It’s Halloween morning and horror movies are on my mind, so I figured I’d share this one with you. This falls into the “cult classic” category as it is not wildly popular, but it is loved by a small group of us weirdos.
The Back Story
The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre came out in 1974 and I still consider it one of the most terrifying movies ever made. Extremely low budget, but that may have helped it in the sense that they had to use tension and atmosphere to create the horror that is that film. Texas Chainsaw 2 however goes a very different route. The original sequel pitched was going to be an expansion on the original in which there was an entire town of cannibals, but the non-Tobe Hooper producers weren’t down with it. So instead Tobe Hooper set out to draw out the dark comedy he says was in the first film but much more subtle. He did not disappoint in creating a horror comedy gore fest. Somehow, Cannon Films were unaware they were releasing a comedy, despite these fucking movie posters!!!
Despite the low budget, they did bring on Tom Savini for the special effects and make up. For 1986 and a ~$4M budget, they are pretty damn good. As I mentioned, this film brings the gore and as always Savini delivers. When you’re tasked with making a guy look like he’s been skinned alive but can still spit and you pull it off, well that is something special. When you watch, and I know you will, check out the detail on the grandfather’s make up as they do close ups.
Surprisingly, the most iconic character from this film is Bill Moseley’s Chop Top and not Leatherface. And how Moseley got the job is just as interesting. He made a short film called Texas Chainsaw Manicure as an audition for Saturday Night Live. While that didn’t pan out, it did land in the hands of Tobe Hooper and the rest is, as they say, history. You may know Moseley from his work with Rob Zombie specifically as Otis P Driftwood. In House of 1000 Corpses, you’ll notice his make up was much more reminiscent of Chop Top than in the two follow up films. Needless to say Moseley is incredible in TCM2 as a Vietnam veteran turned cannibal and Leatherface handler. It’s to say the least, a wild ride. You’ve probably even heard this character, as his line “dog will hunt” is featured in Primus’s Jerry Was A Racecar Driver. Mosely by the way is in a band with Buckethead called Cornbugs. Which brings me to my next topic…
There is a solid ’80s soundtrack to this film which of course Oingo Boingo is a part of. I’m pretty sure that Danny Elfman is involved in every soundtrack from Back to School until present day. Other than Oingo Boingo, you get some Concrete Blonde, The Cramps, Timbuk3, and even a Stewart Copeland track. The movie centers around a radio dj, so it is actually a bit integral to everything going on.
Apparently at her audition, Caroline Williams (lead character), to set herself apart ran down the hall screaming her head of as she was called in, grabbed Tobe Hooper, and blocked the door as if being chased. It worked.
There is a never released sequel to the sequel written and directed by Hooper’s son. Trailer is below, it honestly looks like an ad for a haunted house.
The dead body being carried around and referred to as Nubbins is supposed to be the corpse of the hitchhiker from part 1.
The movie was banned in Australia for 20 years. It’s release date was in 2006.
Tobe Hooper makes a cameo as a drunk football fan.
Joe Bob Briggs is in a deleted scene, but still credited as “Gonzo Moviegoer”
Overall this is a fun slasher flick with the gore to match the comedy. If you’re looking for something weird to watch on Halloween, give this a whirl.