Much-hated at the time of its release, Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 has aged remarkably well, now playing as a strangely effective if none-too-subtle satire of several facets of '80s excess. Pure Grand Guignol, it turns its cannibal family into successful entrepreneurs, marketing their human stew to a wider audience than ever before. As an unstated goal, Hooper seems to want to outdo the countless imitators inspired by the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and the upped ante on blood, gore, and general nastiness caused some troubles with the MPAA. While certainly not for all tastes, as a kind of extreme satire, it works pretty well. Dennis Hopper's over-the-top performance takes the edge off the sordidness and generally sets the tone of comedic excess, helping make Massacre 2 an interesting companion piece -- and, in many respects, a response -- to its predecessor.
by Keith Phipps review