Wednesday, October 27, 2010


When I was a kid I loved the classic monster movies, they were a staple to my movie viewing diet. But as I got older “my diet” changed, I didn’t need to be scared or maybe I just didn’t scare that easily? But every October, I just feel the need to watch some fn horror films. Yesterday, I stopped off at my local all purpose electronic warehouse store to see what I could find? And for the right price of $4.99, I found THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 (THE GRUESOME EDITION!) I remember renting this picture back in the 80’s when it was first released on video, and thoroughly enjoying it.  

Was it was as crazy and deranged as I remembered? (Maybe even more so?) I remember seeing the original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE at my local movie house when I was a kid (and have not seen it since.)  That film started a whole new genre of scare flicks; “the slasher movie” Directed by TOBE HOOPER, the first film almost had a creepy documentary feel to it. Massacre 2 is more like a carnival fun-house ride, with plenty of laughs to break up the gore. The film set up;  it’s been over a decade since the original murders of the first movie, the crazed clan of psychotic cannibals (JIM SIEDOW, BILL MOSELY and BILL JOHNSON) now do there work out of a highway amusement park called Texas Battleground Land. 

Bill Moseley's steel-plated head shines as "Crop Top"
The trio is kind of a crazed version of “Three Stooges” with “Cook” (Siedow) as its “Moe.”  Siedow is one funny old bastard. In a parallel universe his performance would be worthy of an Oscar. He’s a man who loves making his award-winning chili (any guess what his secret ingredient is?) Cook has a food truck that he and the boys tool around Texas with (which makes me laugh considering the current food truck craze.) Moseley’s character of “Chop Top” is so wild, jerky and freaky; now I know where “Beetlejuice” got his act from (he’s the scariest of the three.) Bill Johnson, takes over Gunnar Hansen’s role of the chainsaw wielding “Leatherface.”  When he’s not taking a chainsaw to someone’s body, Johnson almost gives the character a gentle giant turn (I also enjoy his little chainsaw dance.)
 And what’s a slasher movie without an attractive screaming heroine? Chainsaw 2 has perhaps my all-time favorite CAROLINE WILLIAMS. In the Texas natives film debut, she really goes for it! Williams plays "Stretch" a rural late night D.J. who unfortunately is also the favorite of the murderous SAWYER FAMILY.  In her little “Daisy Dukes” she runs and screams all over the place, she even has a love scene of sorts with Leatherface while wearing a human skinned face mask of her former co-worker;YUCK! (Special appreciation to special effects wiz (and sometimes actor) Tom Savini.

Dennis Hopper as ex-Texas Ranger "Lefty" Enright
Also throw into the mix DENNIS HOPPER, as former Texas Ranger "Lefty" Enright. He’s the Captain Ahab of the piece,  he’s spent the past decade roaming the state of Texas trying to avenge the death of his nephew whose character was a murdered by the clan in the first film.  Who else but Hopper would be worthy enough to strap on his own chainsaws and to give the clan a taste of their own medicine?  Massacre 2, again directed by Tobe Hooper from a script by L.M. KIT CARSON (always give the writer credit) has really cooked up (pardon the pun) a wild piece of cinema that has really grown in cult status over the years. Also worth mentioning a really soundtrack with artists such as: The Cramps, Oingo Boingo, Concrete Blonde and Stewert Copeland, among others.  So if you get want some good gory Halloween fun, check out TCM2; but you might have second thoughts about eating off a late night food truck?

* On a personal note, I worked with director Tobe Hooper on the film THE TOOLBOX MURDERS 2004. (Hooper shot the whole picture at THE AMBASSADOR HOTEL in Los Angeles, where I worked in its filming department.) Hooper was the nicest, most soft-spoken fellow you'd ever want to meet.

Screenwriter L. M. Kit Carson

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