The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

Part of Hooptober 6. Film 6/31.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 can’t compete with the original. That slow, deliberate tension that made the first one so special—it’s just not here. That grotesque mix of comedy and horror—this time, it’s overbalanced into straight whackiness.

There’s some fun to be had in TCM2, though. Dennis Hopper captures the tone perfectly. (His performance is HUGE.) And the production design is supercool—dirty, cluttered, and DYNAMIC. Not a touch of subtlety, which feels just right.

There’s also some genuine unpleasantness. (The whole plotline with Stretch and Leatherface.) When Hooper quits clowning around for a minute, it’s clear that he’s still got the goods: The real horror scenes in TCM2 are freaky-deaky. Scary as hell. But they’re interspersed with all this hokey waffling-around. . . . I dunno. It’s a damn shame is all.

You can find my other Hooptober picks here.

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