Movie Review: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1986 horror/comedy starring Dennis Hopper and Caroline Williams.

Synopsis: Roughly 13 years after police gave up searching for a cannibal family in southern Texas, a former Texas Ranger continues to hunt for the people who killed his nephew and left his niece hospitalized. His search brings him to the Texas/Oklahoma border and, in an effort to get them to come out of hiding, seeks help from a nightly radio show host.


My youngest daughter had back-to-back dance recitals on Saturday and, since her and her older sister decided to spend some time at their grandparents following her last performance, my wife and I took a break by cooking a pizza on our pizza oven and settled down on the couch to watch this movie.

This was my first time watching this sequel and, because I was a big fan of the original film, I was looking forward to seeing it. Unfortunately, after watching it, I have to say I was pretty disappointed.

My biggest problem with this film is the decision to make it more of a comedy than a horror movie. A chainsaw-wielding killer that is backed up by his cannibal family has so much potential as the latter and the fact the writers decided to make it funny (failing miserably for the most part) completely wasted that potential.

This is also true of the most interesting character in the movie, 'Lefty' Enright (Hopper). In addition to being the uncle of two of Leatherface's (Johnson) earlier victims, he just seemed like a guy who had an interesting story to tell (he was, after all, chasing Leatherface and his family for more than a dozen years). Yet, we really don't get to see too much of him throughout the movie. Once he makes contact with the radio host (Williams), the movie becomes more about her than him.

Oh, and speaking of that radio host, her almost-non-stop screaming throughout the movie was really starting to irritate me, especially since she was doing it when she was doing that instead of making an effort to escape. I suspect it was another failed attempt to be funny.

My wife and I also both hated the ending to this movie, mostly because it failed to provide any real closure involving the main characters. It was one of those films that just ends, as though the writers ran out of material and just decided to stop. And, considering the rest of the movie was weak to start, it could definitely have used a stronger finish.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray]

A retired Texas Ranger pursues a killer named Leatherface and his family of chainsaw-wielding cannibals.Special Features Include: Disc 1: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part Two (N...

View on Amazon

Final Opinion

I think the first 5-10 minutes of this film were OK. After that, it started going downhill fast. It took me 31 years to finally see this movie and I now know I didn't miss anything.

My Grade: D

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Updated: 06/05/2017, StevenHelmer
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StevenHelmer on 07/20/2017

Yes, considering I believe it had an "X" rating when it first came out.

DerdriuMarriner on 07/20/2017

StevenHelmer, It looks like the 1974 film ultimately did really, really well for a $300,000-budgeted film with actors whose names I don't recognize at all.

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