Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Bubba's gotta girlfriend!

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Hi folks. I realize I haven't written here in a while, and I apologize. I have no legitimate excuse for why not, or why I suddenly feel compelled to write in it now after seeing one of the worst films I've seen in a good long while. But I do. I can do anything I want to; I'm the chief of police.

The description of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2sounds like a recipe for an unarguably perfect horror sequel. The cannibalistic family are still up to their usual hijinks, and Dennis Hopper stars as an ex-Federal Marshal who has sworn revenge for the deaths of his brother's kids in the first film. There's a bigger movie budget this time, allowing for the family to relocate from their farmhouse to an labyrinthian underground lair beneath a cheesy tourist attraction which looks like something out of a Mario Bava film. A screenplay by L.M. Kit Carson (Paris, Texas) and makeup effects by Tom Savini. The first death in the film is a 90-mile-an-hour car chase/chainsaw-induced head wound set to Oingo Boingo's song "No One Lives Forever"... now look me in the eye, and tell me that that doesn't sound better than Citizen Kane?

As fate would have it, though, this film is actually completely terrible. It's about as far removed from its predecessor as Killer Klowns from Outer Space is from Psycho. I don't know how, or why, but some idiot somewhere decided to play this film for yucks. Presumably, their reasoning was that it would be too hard to try and outdo the original in terms of gruelling ferocity, so they opted instead to mix the gore with slapstick. It might have looked good on paper, but the filmmakers amped the goofiness up to eleven and it really all falls to pieces.

Replacing Edwin Neal in the role of The Hitchhiker is Bill Moseley, who is 1,000,000 times more irritating here than he is in the overrated The Devil's Rejects. Prancing about, picking his metal-domed head with a rusty coathanger (don't ask) and giggling manically like an evil Jimmy Fallon, he embodies about everything that is wrong with this movie. Well, just about everything, because then there's also Leatherface. Gone is the unstoppable, ruthless killing machine we all know and love, and in his place, we have a puppy-eyed, Quasimodoesque lunkhead with a strange preference towards dry-humping young women with the aid of his chainsaw instead of chopping them to bits without hesitation. I can only assume Hooper was going for some kind of Blue Velvet parody here... which brings us to Mr. Hopper. Even when he's tearing around the family's lair, slicing everyone and everything up with his chainsaw and shouting "I am the Lord of the Harvest!!!" at the top of his lungs, he still looks bored and confused. "One for them" indeed.

Amazingly, this film actually does have a substantial fanbase. Many of them insist that anyone who doesn't like this film could only be an unpleasable complaint-artist who wouldn't be satisfied with anything that wasn't exactly like the original. And that's just not true. I mean, I wouldn't have minded a funny Texas Chainsaw Massacre sequel if it had actually been, well, funny. just wasn't.


Blogger Bemis said...

TCM2 can be summed up in three lines for me.


"Namland! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!"

And of course:

"Brazos. Bra-zos."

Seriously, what an awful movie. That said, I'll almost definitely pick up the special edition this fall. I would love to hear about the making of this puppy - I assume it involved pounds of blow.

P.S.: The Devil's Rejects is in no way overrated.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Dr. Criddle said...

I enjoyed parts of it, but Moseley and Sheri Moon got on my nerves something rotten. When you've got such great thespians as Ken Foree, Michael Berryman, and Danny Trejo at your disposal, you shouldn't be giving that much screen time to your missus. Of course,the cinematography was beautiul, all the scenes with Sid Haig and William Forsythe were gold, and compared to TCM2, Devil's Rejects is Citizen Kane.

5:39 AM  
Blogger Bemis said...

Ah, the old "everyone but the girl" argument.

7:00 AM  
Blogger Mothwitness said...

She's the perfect combination of hot and terrifying. You're just wrong, man.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Dr. Criddle said...

Well, everyone but the girl and the skinny bearded guy.

12:25 PM  
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