What *is* The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2? Is it the necessary exaggeration (and continuation) of the darkly comedic elements of Tobe Hooper's original film? Or is it a "fuck you" to fans wanting more of the same? I actually saw it for the first time before seeing the original, and the Breakfast Club-inspired VHS cover in no way prepared me for the raucous, silly, and violent nightmare within.
It's certainly entertaining, but retreads of scenes from the previous film fall…
It's Peter Cushing playing Baron Frankenstein (or, uh, Dr. Victor) for the final time - as well as being the final film directed by Hammer stalwart Terence Fisher. FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL is unfairly maligned due to its initial languid pace and for the look of the monster. It's actually an incredible amount of fun, with the asylum setting making for a wonderful, claustrophobic atmosphere once things become unhinged. Also features a great supporting cast (including former Doctor Who Patrick Troughton as a graverobber) and some surprisingly explicit violence.
It looks great. It - perhaps ironically - sounds great. The acting is fine, particularly from Jean Dujardin and Uggie the dog. But while the novelty of a modern silent film is fun (with all due respect to Mel Brooks SILENT MOVIE), it feels more like a stylistic exercise or a short film stretched to feature length rather than a complete work. It's so slight and breezy, and instantly forgettable.
It's the same old story. A group of orphan Taekwondo experts form a synth-pop band and fight ninja drug dealers while fending off attacks from rival bands and celebrating peace and friendship. Yet, somehow this lost 80s oddity manages to add the element of EXTREME VIOLENCE just to give it that certain je ne sais quoi. Thank goodness this bizarre action picture was rescued from obscurity.