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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTobe Hooper
Written byL. M. Kit Carson
Produced by
CinematographyRichard Kooris
Edited byAlain Jakubowicz
Music by
  • Tobe Hooper
  • Jerry Lambert
Distributed byCannon Releasing[1]
Release date
  • August 22, 1986 (1986-08-22)
Running time
101 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$4.5 million[3][1]
Box office$8 million[4]

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (also known as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2) is a 1986 American black comedy[5] slasher film co-composed and directed by Tobe Hooper and written by L. M. Kit Carson. It is the sequel to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) and the second installment in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre film series. The film stars Dennis Hopper, Caroline Williams, Bill Johnson, Bill Moseley, and Jim Siedow. The plot follows Vanita "Stretch" Brock, a radio host who is victimized and abducted by Leatherface and his cannibalistic family; meanwhile, Lt. Boude "Lefty" Enright, the uncle of Sally and Franklin Hardesty—both prior victims of the family—hunts them down.

Development of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 began following the 1981 theatrical re-release of the original film, which proved to be a financial success. After several delays, Hooper hired collaborator Carson to write the screenplay for the film in early 1986, with an emphasis on dark comedy, an element Hooper felt was present in the first film but went unacknowledged by audiences and critics. The Cannon Group served as the production company and distributor as part of a three-film deal the studio had struck with Hooper, having produced his previous two films, Lifeforce (1985) and Invaders from Mars (1986). Principal photography occurred in Austin, Texas in the spring of 1986.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 was released in the United States on August 22, 1986, and earned over half of its $4.5 million budget during its opening weekend[6] before going on to gross $8 million domestically. It received mixed reception from film critics and audiences,[7] largely due to its emphasis on black comedy and gore, which departed from the first film's approach that featured minimal violence, low-budget vérité style, and atmosphere to build tension and fear. The film's promotional materials featured a satirical bent, with its theatrical one-sheet parodying the poster art for John Hughes's popular teen comedy film The Breakfast Club (1985).[8]

Despite its mixed reception, the film eventually gained a cult following. It was followed by Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III in 1990.


Two high school seniors, Buzz and Rick, race along a desolate stretch of Texas highway, en route to the Texas-OU football game at the Dallas Cotton Bowl and harass a pickup truck along the way. Heavily intoxicated, they use their car phone to call and harass on-air radio DJ Vanita "Stretch" Brock. Unable to convince them to hang up, Stretch is forced to keep the line open. As the two pass the same pickup truck, Leatherface emerges from the back of the truck and rips up the roof using his chainsaw. Rick tries shooting Leatherface with his revolver, but Leatherface kills Buzz. The car crashes, killing Rick.

The following morning, Lieutenant Boude "Lefty" Enright, former Texas Ranger, and uncle of Sally and Franklin Hardesty, who were victims of Leatherface and his family years earlier, arrives at the scene of the crime to help solve Buzz and Rick's murders. Lefty has spent the last thirteen years looking into his nephew's disappearance, investigating reports of mysterious chainsaw killings across Texas. He is contacted by Stretch, who brings him a copy of the audio tape that recorded the attack. He sends her away, leaving Stretch and her coworker L. G. Peters to reluctantly cover a Texas/Oklahoma Chili Cookoff for their radio show. The winner of the cookoff happens to be Drayton Sawyer, the current patriarch of the cannibalistic Sawyer family, who declares that his secret is having an eye for "prime meat."

Meanwhile, Lefty shops for chainsaws at a local hardware store. He at first unnerves, then amuses the shop's owner with his brutal testing of the saws on a log. Lefty then drives to Stretch's radio station and asks her to play the tape on her nightly radio show so that the public, which had previously mocked his case, will have to listen to him.

Driving home from his chili cookoff victory with his family, Drayton is called by Chop Top about the tape being broadcast, so he sends him and Leatherface to the radio station. While she is about to leave for the night, Stretch is confronted by Chop Top before being attacked by Leatherface. Chop Top brutally bludgeons L. G. with a hammer. Meanwhile, Leatherface corners Stretch and is about to kill her, but she charms him into sparing her. Leatherface returns to Chop Top and leads him to believe that he has killed Stretch. As they take L. G. to their home, they are followed by Stretch, who ends up trapped inside the Sawyers' subterranean lair, located in an abandoned amusement park and decorated with human bones, multi-colored lights, and carnival remnants.

