The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 21986

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)



Critic Consensus: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 shocks with a gonzo blend of over-the-top humor and gore, but without the tense atmosphere of its predecessor, the stakes feel lower.

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Movie Info

Over ten years after making the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Tobe Hooper returns to his deranged family of reclusive cannibals for another round of chainsaw chases and non-stop screaming. Hooper brings a real budget this time (having recently directed Poltergeist for Steven Spielberg) and the talents of veteran make-up artist Tom Savini. This means he can make things bigger, louder, and gorier than ever before; and they are. He also brings a wacky, self-deprecating sense of humor, as if deliberately flaunting Texas Chainsaw Massacre's status as one of the first and still greatest "slasher" movies. The result is an impish take-off on the original film (and contemporary horror movies in general) which elevates its own cliches (buckets of blood and gore, droll dialogue, the screaming female lead) to the level of high camp. The movie is loosely concerned with a small-town disc jockey named "Stretch" (Caroline Williams, who does most of the screaming) and an embittered Texas Ranger named "Lefty" (Dennis Hopper). They team-up and decide to put an end to the murderous activities of the Sawyer family once and for all (that is, of course, until Texas Chainsaw Massacre III). The real highlight of the film is when Stretch and Lefty find their way into the Sawyer family hideout--a ruinous, winding abattoir underneath an abandoned amusement park--and engage in a chainsaw-battle-to-the-death with Leatherface and the rest of the clan. Jim Siedow is back from the first film as the acerbic Drayton Sawyer, the family cook and owner of the "Last Roundup Rolling Grill". Chop-Top (Bill Moseley) and Leatherface (Bill Johnson) do most of the movie's dirty work.

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Bill Johnson
as Leatherface
Dennis Hopper
as Lt. `Lefty' Enright
Caroline Williams
as Vanita `Stretch' Brock
Jim Siedow
as Drayton Sawyer
Bill Moseley
as Chop-Top
Lou Perry
as L.G. McPeters
Barry Kinyon
as Mercedes driver
Kinky Friedman
as Sports Anchor
John Bloom
as Gonzo Moviegoer
Ken Evert
as Grandpa
Harlan Jordan
as Patrolman
Kirk Sisco
as Detective
Tobe Hooper
as Man in hotel corridor (uncredited)
Judy Kelly
as Gourmet Yuppette
Wirt Cain
as Anchorman
Daniel Jenkins
as TV Commentator
James N. Harrell
as CutRite Manager
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Critic Reviews for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (5)

Irresistibly demented.

June 30, 2005 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

No matter how adeptly Chainsaw 2 was put together, it would remain just another exploitation flick for fans who get a tingle from watching blades slash into flesh and innards peep out.

May 21, 2003 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Gratuitously violent, and none too subtle (it lacks the subversive qualities of the original) it's also undeniably funny, maniacally energetic fare with a liberal smattering of enjoyable set-pieces.

September 26, 2001 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Part 2 has a lot of blood and disembowelment, to be sure, but it doesn't have the terror of the original, the desire to be taken seriously. It's a geek show.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

The chainsaw brood has become bumbling, incompetent, and laughable, focused intently on sudden scenes of intense brutality rather than the careful building of dread.

September 8, 2020 | Rating: 2/10 | Full Review…

Hooper successfully welds together the terrifying steel of Leatherface's chainsaw with a good dose of backwoods Texas humour.

May 3, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

A ridiculous sequel that makes you endure a bunch of obnoxious hillbillies in a lame and unscary gorefest, trying to be the most gruesome and grotesque it can be but sinking deep in its terrible attempts at a dark comedy.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

