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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2

Ariel has a love for movies, writing, books, pop culture and other fun stuff.

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Leatherface and his cannibalistic family return in this outrageous and wildly entertaining sequel to the 1974 classic film. The sequel takes place thirteen years after the events of the first one, but all that appears to be “ forgotten” by locals and authorities, who brush the lone survivor's tale of escaping a family of cannibals to the side It appears the crime known as “ The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” never happened.
Radio DJ, Vanita “ Stretch” Brock, receives a call from two high school seniors who are having a little fun with her and her audience. Unfortunately, their fun is taken too far when they cross paths with the cannibal family, and Stretch manages to capture their brutal deaths on tape.
We are then introduced to former Texas Ranger, Boude“ Lefty” Einwright, who is the Uncle of Sally and Franklin, who were part of the events in the previous movie. He believes the same people responsible for the killings that are happening now have returned yet nobody wants to believe it, despite the numerous killings happening up and down the state of Texas.
With the murder caught on tape, Stretch decides to reach out to Lefty and lend him a hand in his hunt for the killers. At first, he is skeptical of her help but decides to have her play the tape on the radio in hopes of luring the killers out of hiding. The plan works as the members of the family, the crazed Chop-Top and Leatherface, arrive at the radio station in an attempt to kill her. Leatherface, however, finds himself infiltrated by the DJ and allows her to live. Unknown to her, they have attacked and kidnapped her radio partner, a man named L.G., and head back home. Stretch takes matters into her own hands and follows them back to their lair, but she finds herself trapped in their house of horror. Alone, Stretch has to find her way out of that hell hole before she becomes the next victim on the cannibal's family's menu. Lefty, who has been trailing her the whole way, arrives at the lair, and with the grace of God, and the help of two chainsaws, brings down the house – literally -- and wants to put an end to it all.

Stretch

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Stretch and Lefty

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The film opened on August 22, 1986. The stars include Dennis Hopper, Caroline Williams, Bill Moseley, Bill Johnson, and Jim Siedow. Tobe Hooper returns as the director. While the original film had a darker and grittier tone, Hooper brought a gorier and comedic tone to the second installment. Fans and critics were left with mixed feelings saying it focused too much on the gore and laugh factor. Despite negative reactions, the film found a cult following, and fans praised the performances, especially Bill Moseley. His performance as Chop-Top made him a pop culture icon among horror fans, and he's probably the most demented out of the family. Jim Siedow reprises his role as The Cook from the first film. He is as funny as he is terrifying. Bill Johnson gives Leatherface a bit more of a personality and makes him somewhat goofy than scary. Dennis Hopper is a hell of an entertaining as Lefty, and Caroline Williams is badass as Stretch.

Leatherface: Only a Mother Could Love

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Chop-Top: A Far Out Fan

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Yes, the film has its up and downs but it does not mean it's not entertaining. The film's gore factor is certainly much higher. Some of the scenes are downright gruesome. One involves a man being hit in the head with a hammer repeatedly, and that man is later skinned alive. This is a horror film after all. There are also scenes of sexual nature that are played for laughs. The love-struck Leatherface uses his chainsaw in a sexual manner and Stretch plays along with him to spare her life. A girl has to do what a girl has to do. It also has one of the best soundtracks with some awesome bands, including The Cramps, Oingo Boingo, and Concrete Blonde. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is where the high school kids are killed and No One Lives Forever is playing in the background. It was when I saw that scene I knew I was in for a good time.

With all that being said, when it comes to sequels, it's not the greatest, nor is it the worst. It's not even the worst out of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre film series. I can see where some of the fans did not like it. Is it as good as the first one? No. It's barely on the same level. Tobe Hooper wanted to do something different, and despite the mixed results, I think it works. I still consider it one of my favorite horror films, and Leatherface, to me, will always be the best horror villain.
After all, " The Saw Is Family."

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