BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review
- Published Date
- by Loron Hays
The ONLY way you can follow a classic of the horror genre is by making its sequel a straight-up comedy. At least that’s the approach writer L. M. Kit Carson and director Tobe Hooper took with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. With these results, one can hardly fault them for throwing fans this curve ball. It’s a bloody and brutal affair as America’s favorite family, The Sawyers (finally supplied with a name), move into the Dallas suburbs with the award-winning chili recipe and their unyielding appetite for carving up humans.
Leatherface’s chainsaw starts up again thirteen years after the original. This time, though, the victim’s aren’t your average pot-smoking teenagers. They are of the Dallas-bred yuppie type and, especially in 1986, Dallas had a lot of them. On two fronts, the Sawyer gang – Leatherface (Bill Johnson), Chop Top (Bill Moseley), Drayton (Jim Siedow), and the ever-aging Grandpa – assault the Dallas natives: one by chili (as they win several awards at tasting conventions due to their special ingredients) and the other with very sharp objects pointed at very special places on the human body. Just ask L.G. (Lou Perryman), who basically gets peeled of his face and his flesh while still alive, after Leatherface and Chop Top decide to tear through KOKLA, a local radio station responsible for calling out the clan.
It is up to Lieutenant Boude "Lefty" Enright (Dennis Hopper) and leggy on-air radio DJ Vanita "Stretch" Brock (Caroline Williams) to put an end to it all. Both flirt with danger as Lefty is on a revenge mission and Stretch catches Leatherface’s good eye. Madness is their friend and the two heroes of the film join forces and find themselves within the clan’s underground cave-hidden home beneath Texas Battle Land as both victims and victors. With Oingo Boingo, The Cramps, The Lords of the New Church and Concrete Blonde on its soundtrack, this film is a frightfully fun festival of horror that introduces several memorable new characters and a whole new approach to cannibalism. It's slick and streamlined and has more than enough jokes in its tank to keep the chainsaws fueled.
There are several cuts of the film but Scream Factory embraces the most economical one with their handling of their new 2K scan of the film. Hooper’s sequel is loaded with witty metaphors and scene-stealing moments as a malfunctioning chainsaw aimed right at the crotch of Stretch becomes a stand-in for erectile dysfunction and Dennis Hopper shouts biblical nonsense at the top of his lungs while swinging his chainsaw to and fro. The comedy is dark. The killing is severe. And everyone is engaged. This is a most quotable movie and gorehounds love to sing its praises from dusk to dawn.
Dog will hunt!
MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime: 101 mins
Director: Tobe Hooper
Writer: L.M. Kit Carson, Tobe Hooper
Cast: Dennis Hopper, Caroline Williams, Jim Siedow
Tagline: After a decade of silence... The buzzz is back!
Memorable Movie Quote: "One of those boys was so crazy he sawed his own head off going 90 miles per hour."
Distributor: Cannon Film Distributors
Release Date: August 22, 1986
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: April 19, 2016
Synopsis: A radio host is victimized by the cannibal family as a former Texas Marshall hunts them.
Available on Blu-ray - April 19, 2016
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (2 BDs)
Region Encoding: A
Scream Factory trumps the 2013 Arrow Video import and provides an all-new 2K scan of the original film. It is at once brighter and cleaner and, as cinematographer Richard Kooris supervised this scan, it has the legitimate seal of approval. Presented in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, the 1080 transfer looks great. Colors are strong and black levels are solid. The all-new DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix is a must-hear. Fans won’t be disappointed.
- There are three commentaries. Up first is the new one with cinematographer Richard Kooris, production designer Cary White, script supervisor Laura Kooris and prop master Michael Sullivan. The second one is with the film’s director, Tobe Hooper, and it is pretty interesting to hear his thoughts on the film. The final commentary is with actors Bill Moseley and Caroline Williams, joined by make-up effects artist Tom Savini. It is definitely the one with the biggest laughs.
The bonus material is spread out over two discs so there definitely is something for everyone to enjoy. Of most interest will be the new extended interviews with the recently passed away Carson and actor Lou Perryman. Tom Savini chimes in next with a bunch of behind-the-scenes moments of cast and crew that showcase his effects work and Hooper’s directing style. The deleted scenes feature the classic “Die Yuppie Scum” parking garage attack and a Job Bob Briggs cameo. Rounding out the collection are images and galleries and a collection of trailers.
- Extended Interviews (30 minutes)
- Behind-the-Scenes Footage (44 minutes)
- Alternate Opening (2 minutes)
- Deleted Scenes (11 minutes)
- Black & White stills (60 images)
- Behind the Scenes (127 images)
- Personal Collection of Jason Guy (24 images)
- Color Stills (24 images)
- Posters/Lobby Cards (51 images)
- Special Effects Gallery (27 images)
- Theatrical Trailers
- TV Spots