Today's Pick: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
I think a lot of people would be mad if I didn't use this opening to proclaim my love for the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre when I'm about to recommend its sequel instead. The first film is a classic in the genre, and should be mandatory viewing for both horror fans and regular cinephiles alike. But, I feel like the sequel gets easily forgotten, especially since the franchise itself stays on a pretty steady decline after this entry. There's a lot to love about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, as long as you're not expecting anything close to the tone or style of the original.
I really applaud what Tobe Hooper decided to do with this sequel. Instead of rehashing the first movie, he decided to take advantage of the long gap between films (12 years!) and make a film that felt appropriate for the era. Where the original film was a gritty and almost documentary-style examination of the darkness lurking within rural America, the sequel is an exercise in eighties excess and outright self-parody. The fact that Cannon Films were the producers behind The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 should give you some idea of what to expect. And just look at that Breakfast Club spoof of a poster above!
There's still plenty of indelible aspects to the sequel besides its bonkers tone. You get some great off-the-wall performances from the likes of Bill Moseley and Dennis Hopper. The strength of these two characters alone propel the movie into highly watchable territory. Bill Moseley's introduction as Chop Top is incredibly iconic, and perfectly balances being scary and silly. And the insanity that is Dennis Hopper will blow you away. When the climax of the film hits, Dennis Hopper is screaming at the top of his lungs and dueling Leatherface with multiple chainsaws. It's gonzo gold.
There's plenty else I could yak about in the film, but I don't want to give away all the good stuff. Go grab yourself a copy and get reacquainted with the cannibalistic Sawyer family. This one is more laughs than screams, but the laughs are plentiful and well-earned.
Tomorrow brings us yet another sequel. This time, think smaller. See you then!
31 Days of Drew 2 (2014)
31 Days of Drew (2013)