know there are sequels to the original film…yeah…so anyway back to the film….
WARNING! To all those who love the original 1974 masterpiece but have never seen this one, the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 are completely different animals in terms of tone. The original film is grizzly, in your face and unrelentingly horrifying and Part 2 is an over-the-top dark comedy with over-the-top gore and set pieces.
Part 2 is where the Chainsaw family has moved to Dallas and lives under an abandoned amusement park in a creepy lair filled with christmas lights, skeletons and human meat hanging around. They make a profitable business running a food truck selling chili with their own special “meat.” When a disc jockey listens to the Chainsaw family hack up a couple of annoying yuppie callers on the air she enlists the help of a batshit crazy lawman (played by the wonderful late Dennis Hopper) who’s been tracking down the crazed family for years. She plays the tape on the radio and the crazed family then hunt her down.
What’s so good about this sequels is that it’s completely different in tone from the original and is very much a product of its time. Where as the original is a product of the 70’s the sequels is very much a product of the 80s. C’mon the poster is a spoof of “The Breakfast Club” for gods sake. Example: In the original Leatherface is killing hippies, in the 80’s sequel he’s killing annoying Yuppies. Where the original doesn’t show a whole lot of blood ttheres some good scenes of over the top Tom Savini Splatter effects in the 80‘s sequel. The film can also be seen as a comically dark comedy about the 1980’s Reagan era society and American entrepreneurship.
If you love the Chainsaw Franchise but have never seen this wonderful sequel (shame on you if you haven’t. GET ON IT!) give this one a definite chance. I strongly urge that you be aware this is a completely different movie in terms of tone and everything else from the original. if you have that in mind then you’ll hopefully have a blast with “Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2”
-James J. Coker