|It was about this point in its run that the Muppet Show got really weird...|
|The exact opposite of safe sex.|
I think one of the problems with the film is that they actually had a sizable budget this time around, which might have taken away some of the hunger that fueled the first movie. The theme park set is great and the design is gorgeous, but you get the feeling that they shot a lot of things and cut out half of them. Hooper has talked about doing a director's cut to put back in some of the gore effects that he needlessly cut (given the movie was released unrated anyway), but it doesn't entirely cohere anyway.
Also, Lefty's a pretty thin character. He's the Uncle of the kids in the first movie and wants revenge, so he buys a big chainsaw and goes to get revenge. That's about it, really. Revenge is one of those themes that looms large in drama all the way back to Greek theater, but here it's just another element in the insanity. Once everyone gets to the abandoned theme park the film goes a bit crazy.
But, as my friend Aaron at the Zed Word blog pointed out to me this time I saw it, it's also really wonderfully demented nonetheless. Jim Siedow returns as the Chef who can't take no pleasure in killing. Moseley is great as Vietnam vet Platehead, whose metal head plate is financing this whole operation. Then you have Dennis Hopper running around and chainsawing the joint while screaming "I'm bringing it down!" And the effects by Elvis Savini are pretty frigging amazing. The film seems to just let these insane people act nuts, which would be good enough, but Hooper works in some of his favorite visual motifs, such as lots of weird lights everywhere and chases to nowhere. And there's even a sort of weird quest theme as well as a coming of age love story.
Which brings me to a sudden realization: if Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a near perfect horror film, maybe Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 should be seen as a near perfect midnight cult film.