(Here’s Part 2 of this year’s Halloween Double Feature, and don’t miss Part 1’s Script Review.)
Dog will hunt!
Lick my plate, you dog dick!
You just had to learn about sex. S-C-E-X!
The saw is family!
This film has a million and one memorable lines, you’ll find yourself quoting them for years to come like I have with “dog will hunt”.
What can I say about this film? I love it. For the longest time I avoided the original film. The only thing I had ever seen of it was a single clip of Leatherface running after a truck, swinging his chainsaw around.
The way people talked about it, I was expecting the most visceral film ever put on screen. Then I started watching it. It didn’t take long for me to notice something kind of important.
Where is all the blood?
It’s essentially a bloodless horror film, yet anyone talks about how gruesome it is. Maybe that might have to do with how cheap it looks, almost like you’re watching an old snuff film.
I wasn’t blown away by it. In my head I was expecting more, and what I got was kind of this edited for tv movie. Yet this wasn’t edited, this was just the movie. I didn’t hate it or anything, just slightly letdown.
So when it came down to finally watching the sequel, I was still excited, but I prepared myself to be somewhat disappointed. But again I was tricked, unlike the original film we are treated to over the top gore, over the top dialogue and acting. Everything was just amped up to 11 and my god did I love it.
At this point I had to be 12 or 13, I was making my way through all the classic horror franchises. This was possible because of Hollywood Video. They ran a deal on older films, one dollar for 5 days. Holy shit did I take advantage of that insane offer. At the time only two others had come out, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III and Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. I honestly don’t remember much about Leatherface, the 3rd film in the franchise. I remember it not being very good though.
It’s also the film where they made Leatherface a transvestite.
At least these films tried something different, unlike the fucking terrible remakes. There they scrapped all humor and originality, just giving us the same damn movie over and over again. Though in the last one 3D they scrapped “Massacre” in the title. They also didn’t seem to know simple math, as the ages and the time period didn’t add up. The main character was meant to be like 19 or 20, but if you take into account how much time has passed she should be about 40.
That film might have been bad, but it wasn’t as bad as the newest entry into the franchise, another film just titled Leatherface. Ironically, Leatherface isn’t actually in the film until maybe the last 2 minutes. It’s a prequel! Another Prequel, seeing as the remake films already did this.
Do we really need to see how Leatherface became Leatherface? He’s a mentally challenged, chainsaw wielding, crazy person who wears flesh and eats people. Not sure we really need a whole film giving us his backstory. But that’s not even what we get. We get a rip off of The Devil’s Rejects and we have to guess which person is going to grow up to be Leatherface. Is it the giant slow kid that kills people? Nope, it’s the handsome nice guy.
I had planned on reviewing that film, but once again I had to go back to the drawing board because it was tearfully awful.
To honor Tobe Hooper who died not long ago this year, I thought I might check out Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, a film he didn’t even want to do.
This makes the third Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 film. There’s this one obviously, then there’s the sequel to the remake. But! A little known film called Butcher Boys was originally meant to be the sequel to the 2003 remake. It was written by Kim Henkel, the man behind all the other TCM films. The idea was for it to basically be a remake of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 film, but the plan was scrapped and they went with Texas Chainsaw 3D instead.
But with some minor rewrites, and I mean minor, Butcher Boys was made. It’s basically a Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 remake and it’s great. Check it out if you ever get the chance.
But let’s talk about Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.
Dennis Hopper fucking hated this movie. He claims this is the worst film he has ever worked on. I’m hoping that was before he made the Super Mario Bros. movie.
Like I mentioned before, Tobe Hooper didn’t even want to direct this one but since this was getting made by Cannon, a company known for skimping on the budget, Tobe had to step in because they couldn’t find a director cheap enough to work on the project. Tobe wanted to do a kind of dark comedy, while the studio was just expecting a standard slasher film. When they watched it they pretty much hated the end result.
But by this time he had already made Invaders from Mars and Lifeforce, so they gave him the benefit of the doubt. Say what you want about Cannon, but they pretty much let you do whatever you wanted there. Which is why we have a Sylvester Stallone arm wrestling movie.
Also it’s why the company isn’t around anymore. Well, them spending too much and not making enough back is what resulted in Cannon closing up shop, but that’s a different story.
When the film was released, I don’t believe it did well. I believe it was panned by critics, but it’s a horror film, that is kind of expected. It also probably didn’t help this was slapped with an X rating. Not wanting to release it like that, they just released it as unrated. Though this film has been chopped up and banned like crazy in other countries. I still don’t know if they have a fully uncensored version.
When I first saw TCM2, I got it on VHS and thankfully the VHS I rented came with a separate tape with all the deleted scenes. Sometimes they’d do that, release the film with another tape with the special features. I remember renting Natural Born Killers that way. And I swear on that tape they had the full unedited scenes of them robbing places. You can see bits and pieces of the footage in the film. It’s on the tv when Mickey and Mallory rob the drug store to get anti venom medicine.
There’s not much plot to Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, so giving you a rundown of what goes down will be pretty short.
The Sawyer family is back, even Grandpa. He’s still got it. He’s a one hitter!
The family is now in the business of chili making. They just won yet another top prize for their human chili. People are clueless about the secret ingredient of course.
Meanwhile, Chop-Top (played by Bill Moseley) and his little brother Leatherface get run off the road by a couple of yuppie assholes. These two love driving fast, shooting their gun and calling into this local radio station DJed by Stretch. The name fits, she has legs for days.
While calling into her show, Chop-Top and Leatherface track down the yuppies, chainsawing them off the road.
Investigating this heinous crime is Dennis Hopper’s character Lefty. The only thing we know about this guy is he’s out for revenge. The Sawyer family killed his family and he’s been tracking them down all around Texas.
He puts out an ad asking if anyone knew anything about the car accident. Stretch, not enjoying her radio DJ life, goes to Lefty, wanting to score an interview. But Lefty isn’t having any of that and quickly shows her the door.
After buying himself a few chainsaws, Lefty changes his mind and uses Stretch as bait. She plays the recording of the accident nonstop. This grabs the Sawyer family’s attention, now wanting to put a stop to it.
After killing Stretch’s sound engineer, he sends Leatherface after her. But she uses her feminine wiles on him. Leatherface shows off his cool yet sexy chainsawing moves. I dare any woman to not be impressed by his chainsaw thrusting.
As the two leave, Stretch follows them to their hideout, some place called Texas Battle Land. It looks like an old rundown amusement park. While there Stretch meets back up with Lefty.
What proceeds next is a step into Dante’s Inferno. I dare not spoil it for anyone. Absolutely it is one worth checking out. And that concludes horror month 2017. I hope it wasn’t too disappointing. Next week I can finally give the horror films a rest and check out the newest Marvel film.
Want EARLY access to our videos, uploads, and movie/script reviews? Members get them FIRST! Follow this link to our Discussion Forum.
And be sure to check out our Notes Service, where I give my detailed thoughts and suggestions on your script.