Tobe Hooper returns 12 years on from the startling impact that his original and terrifying vision 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' had on audiences around the world. Or at least within the countries it wasn't promptly banned in. With after a lengthy gap between tales surely it's hard to believe that a return to such a notorious legend would give anything less than everything it could. But this is less than superb. Much less than superb.
The story begins with a couple of instantly dislikeable teenagers driving through Texas armed with a loaded gun and zany glasses. They decide to put crank calls through to local DJ Vantia 'Stretch' Block who is trying very hard to host a clearly popular and understaffed local radio show. The teenagers eventually meet their maker 'chainsaw style' and the whole incident is recorded over the phone by Miss Block. So up steps 'Lefty' Enright (played by Dennis Hopper) to convince the girl to play the phone call live on her show in hope that the maniac murderers would show up. And of course they do.
Once again, 12 years on, we are re-introduced to the old and new members of the cannibalistic Sawyer family. Jim Siedow who played Drayton in the original reprises his insane role here, this time putting his culinary skills to good use in local cooking contests. But what are his special ingredients? Jim however is the only member of the original cast to return. The Hitchhiker character this time round has been replaced by maniacal music fan, Chop Top - the dude with the metal plate in his head. And of course Leatherface is back. But this time not as merciless as you would expect for he has been given a softer side for his character. And this is something I didn't particularly enjoy.
Other things that I didn't enjoy? Dennis Hopper's performance was below par. Some scenes were particularly overlong and uninteresting. Caroline Williams having the single most annoying scream I have ever heard. And finally, the ridiculous underground home that the family had adopted for this follow-up just left me unsatisfied.
All in all it all falls sooooo short of that tense, claustrophobic nervousness that the sets and atmosphere gave its audience in the original. Bitterly disappointing and painfully dull at times. I think it would most probably be a waste of time and an extremely bad idea to continue this franchise any further.....oops, too late!