Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

27 March 2008

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, dir. Tobe Hooper (1986)

STEVE says:
Here's how it went down: Claude's over to watch a movie. Exactly what movie has yet to be decided, but he's standing there, looking at our collection, tossing titles out, trying them on for size, but nothing seemed to fit. Finally, he goes, "What's something you haven't seen in a while?"

Without even thinking, I go, "Texas Chain Saw Massacre", and Claude goes, "Okay, let's do it."

Now, I've been trying to get him to watch TCM for a year and a half, almost, and he's always vetoed it. He's not that into horror movies, so whether he went with it tonight just to shut me up, or generally wanted to try something out-of-the-ordinary, I don't know. Either way, I saw this sudden reversal as a clear opening for a TCM double-feature.

I gotta say, I have always loved this movie. My feelings about the first one aside, TCM2 has always been kind of a guilty pleasure for me. It's more of a carnival ride than a horror movie, completely unlike its predecessor in both tone and style. Where the original TCM was realistic, grim and near humorless, TCM2 is campy, brightly coloured and just plain frikkin' hilarious - due in large part to Bill Moseley's "Chop Top".

The first movie went over okay. Claude said later that he didn't hate it as much as he expected to, and that's more than I'd expected. But it's always this second movie that I'm nervous about showing people. It's so bizarre, and people usually fail to see the humour in it, that what I get in the end are lots of sideways glances. And it was no different this time, though likely because much of the politically satirical elements (Reaganomics, etc.) got lost in the translation, making it near-impossible for a 20-something Australian to make anything of them. I will say, though, that it warmed my heart to see Claude jump in his seat when Leatherface storms out of the record vault after Stretch. If nothing else, it woke him up.

Look, it's not a great movie, and it's never going to attain anywhere near the level of popularity or importance of the original, but TCM2, though the only direct sequel, isn't necessarily reliant on the first film, and can just as easily be watched by itself as a stand-alone movie. I think it's a classic in its own right, and it definitely deserves more attention than it generally gets.


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