Lefty, who has been following their car all along, arrives equipped with chainsaws and proceeds to vandalize the lair before finding Franklin's remains. Meanwhile, Stretch is found by Leatherface, who puts L. G.'s skinned face and hat on her before tying her arms and leaving. Later, a still alive L.G. frees Stretch before dying. Leatherface finds Stretch and the family capture her. Drayton scolds Leatherface when he finds out that Stretch was not killed. They torture her at the dinner table, but Lefty arrives and saves her. Stretch flees the grounds, with Chop Top chasing after her. Lefty wounds Drayton, then he and Leatherface get into a chainsaw fight, in which Leatherface is fatally wounded. The dying Drayton, accepting that he and his family have lost, takes a grenade from Nubbins's corpse and frags himself, Lefty, Leatherface and Grandpa.

Chop Top chases Stretch to the top of a stone tower in the amusement park. Stretch grabs a chainsaw from the corpse of the family's grandmother in a shrine and fatally wounds Chop Top, causing him to fall off the tower to his death. Stretch shouts in triumph and swings the chainsaw in the air.


Kinky Friedman appears in a cameo as Sports Anchorman, as does Dan Jenkins as T.V. Commentator and Joe Bob Briggs as Gonzo Moviegoer; Hooper also cameos.



Following New Line Cinema's profitable 1981 theatrical re-release of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), director Tobe Hooper began developing a sequel to his original film.[9] The project did not culminate until several years later, when The Hollywood Reporter announced the project in a November 2, 1983 trade advertisement.[6]

The film was financed by Cannon Films as part of a three-picture deal the studio had struck with Hooper, having previously produced and distributed his films Lifeforce (1985) and Invaders from Mars (1986).[6] Hooper initially planned to serve only as a producer, but was enlisted as director when he could not find a director that the producers could afford.[10]

According to the documentary Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films, Cannon Films anticipated a straightforward horror film, while Hooper sought to make the sequel a black comedy. Hooper enlisted L. M. Kit Carson to write the screenplay, which he began in January 1986.[1]


Gunnar Hansen was initially approached to reprise his role as Leatherface, but he claimed to have been offered "scale, plus ten percent" with the ten percent going to his agent. When he replied that he had no agent, they offered scale without the additional ten percent. Hansen found the offer too low.[11] Unit publicist Scott Holton offered an alternate story claiming Hansen vacillated about the part and the offer was rescinded.[11] Holton didn't believe the average viewer was even aware of who the original actors were, claiming "who are Neal, Hansen or Burns?"[11]

Bill Moseley created a short film parody entitled The Texas Chainsaw Manicure,[12] where he played a small role as the Hitchhiker and showed it to a screenwriter who was able to show it to Tobe Hooper.[13] Hooper loved it and kept Moseley in mind for a part should he ever make a sequel.[13] When the time came to cast Chainsaw 2, Moseley was contacted for the role of Chop Top, the Hitchhiker's twin brother.[13]


Principal photography of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 began on May 5, 1986, in Austin, Texas metropolitan area.[1] Shooting locations in the city included the Cut Rite chainsaw store, as well as the interiors of the former Austin American-Statesman building.[14] The majority of the shoot occurred in and around the shuttered Matterhorn Amusement Park in Prairie Dell, which stood in for the fictional Texas Battle Land amusement park where the Sawyer family's lair is located.[14][15][16]


Several scenes were deleted by director Tobe Hooper due to pacing issues as mentioned on the 2000 Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Shocking Truth documentary.[17] One lengthy scene that was cut from the film involves the Sawyer Clan heading out at night to collect prime meat for their chili by slaughtering patrons exiting a movie theater and a group of rowdy, rioting fans in a parking garage. The deleted slaughtering scene featured several elaborate Tom Savini special effects. The deleted scene at the movie theater also includes a cameo by American film critic Joe Bob Briggs.[18]


The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Pt. 2
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
GenreGothic rock, new wave, alternative rock
  1. The Lords of the New Church: "Good to Be Bad" – 4:42
  2. The Cramps: "Goo Goo Muck" – 3:02
  3. Concrete Blonde: "Haunted Head" – 2:48
  4. Timbuk3: "Life Is Hard" – 4:06
  5. Torch Song: "White Night" – 3:42
  6. Stewart Copeland: "Strange Things Happen" – 2:58
  7. Concrete Blonde: "Over Your Shoulder" – 3:20
  8. Timbuk3: "Shame on You" – 4:48
  9. The Lords of the New Church: "Mind Warp" – 3:42
  10. Oingo Boingo: "No One Lives Forever" – 4:08

"Crazy Crazy Mama" by Roky Erickson was used in the film but not included on the soundtrack album.



