Forget what Hollywood has tried to feed you, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2” is the actual sequel to Tobe Hooper’s masterpiece, and is widely embraced by horror fans as such. It’s the wacky and surreal embracing of the madness from the first film carried over from the nihilistic cynical seventies, in to the consumerist eighties, where the Sawyer family is now devoting their lives to mutilating yuppies, and going around the world selling their own brand of chili that’s made of people. Hooper’s sequel is a massive tonal departure from the more disturbing original, introducing actual nemeses for the Sawyers including Lefty, a vengeful cowboy hell bent on bringing down the Sawyers, and Stretch, a hapless DJ who becomes the unfortunate recipient of attacks by the Sawyer family when she hears them murdering two victims when one of them calls her randomly.
From there, Stretch is terrorized by the maniacal mutant of the war, Chop Top, a freaky sadist who enjoys eating bits of skin from his head, as well as Leatherface, who is back and even more vicious than ever. As explained in my original review, “Massacre 2” feels like more of a missed opportunity than anything, but after re-watching it, I’ve admittedly warmed up to it so much more, and have somewhat welcome it as the imperfect little cinematic mutant that it is. Despite what big studios say, 1986’s “Massacre Part 2” is the rightful heir apparent with a whole new slew of social commentary that should be watched for newcomers of the genre, and has been nurtured by the horror community for a damn good reason.
Scream Factory knows how to treat the fans, and for folks that adore “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2,” the release from Scream is a treasure trove. Featured in the two disc edition, there’s a full length series of audio commentaries. Disc One feature three separate commentaries with some excellent tidbits for fans. The first commentary is more of an interview type of track with director Tobe Hooper and filmmaker David Gregory the director of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Shocking Truth.” The second commentary is with special effects icon Tom Savini, and actors Caroline Williams, and Bill Moseley all of whom converse with DVD producer Michael Felsher, who is the moderator. This is a very informative and raucous track with great humor, and anecdotes, as well as some fun chemistry between the trio of horror veterans. It’s a fun listen especially considering the trio talk almost non-stop.
The third commentary is a new conversation with cinematographer Richard Kooris, production designer Cary White, Script Supervisor Laura Kooris, and property master Michael Sullivan. It’s an interesting conversation between the individuals, all of whom have their own memories and humorous flashbacks. There’s a forty four minute Behind the Scenes Compilation which garners specific moments of filming and cast members working. “It Runs in the Family: Extended Outtakes” is a thirty minute collection of deleted scenes and conversations that didn’t make the documentary. There’s a two minute alternate opening credit sequence for the film which garners a different theme, and an eerier aesthetic. Finally there are deleted scenes, a still gallery, and trailers. For Disc Two there’s the actual feature film which is the same high definition version from the 2012 release.
“It Runs in the Family” is a fun eighty eight minute six part documentary about the making of Tobe Hooper’s “Chainsaw” films, including origins of the film, discussions about filming the movie, casting, screenplay and interviews with the cast and crew, save for Tobe Hooper and the late Dennis Hopper. This is a great documentary and a treat for fans, covering the whole of the sequel. “House of Pain” is a forty three minute assortment of interviews with effects and make up artists like Bart Mixon, Gabe Bartalos, and many more, all of whom explore extensively the special effects, and the creative process. There’s “Horror’s Hallowed Grounds” with Sean Clark from Horror Hound Magazine who tours the various shooting locations for the film. “Yuppie Meat” is a nineteen minute interview with actors Chris Douridas and Barry Kinyon who played the obnoxious yuppies in the opening of the film.
“Cutting Moments” is a seventeen minute interview with editor Alain Jakubowicz, and finally “Behind the Mask,” a fourteen minute interview with stuntman and Leatherface successor Bob Elmore, who discusses his performance, working with the cast and crew and his thoughts on the movie. It’s a fun topper.