I consider the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" the greatest horror movie that's ever been produced. The grisly realism and berzerk psychology on display is, and always will be unparalleled. I could easily argue that the site of Sally Hardesty breaking down into hysterical incapacity, while Leatherface violently wielded his chainsaw in a frustrated tantrum, brought the saga to a very satisfying conclusion. Perhaps, the story could have been expanded. Unfortunately, the original was never done justice with a competent sequel. In the genre of horror, a successful brand name is rarely laid to rest. No matter how inept the ideas for future chapters appear. It's an easy way to make money. The first attempt at a sequel came from Tobe Hooper, the man who was responsible for the original. Unfortunately, Hooper never created anything memorable, or even good after "Chainsaw"( And yes, I'm including "Poltergeist"). Hooper's plans for the continuation of his masterpiece was to take the sequel in a new direction. So in 1987, "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2" was unleashed, with nearly no resemblance to its predecessor, whatsoever. Instead of grim atmosphere and the ambiguous use of gore, the idea here was to go over-the-top. While the effects on display were probably state-of-the-art at the time, thanks to the talents of Tom Savini, the constant blood bath does little to sustain much entertainment value. It's just a matter of what you see is what you get. There's no substance, just shock value. This error in judgement was mild compared to other "artistic" liberties that were forced upon the franchise. Apparently, Hooper was under the impression that the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" was hilarious? It's true. Hooper considered his horror classic comical. Somewhere between the gritty realism, invalids being mutilated by chainsaws, sledgehammer assaults, and a girl being left alive hanging from a meathook, the humor was lost on the audience. Imagine that. So once again, Hooper's plan was to go over-the-top. What the audience got was "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2"... the dark comedy. For the most part, I experience a massive disconnect when I view dark-comedies. If I want to watch something funny, I'll watch something funny. When I want to experience horror, I'm in a different mood. Not to mention, nothing in "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2" is actually amusing. It's just campy and extremely irritating. Nothing is as awful as the introduction to the film, featuring two rowdy students causing mischief on the way to a football game. The dialogue is absolutely painful, and what transpires is constantly insulting to the intelligence. It's just something that I'm embarrassed to watch. Even if the movie was able to recover from the shoddy opening sequences, which it doesn't, the introduction would still serve as a black eye to the remainder of the proceedings. As far as the family is concerned, in the sequel Hooper decided to name the clan, the Sawyers. Get it? See that's the kind of highbrow humor that's on display here. Brilliant, right? Anyway, the Sawyers are completely overexposed in this film. Leatherface is completely emasculated as he falls head-over-heels for the Stretch character. You know, for some reason, the character is far less intimidating once we witness his premature ejaculation. (That's right, without going into the ridiculous details, that actually occurs. So there's a giant, wearing a dead skin mask, violently wielding a chainsaw, and he's not the least bit imposing, because someone thought that would be funny.) "The Cook" gets entirely too much screen time rattling off limp puns (No pun intended for the previously mentioned Leatherface scene). The most offensive addition to the clan is without a doubt, Choptop. Choptop is basically a poor man's imitation of "The Hitchhiker" from the original. Anyway, he hee-haws through the entire film, poorly executing pathetic dialogue, on his way to the losing end of a humiliating cat fight with the film's female protagonist. "The Grandpa" is still alive too. You see, he has to be. This is a "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" sequel, so for some reason, the writers feel that they're obligated to recreate the infamous "dinner scene". Predictably, it was performed with the utmost sloppiness this time around. The film's only redeemable quality was Dustin Hoffman's portrayal of the "Lefty" character. He's the only actor that was able to pull of a one-liner, in a film littered with quotes that would disgust Henny Youngman. Years later, Hoffman would go onto admit that "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2" was the worst film that he ever participated in. He was right. I hate this movie, and it's not even the worst sequel in the series. It has come to my attention that it's actually a lot of people's favorite chapter in the entire series. I suppose the original "Chainsaw" can be somewhat of a chore to sit through. Especially if you're not a fan of intense horror. This is much lighter, both in mood and substance. So I guess it's just a matter of taste. You know, one man's trash...

Jason Calvin
Jason Calvin

Super Reviewer

I will confess that upon initial viewing I was extremely underwhelmed by the radical change in tone in 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2'. Over the years I've warmed to the concept of a kamikaze satire about the nuclear family (the tagline was "The saw is family"). Whereas the 70's cult classic was noteworthy for its cinema verite style and minimalist gore, the sequel is guilty of 80's-era excess (ex. A chainsaw is thrust into Leatherface's midsection during a duel). The opening decapitation on a Texas bridge from makeup effects maestro Tom Savini is fiendishly scuzzy. Leatherface is no longer a burly butcher with vacant supernova eyes, he is a henpecked buffoon who sashays with his chainsaw more than he terrorizes people with it (the chainsaw is explicitly a phallic symbol). Country bumpkin L.G.'s (Lou Perryman) flayed appearance is certainly conducive to the gag reflex and the audience is genuinely saddened to see him in agony. Bill Moseley as the decaying Vietnam vet Chop Top fluctuates wildly between nuisance and comic relief. I will always lament that 'Part 2' is a grungy, amusingly hellacious follow-up isn't a tonal companion piece. However Tobe Hopper galvanizes our expectations and that is a cause for celebration.

Cory Taylor
Cory Taylor

Super Reviewer

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