The final poster design, featuring the family sitting together, is a parody of the poster for the 1985 teen comedy-drama film The Breakfast Club.[19]

Box office[edit]

The film was released theatrically in the United States by Cannon Films on August 22, 1986. It earned over half of its budget back during its opening weekend,[6] and went on to gross a total of $8,025,872 at the domestic box office.[4]

Critical response[edit]

At the time of its release, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 was met with mixed reviews from film critics.[7] Roger Ebert awarded the film one star out of four, lambasting the film because it "goes flat-out from one end to the other, never spending any time on pacing, on timing, on the anticipation of horror. It doesn't even pause to establish the characters; Dennis Hopper has the most thankless task, playing a man who spends the first half of the movie looking distracted and vague, and the second half screaming during chainsaw duels." He also commented that it "has a lot of blood and disembowelment, to be sure, but it doesn't have the terror of the original, the desire to be taken seriously. It's a geek show."[20] TV Guide's review was similarly negative, stating that "the film feels as if Hooper himself has nothing but contempt for the original and went out of his way to tear it down."[21] The New York Times criticized the film, saying, "Hooper's direction is a little sloppy," and that the film "is not first-grade chopped steak."[22]

AllMovie's review was favorable, writing, "much-hated at the time of its release, Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 has aged remarkably well, now playing as a strangely effective if none-too-subtle satire of several facets of '80s excess."[23]

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 2 holds a 50% approval rating on film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 32 reviews with an average rating of 5.1/10. Its consensus reads, "Without the tense atmosphere of its predecessor, the stakes feel lower, but The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 still shocks with a gonzo blend of over-the-top humor and gore."[24] On Metacritic, the film holds a score of 42 out of 100 based on reviews from 13 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[25] It has since become a cult film.[26]


Similarly to the first film, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 faced significant censorship in numerous countries. In the United States, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) refused to grant the film an R rating for theatrical release, despite it undergoing numerous cuts to tone down its violence.[27][28] "I told [executive producers Menachem Golan and Yoram Globus], going in, that there was no way we could get an R rating on that picture," said Hooper, "but they kept chopping away at it."[27] When the MPAA refused to grant the film anything less than an X rating, Cannon Films opted to release it without a rating.[28]

The film was banned in Germany and Singapore, though the Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle der Filmwirtschaft in Germany later gave the uncut version an 18 rating,[29] and Singapore gave it an R21 (Restricted to under 21) rating after an appeal. When the film was submitted in the United Kingdom to the BBFC for a certificate, the BBFC notified Cannon, the distributor, that at least 20 to 25 minutes of footage would have to be trimmed in order for the film to be given an 18 rating. Cannon attempted to cut the film, but eventually gave up after numerous re-edited versions failed to pass the BBFC.[30] The uncut version of the film was eventually given an 18 rating in 2001. When released in Ontario, Canada the film had 11 minutes cut after being rejected three times by Ontario censors.

The film was banned in Australia for 20 years. An uncut version was released on VHS by Warner Home Video in New Zealand in 1987, but could also be found (illegally, as the box proudly stated)[31] in some Australian video stores at the time. The New Zealand VHS cassette has become very rare. In 2000, an unofficial VHS release was issued to retailers throughout Australia. This was done so illegally by a duplicating house, and without the knowledge of the OFLC. When news of the illegal copies leaked, a number of retailers were raided for possessing infringing copies. The duplicating house was similarly raided by Federal Customs. The film was finally passed for official release in Australia on November 30, 2006.[31] The Uncut "Gruesome Edition" DVD was released on January 24 the next year.[32]

Home media[edit]

In 1995, a bootleg VHS edition of the film circulated among video dealers and collectors, surfacing at a Fangoria convention in New York City.[27] Hooper himself stated that this version resembled an early rough cut of the film, assembled prior to its submission to the MPAA.[27]

