After hitting it big with "Poltergeist" and the naked-alien-babe-on-the-loose thriller "Lifeforce" director Hooper was given big bucks to make a sequel to his seminal cult favorite, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."
For this outing, produced by Cannon (which produced a lot of Charles Bronson films, not to mention "Lifeforce"), Hooper threw away the gritty neorealism of the original "Chainsaw." "Part 2" plays mostly for laughs, with Jim Siedow returning as one of the insane family members from Part 1. This time, he's winning cook-off competitions, obviously using human meat in his recipes. Turns out after the events of Part 1 that no arrests were made and none of the maniacs were found by police. Dennis Hopper plays the brother of the parent of the victims from Part 1, who's now out for revenge. He's one of the best things about this movie. The film opens with an awful scene, featuring two rich young guys getting massacred in their Mercedes by Leatherface. Their deaths are captured on tape by a radio DJ, who works with Hopper to ensnare the killers by playing the killings on the air.
Director Hooper tries to impress us with big-budget sets and effects, but it was the original's low budget and documentary style that made it such a classic. You're never scared watching "Texas Chainsaw 2," although you'll likely find yourself entertained, particularly during the scenes when Leatherface falls in love with the radio DJ (Williams) or during any of the make-up effects sequences crafted by Tom Savini. The best scenes have to be with Hopper, however, particularly one where the revenge-crazed cowboy-hat-wearing hunter goes berserk with a chainsaw. Worst thing about the movie might be the cheesy synth score, which was composed by director Tobe Hooper himself.
A little bit better than "Lifeforce," "Texas 2" would actually turn out to be Hooper's last decent movie. He would go on to make really bad films, like "The Mangler." The Chainsaw franchise would carry on without him. Next in the series would be "Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III."