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"The Saw is Family!"
on 24 March 2003
Made with little more than a healthy pay check in mind, Tobe Hooper returns to the gruesome family of characters he co-created with writer Kim Henkel in 1973 with this inferior, but fun, sequel. Far glossier than the original 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' this second instalment is more reminiscent of other 80's horror sequels like The 'Friday the 13th' and 'Nightmare' franchises in that it promptly succumbs to the standard pattern of a rock and roll soundtrack, a plot that is as absent of any meat on it's bones as is one of leatherface's hapless victims, and a lack of any genuine shocks or scares (only one moment of face-swapping gore truly stands out here). Whatsmore, the sets are overblown and ridiculous (the family now appear to reside in some kind of underground labyrinth as opposed to the simple farmhouse of the original), character development is completely forgotten, and the ending is plain embarrassing. That said, TCM2 is not without some saving graces - Dennis Hooper is camply hilarous as Sheriff Lefty Enright (Uncle to one of the original movie's unlucky teens) and the family themselves (particularly the eldest brother) still have some amusing moments on screen. This episode is primarily played for laughs, however, and they are not nearly so subtle as those found in the first part. Hollywood effects replace the unrelenting terror of the (far less gory) original and the film suffers as a result. It should be noted also that this DVD contains no extras, but the picture and sound quality are clean and well presented. All told, a decent horror flick and a fun ride - but not a patch on it's classic predecessor.