On September 1, 1998, the film was released on VHS by MGM Home Entertainment as part of the MGM Movie Time collection (which was available exclusively through Warner Home Video). On August 1, 2000, the film was released on a region 1 DVD by MGM Home Entertainment.[33] On October 10, 2006, the film received a second DVD treatment from MGM, entitled "The Gruesome Edition", which featured an audio commentary by director Tobe Hooper and David Gregory, director of Texas Chain Saw Massacre: The Shocking Truth, as well as an audio commentary by actors Bill Moseley, Caroline Williams and special effects makeup creator Tom Savini. The special features also included deleted scenes, a feature-length documentary entitled It Runs in the Family, six still galleries and a trailer.[34] A Blu-ray edition of the film was released on September 11, 2012 which featured all of the special features from the "Gruesome Edition" DVD.[34]

Scream Factory released a Collector's Edition Blu-ray on April 19, 2016,[35][36] which went out of print on August 6, 2020.[37] On October 25, 2022, Vinegar Syndrome released a three-disc 4K UHD Blu-ray edition of the film with archival and newly-commissioned bonus features.[38]


The official sequel to the film was Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III. In 1998, Tobe Hooper's son William Hooper, began work on All American Massacre, a short film that would be both a sequel and a prequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.[39] Hooper ran out of funds for post-production in 2000 and the film was never completed and released although the trailer leaked online in the early 2000s.[39]


  1. ^ a b c d e The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 at the AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved August 30, 2023.
  2. ^ "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2". Belcourt Theatre. Archived from the original on August 31, 2023.
  3. ^ Broeske, Pat H. (June 8, 1986). "And Here Comes Leatherface!". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on August 31, 2023.
  4. ^ a b "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre II". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on August 29, 2011. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  5. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (July 21, 2008). "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2". The Guardian. Archived from the original on August 31, 2023.
  6. ^ a b c d Macor 2010, p. 46.
  7. ^ a b Macor 2010, pp. 46–47.
  8. ^ Woofter & Dodson 2021, p. 162.
  9. ^ Macor 2010, pp. 45–46.
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  11. ^ a b c Jaworzyn 2012, pp. 130–131.
  12. ^ McIntyre, Gina (January 4, 2013). "'Texas Chainsaw 3D': Bill Moseley reflects on a monster career". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on August 4, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
  13. ^ a b c Jaworzyn 2012, pp. 131–132.
  14. ^ a b Taggart, Patrick (May 8, 1986). "'Chainsaw II' filming begins at Cut Rite". Austin American Statesman. pp. C1, C6. Archived from the original on September 4, 2023. Retrieved September 4, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ Coppedge, Clay (September 24, 2004). "Tranquil setting belies past: PRAIRIE DELL". Texas Escapes. Blueprints for Travel. Archived from the original on June 22, 2018. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  16. ^ "'Chainsaw Massacre II' Starts Filming in Austin". El Paso Herald. May 9, 1986. p. 6. Archived from the original on September 4, 2023. Retrieved September 4, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Shocking Truth (2000)". IMDb. Archived from the original on March 24, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  18. ^ Jaworzyn 2012, pp. 249–250.
  19. ^ Maddrey 2010, p. 84.
  20. ^ Ebert, Roger (August 25, 1986). "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2". RogerEbert.com. Ebert Digital LLC. Archived from the original on October 9, 2021. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  21. ^ "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 Review". TV Guide. Archived from the original on May 5, 2019. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  22. ^ Goodman, Walter (August 23, 1986). "The Screen: 'Chainsaw 2,' A Sequel". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 22, 2021. Retrieved August 20, 2021.
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  25. ^ The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 at Metacritic Edit this at Wikidata
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  27. ^ a b c d Price, Michael H. (March 16, 1995). "Tobe Hooper still cutting up". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. p. 84. Archived from the original on September 4, 2023. Retrieved September 4, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  28. ^ a b Muir 2015, p. 38.
  29. ^ "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)" (in German). Schnittberichte. Archived from the original on September 5, 2021. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
  30. ^ "Annual Report 1987" (PDF). British Board of Film Classification. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 30, 2020. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  31. ^ a b "Film Censorship: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) & (1986)". Refused Classification. November 30, 2006. Archived from the original on July 4, 2018. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
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  34. ^ a b "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2". DVD Release Dates. Archived from the original on October 22, 2021. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
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  37. ^ "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 [Collector's Edition]". Shout! Factory. Archived from the original on January 26, 2021.
  38. ^ "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 4K Blu-ray – United States". Blu-ray.com. October 25, 2022. Archived from the original on August 31, 2023.
  39. ^ a b Squires, John (August 29, 2017). "Bill Moseley Played Chop Top in a 'Chainsaw 2' Sequel We May Never See". Bloody Disgusting. Archived from the original on August 25, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2017.


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