Mondo Cinema’s review published on Letterboxd:
While not the serious horror film that Chainsaw 1 was, the 1986 black comedy Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is the more enjoyable film to watch, offering laughs, gore and scares.
A radio DJ (Caroline Williams) inadvertently records the chainsaw wielding Sawyer clan from the first film, killing a couple of guys while in their car, Former Texas ranger Lt. Boude "Lefty" Enright (Dennis Hopper) uses her and the recording as bait, drawing him and her into a quagmire of blood, violence, cannibalism, and death.
Toby Hooper delivers a fun if not slightly uneven film, Its interesting, that the first kills of the movie are two yuppie jerks, who are cursing on the radio, shooting road signs, drunk driving and being all around abhorrent, they run afoul with the sawyers who in turn kill them in gory fashion, it almost paints them out to be vigilante anti heroes, but they quickly revert back to their cannibal slasher ways.
The violence and gore in the first film were realistic and somewhat tame, in this its instantly over the top, chainsaws cut through cars like a hot knife through butter. Heads explode in geysers of blood, people live with their faces ripped off and chili made with human meat can win cooking contests. To be far these things are exciting to watch and the film lets you know from the outset what kind of movie you are watching.
The production value is great in this especially for a lower budget slasher film, the radio station set looks great, the underground labyrinth the Sawyers have set up shop in looks amazing, and in most scenes there is always something going on the the back ground of interest.
The lighting is good also, plenty of neon, blue tones, and mood lighting. Its a very competently made film.
The gory special effects are top notch, the highlight being the first kill where the guy gets the top of his head cut off, also the faceless LG is also very convincing. In a movie like this the gore effects is where you want things to shine.
The acting is for the most part great, Caroline Williams is so charismatic and sexy she alone makes the movie worth watching. Lou Perryman as L.G. is great as Williams' comic relief side kick. Bill Moseley gives one of his usual manic over the top performances as Chop Top he is so great in these movies, he brings a little fun to every film he is in. Dennis Hopper gives a strange performance in this he seems almost aloof and half asleep during the most part of the film, only during the scene at the chainsaw store does he seem to come to life for a few minuets, only at the end does he give one of his manic frenzied performances we expect from him, its a bit uneven and as much of a Hopper fan as I am, he is kind of the weakest part of the movie. The heart and soul of the film is Jim Siedow returning from the first movie, he is wonderful in every scene he is in, sadly this was to be his final film. I also want to give a special mention to the guy who plays the chainsaw store manager, James N. Harell his brief scene in the movie was cult cinema magic.
Chainsaw 2 is a criminally underrated horror flick, luckily it has developed a well deserved cult following over the years. Its campy, over the top gory fun from beginning to end.
Cheers from Mondo Cinema.