THE LAIR EXPERTS
Matt: Thirteen years after the release of the original groundbreaking classic, Tobe Hooper returned to helm the sequel, which directors do not typically do. This time, however, he set out to make an entirely different film. And my, how different it was! Gone was the gritty, raw, emotionally-charged horror classic. And in its place was a big budget, campy fiasco that would have passed for a comedy if it wasn't for all the gore. The highlights of the film are the return of Jim Siedow as The Cook, Caroline Williams as lead heroine Stretch, and Bill Moseley, who provided the comic relief of Chop-Top. Beyond that, Tom Savini's special effects were all that saved this movie. It just wasn't that scary at all, and some of the deaths were cheered for, particularly in the early stages of the movie. Another huge drawback was the casting of Bill Johnson as Leatherface. He did the best he could with what he was given, but there was no way Bill, or anyone else, was going to replace the incomparable Gunnar Hansen as Leatherface. They pretty much ruined the intimidating scare factor of Leatherface by giving him a love affair with Stretch. Since when did Leatherface care about anything or anyone besides taking care of the meat for the family? I still don't quite get that one. And what was up with the Sawyers' underground labyrinth? It looked like a bad combination of a cheesy funhouse and tourist attraction. Come to think of it, Tobe was also involved in a film called 'Fun House', so maybe the set leftovers were used or something, but it definitely took away from the overall effectiveness of the film. And, oh yeah, Dennis Hopper cashed a paycheck on this film as well, which is about all I can say for his effort. But he wasn't the only one. It looks like Hooper did the same thing. 5 out of 10.
A.J.: To start off, this was one of the hardest movies I've ever had to review. On one hand, I can appreciate the new angle that they were trying to take with the movie and to give it a fresh start after such a long hiatus. But on the other hand, this movie was just plain awful. The thing that jumped out the most to me was that aside from the family, there were only two main characters, and one was an old man. This simply does not jive with the horror movie mantra of a group of teens who get slaughtered. The acting was plain, and the music score was horrible and did not add anything to the movie. Bill Moseley played a good part as Chop-Top, but who the hell is Chop-Top and where did he come from? It's never explained in the movie. The only good thing to come from this movie (other than basically being an outline for Rob Zombie's 'House Of 1,000 Corpses') was that Leatherface was finally referred to by his iconic name. This film gets a very generous 5 out of 10 from me.
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