to be more of the same as the first, you will quickly find that it is not. It should be watched with different expectations in mind. This film is much more disgusting and violent than the original, but nowhere near as shocking. With that in mind, you'll find this to be an enjoyable and entertaining film, if you take it for what it is.
This three-disc Arrow set features a high definition digital transfer of not only The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, but also Tobe Hooper's early works; his short film The Heisters (1964) and the feature-length Eggshells (1969) which are both available here for the first time on home video. This is nicely complemented by an Eggshells audio commentary track and an "In Conversation.." piece with Hooper, who discusses his career up until this point. Other exclusive limited edition features include two audio commentaries on the feature presentation - one with director and co-writer Tobe Hooper and one with stars Bill Moseley, Caroline Williams and special effects legend, Tom Savini. Throw in the six-part It Runs In The Family documentary, an alternate opening sequence, deleted scenes and even more extras, and you have a very nice package filled with more entertainment than you can shake a chainsaw at.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is released in the UK on Blu Ray November 11th.
Review: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
By Andreas Charalambous - 13th October 2013
The sequel to the notorious film from 1974 which introduced us to creatively using power tools as murder weapons, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is a very different film from its predecessor.
This outing takes place over a decade after the events of the first film, and a crusade for family vengeance. Renegade Texas Ranger, Lieutenant "Lefty" Enright (Dennis Hopper) is out to avenge the death of his nephew - wheelchair-bound Franklin - from the first film.
Following the brutal murder of two drunken frat boys on the roads of Texas, Lefty begins to close the net on the murderous cannibal family he seeks. Forming an alliance with local radio DJ, "Stretch" (Caroline Williams) - who inadvertently broadcast the latest double-murder over the airwaves - Lefty sets a trap. Of course, he ensures he is fully prepared by purchasing some chainsaws of his own.
It is not long before the Sawyer brothers, Leatherface (Bill Johnson) and "Chop Top" (Bill Moseley) turn up at the radio station with the intention of killing Stretch. Cue a macabre trip of 80s cheese and violence which bizarrely leads through catacombs beneath an abandoned amusement park, and a Star Wars-style light sabre fight... And by "light sabre", I mean "chainsaws!"
In contrast to the grim, disturbing atmosphere of the original film, Tobe Hooper approaches this one differently. As was the case with many genre films of the 1980s, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is full of camp thrills and gruesome humour. The approach of the first film where psychological dread is slowly ramped up and much of the violence happening off-screen, is abandoned for this one.
Leatherface is also approached from a different angle in this film - a tragic and naïve figure, almost seen as a victim of the dysfunctional family. Speaking of dysfunctional family, the "cook" older brother and the wrinkly Grandpa also cross over from the first film. There is enough familiarity for the audience in this sequel to ensure it does not stray too far from its trashy, exploitation roots.
Dennis Hopper spent most of 1986 playing the roles of psychotic maniacs. His performance in this film is a precursor of his performance as Frank Booth in David Lynch's Blue Velvet a few months later. His performance here, with his character hell-bent on vengeance and his obvious chainsaw fetish, will make you shiver and certain scenes won't be forgotten quickly. Hopper truly does make this film work. His performances in films are usually enjoyable to watch, and this one is no exception. He takes his character to the limits and we can see that he enjoys it as much as we do watching it.
Ultimately, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is a brutal and disturbing slasher film that is both ridiculous and cheesy, but in a good way. If you're expecting this sequel