Just recently I re-watched the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" with a friend who had surprisingly never seen it. I had forgotten how horrific and viscerally disturbing it was, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
That got me thinking about the sub-par sequels; "Leatherface" (had a couple of moments, but the studio really crapped that one up), "The Next Generation" (which I didn't think was as bad as some, but bad all the same), the remake, the prequel (both of which were good in their own rights, just not the same gut-level dread and horror as Hooper's original)...and the part two...
"Hmmm" I thought..."wasn't there some crappy part two back in the eighties?"
I have to admit, when I saw this one twenty-odd years ago, I didn't like it. I was one of many who went to the theater expecting the same kind of atmosphere and experience as the original had given me, and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2" did NOT do that.
As said, a lot of years and my critical eye for film have matured a great deal, and to satisfy my ancient curiosity, I opted to give this one another chance.
I'm thrilled that I did.
No, TCM2 isn't a primal fear fest that the original was, but it IS, like Romero's "Dawn of the Dead", a reflection of the time it was made. Watching it for only the second time, I was at times horrified, other times tickled, and constantly impressed by the level of satire that was not always tongue in cheek, but was certainly well done. The performances were all spot on and never delved into self-aware parody (and Caroline Williams not only turned in a stellar performance, but man, is she gorgeous or what?), the sets and cinematography were phenomenal, and I found myself very ashamed of my youthful and arrogant original opinion of the film.
Look at it for what it is, kiddies...if you watch this film on its own merit and do not try to compare it with the classic original, you'll find one of the most brilliant and well done satirical works done on the genre, while at the same time acquitting itself as one of the very best OF that genre.