Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (updated screen grabs!)

Production Year: 1986
Release Date: 11/11/2013
Studio: Arrow Video

There's no way a film like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre could ever be recreated, director Tobe Hooper knew this when he began working on it's (inevitable) sequel.  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 isn't just vastly different in terms of characters and settings, but the writing, direction, and tone received overhauls as well.  The outcome is a violently satirical, often times hilarious sequel.  Considering the bleak nature of the original film, it's easy to understand why some fans tend to stay away from sequel; but if you can get past such a wild change you're in for quite the ride.


It's been more than a decade since Leatherface originally terrorised Sally Hardesty.  While she escaped, her friends met with a roaring-gas powered death at the hand's of the chainsaw wielding killer.  The clan managed to escape justice and reports of similar murders still haunt Texas.  Vanita "Stretch" Brock (Caroline Williams) is a local radio DJ that just so happens to hear (and record) one of those oh-so-gruesome chainsaw murders.  Confused and frightened she confides in Lieutenant 'Lefty' Enright (Dennis Hopper) who convinces her to play the tape over the air.


Knowing evidence of the near mythical family's murders will bring the Sawyers out of hiding, Lefty stocks up on a few chainsaws and prepares to face off with the cannibal clan.


The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is in my mind sequel perfection.  It doesn't try and repeat the success of the original by creating a carbon copy, it wants to truly ripple the waters and do something different.  The returning characters are expanded upon and given more mythos. We're introduced to a slew of new characters led by Dennis Hopper, whose "Lefty Enright" is the perfect nemesis for Leatherface.  Hopper has always been a pretty intense actor with a number of radical roles under his belt, and while I do have a definite love for Frank Booth (Blue Velvet) there's just something special about his performance in this film...Maybe it's the chainsaw-sword fight?  Bill Moseley made his horror debut in the film playing Leatherface's brother Chop-top, a Vietnam vet with some pretty serious issues.  Moseley's performance is second only to Hopper's, which is really saying something.  Every line out of Moseley's mouth is pure gold.


Which brings us to the dialogue of the film...I can't think of a more quotable horror film.  Whether it's some subtle quip like "remember the Alamo, cowboy," an innocent "built ya' a little fry-house," or a depraved "lick my plate, you dog dick," one really has to wonder what kind of drugs Carson and Hooper were on while they were sitting in front of a typewriter.


The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is a solid sequel and a great horror film.  While drastically different from the original, it's doesn't wallow in it's older more established brother's shadow.  No, it saunters off in the opposite direction with two middle fingers in the air.

In the past Arrow Video has had a few issues getting their releases just right.  Typically in the packaging and supplements department they were always superior, while other companies tended to give fans the best possible film transfers.  Thankfully, things are a bit different now.  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 looks great!  This high definition transfer was overseen by Richard Kooris (Director of Photography) and it is the definitive release to own.  I saw no evidence of edge enhancement, things looked very natural and there was a lot of detail present.


The audio is an uncompressed 2.0 track, much like the transfer I've got zero complaints.  TCM2 has a pretty intense score throughout the film, while it's heavy it never did it interfere with any dialogue, Everything is evenly balanced.  Great job Arrow!


Arrow's release is an extensive one...There's a lot of ground to cover here.  Let's start with Still Feeling The Buzz, a featurette created specifically for this release.  Author Stephen Thrower (Nightmare USA) shares his thoughts on the sequel while comparing it to the original 1974 film.  This thirty minute featurette is pretty informative and it's clear that Stephen Thrower extensively knows his chainsaw history.



Next up is Cutting Moments, a short conversation with Bob Elmore, a stuntman who was Bill Johnson's stand in when things got a bit too physical.  According to Elmore, Bubba's chainsaw was a bit too heavy for Johnson, in fact most of the famous scenes featuring the famed exaggerated blade were carried out by the stuntman.  The actor also revealed that he broke his wrist early on in the film's production but still managed carried on until the bitter end.


Carried over from past releases are the original opening, four deleted scenes, and the feature length documentary, It Runs in the Family. Sadly, none of these made the HD cut and are in standard definition.  The last two supplements on this disc are in the form of commentary tracks, one featuring Hooper and the other featuring a number of the film's actors.


The second blu-ray contains the features Eggshells and The Heisters.  Along with those two films we're treated to a commentary (Eggshells,) a 24 minute interview with Tobe Hooper, and an extensive trailer reel featuring previews from....The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Eaten Alive, Salem's Lot, The Funhouse, Poltergeist, Lifeforce, Invaders From Mars, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Spontaneous Combustion, The Mangler, Crocodile, The Toolbox Murders, and Mortuary.


With a solid transfer and hours of bonus material fans of the film are going to want need this in their collection.  Arrow Video has had a few issues with transfers in the past, but I feel they've really stepped up their game as of late, especially with this blu-ray set.  To top things off this release includes a 100 page book along with some killer packaging.  A must-have for fans of the 'Saw.


You can pre-order yours here!

9 comments:

  1. I was taken aback by this the first time I watched. So different than the first but no less shocking, in my opinion.

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  2. I'm always surprised to see the hate this film gets. I guess it's understandable, but I can think of a lot of sequels way worse than this one.

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  3. Please, please, please tell me those are not stills from the disc? This one especially http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1aNYnMK-tIw/UlCtgK8UWyI/AAAAAAAADkY/4YV6nD4iM4I/s1600/SAM_0480.JPG looks like a DNR'd watercolour painting. The Region A MGM disc was noisy but at least it had definition and detail. That looks as bad as the first EVIL DEAD 2 blu-ray.

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    1. I'm unable to take direct screenshots of the film using the capture program on my computer, if you know of a program that would work please let me know, I would be more than happy to retake the screen caps.

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    2. 'Media Player Classic Home Cinema'

      Just open the M2TS files in that, then pause and 'Save Image'.

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    3. Screens are officially updated!

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  4. They're obviously not from the disc, lol

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    1. You say that, but did you ever see the first EVIL DEAD 2 blu-ray? It looked exactly like that.

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