The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 ★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

i decided i wanted to revisit this because i felt i was too harsh on my first watch. i mentally checked out pretty early on as horny Leatherface and Caroline Williams’ unlimited shriek party genuinely pissed me off. however, given that this is clearly an ambitious piece of satire following up an absolute monolith in horror classics, i figured i needed to give it another chance and take it as it is.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 wastes no time in getting the carnival thrill ride started with its fucking BALLISTIC two-lane car chase to the tune of an 80s radio banger. while i still did not give one single damn about the same radio station sequence, i can admit it was batshit insane and completely unhinged. i can also admit that Tobe Hooper sure knows how to cast the most ear-piercing screams i have ever heard, and though they teeter on the cusp of being annoying and repetitive, it accomplishes what it is going for. Bill Moseley plays into Chop-Top well enough to make you cringe and feel uneasy and to me, ended up being the star of the film. watching someone dig at the edges of a metal plate with a coat hanger and their own finger to eat the scabbed bits is indescribable. there are many repulsive and grotesque moments that were genuinely discomforting, and then there were utter asinine moments that dipped too far into the gag satire bucket. hilarious depiction of the cop literally never being useful until he showed up too late after the trauma has already well set in - what a concept, huh? but not to worry, he was training his dual-wield chainsaw combat instead of like, using a weapon. now that i can absolutely laugh at.
as expected from this period of horror, the score is solid and the main theme is haunting. and though the unsightly gore made me scrunch my face a few times, i think there should have been much more. however, to the same point, i do appreciate how this was not just a nonstop killing spree and stuck to isolating the terror to one main character. the final shot, as with many of these flicks, was picture-perfect. though i wish i liked it as much as i did the first and third installments, i can definitely understand the direction of this film and respect the commitment to completely flipping the script on what probably would have been a monotonous sequel had it followed the path of other big slashers it coexisted with.

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