The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 (1986)

texas chainsaw massacre part 2 poster 1986 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Dark horror comedy, good cast

Gory, so-so story but smart script

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2

Studio:  Cannon Films, Inc.

Genre(s):  Horror/Comedy

Release Date(s):  August 22, 1986

MPAA Rating:  X

texas chainsaw massacre part 2 caroline williams stretch leatherface

I don’t feel I really know you like that…

The buzz is back!  Thirteen years after the reports of a cannibal family living in the Texas countryside are reported by Sally Hardesty, no true evidence has been found…and Sally’s uncle Lefty Enright (Dennis Hopper) is still looking for the killers.  When a chainsaw murder occurs near Dallas and the attack is recorded by DJ Vanita “Stretch” Brock (Caroline Williams), Leatherface (Bill Johnson) and his brother Chop Top (Bill Moseley) take an interest in Stretch…providing perfect bait for Lefty.  Entering the horrify world of “the family”, Lefty and Stretch face off against them and their cannibal father Drayton (Jim Siedow) in their lair of death.

Directed by Tobe Hooper, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 is the follow-up to the 1974 cult classic.  The movie was released to controversy, bans, and mixed reviews and was rated X before the makers decided to release it as unrated.  The movie bombed at the theater but gained a following on VHS.

texas chainsaw massacre part 2 chop top bill mosely hanger

Still one of the grossest scenes

Dennis Hopper reported that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 was the worst of his films…which is pretty amazing considering some of the films Hopper made over the course of his long career.  While the movie loses the atmosphere of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (which was spelled as two words), it creates this odd, humorous film which is almost a parody of the original.

The sequel was originally intended to be even more of a goof on the first film with a title of Beyond the Valley of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  The story was supposed to be a whole town of cannibals but rewrites led to the bizarre and oddly paced story that resulted.  The movie doesn’t really flow and lacks much of a plot (it isn’t like the first movie’s plot was that great).  The story oddly turns Hopper into the psycho by the end and even mocks the first movie’s ending by having Stretch waving the chainsaw around in Leatherface fashion before cutting to black.  I think it is kind of clever and funny and feels a lot like The Evil Dead or Evil Dead 2:  Dead by Dawn which had a similar tone.

texas chainsaw massacre part 2 dennis hopper chainsaws

Have chainsaw, will travel

Regardless what Hopper thought about the movie, he did create a memorable role as the obsessed uncle on a mission.  Caroline Williams is also good as the likable (and tortured) Stretch.  The family however steals the show.  The movie often is credited to Leatherface’s horror, but both the metal plated Bill Moseley and Jim Siedow create far more memorable characters.  In general, the cast of the movie is stronger than the first cast who had some acting challenges.

The movie is a gross-out and not for the weak of stomach.  Having seen it as a kid, the most memorable scenes to me were Chop-Top heating a hanger to char the skin on his head and eating it, and Dennis Hopper losing his mind with the chainsaws.  The two very different scenes show why this movie does work and has that unique feel that is different from the slasher-heavy ’80s.  The only thing I didn’t like was that they recreated the dinner scene which was the best part of the original film (and most cringe-worthy), and I wish that they could have done something different there.

texas chainsaw massacre part 2 grandpa dinner scene

If this hadn’t been done in the first one, it would have been more terrifying

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 isn’t a great movie, but it is a fun movie.  Despite the classic nature of the first film, this film is probably more fun (but you have to see the first film for it to be fun).  A poster that recreates The Breakfast Club’s  poster should have really set the tone for what viewers could expect…but those expecting hardcore horror probably shouldn’t step up for a plate of chili.  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 was followed by Leatherface:  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III in 1990 which returned to the horror roots.

Related Links:

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Leatherface:  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre:  The Next Generation (1994)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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