No one films insanity like Tobe Hooper. From the original Chainsaw through Eaten Alive and The Funhouse to this Cannon funded sequel, he has a knack for conjuring unbridled and unnerving chaos. And he may have hit peak insanity with Chainsaw 2, where he knew he couldn’t top the OG and wisely leaned into comedy splatter instead.
From Leatherface’s entrance wielding a corpse puppet to Dennis Hopper chewing the scenery as Lefty, and Bill Moseley’s unforgettable turn as Choptop (“Lick my plate you dog dick”), the crazy is strong with this one.
Even poor old Stretch, a game Caroline Williams, goes around the bend by the finale. After having been attacked, imprisoned, leered at by Leatherface and his saw, hammered and sliced, it only makes sense for her to do her own chainsaw dance.
Hooper had to work his butt off to get this film finished - it reaching theaters an unheard of 4 weeks after finishing shooting - but the manic production schedule no doubt fed into the crazy onscreen. Plus the cavernous sets that make up the Sawyers underground lair are some of the best of the 80s, huge and filled with skeletons, lights and corpses.
No it’s not a patch on the sequel, but Hooper knows that & takes us for a different kind of ride, a lot gorier and excessive - as was the 80s want - but still infused with that beautiful Hooper madness.
4 French fry houses out of 5.