The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)

Tobe Hooper’s sequel to his own landmark grindhouse masterpiece is just as unnerving, except for different reasons this time around. Replacing the unsettling, nerve-jangling tension of the original with relentless, excessive gore and pitch-black humor, this is a nightmarish descent into madness that’s often downright punishing. One has to abandon one’s self to Hooper’s particular vision, which extracts unlikely laugh-out-loud comedy from unimaginable brutality, or else the never-ending bloodletting will be unbearably grim. On the way to its hellish climax there are plenty of opportunities for the makeup, special effects and sets to overwhelm the audience with its macabre branding, and it’s all so excessive that one can’t help but feel like Hooper is relishing the opportunity to paint the walls red and make his audience as uncomfortable as possible from beginning to end. It’s certainly not everyone, but it’s a dream come true for genre fans with strong stomachs who enjoy gallows humor.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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