This week I took a look at a few movies that are considered in some circles to be cult classics. "Frankenhooker" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2"
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
Cast: Dennis Hopper, Caroline Williams, Bill Mosely
Writers: L.M. Kit Carson, Tobe Hooper
Director: Tobe Hooper
As you can tell from the above photo. This movie is not going to be as serious as the first one. The way it's poster matches with the teen classic "The Breakfast Club" is really quite brilliant and it does help set the tone to be more of an action movie rather then just a horror one. The horror comes from people having their limbs cut off, but there really isn't any tension or moments that made me jump. We see the cannibal family interact a little bit more between killing victims and it becomes more of a somewhat deranged sitcom instead. You know, The typical story of a single father trying his best to raise three sons and an aging grandfather. While also keeping his business of turning people into award winning chili a success. In one scene,both Leatherface and ChopTop(Bill Moseley)are terrorizing the radio station. You could have easily add in a laugh track to some of their antics and it would not feel out of place. I found the moments when Leatherface is trying his best to communicate and help Stretch to be kind of awkwardly sweet. He is by all counts a child who acts out his anger and frustration with a chainsaw. The same way other children act out their emotions with their toys. He has no value for human life because he was never taught any. All he wants is for someone to love him and not treat him like the monster that so many have before. Even though the movie tells us that the Marshall and the DJ are the heroes. It's Leatherface wanting to help someone for a change that I found to be the most heroic.
The first 1974 original was pretty damn scary when I first watched it back in 1998. Despite what some people may tell you, it still holds up today.The grittiness of the film and the sound design help set it apart from other horror films. At times it felt almost like a snuff film. "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2" however is a little more polished(for 80's standards) and it's tone does remove any of the horror the first one had. This was still entertaining and should be counted as the official sequel. Not the recent "Texas Chainsaw 3D"
(Original Theatrical Trailer)
Cast: James Lorinz, Patty Mullen,Joseph Gonzalez
Writers: Frank Henelotter, Robert Martin
Director: Frank Henelotter
Let me state for the record that Patty Mullen is fantastic as the title character. When she becomes reanimated it is comedy gold. She has this way of walking and this little twitch she does with her face that I found to be very funny. She is very much a physical comedian which is not easy to do. The words she speaks are also great and help add to the film's humor and charm. The ending was also a very nice surprise and I enjoyed that it tried something different.
The only thing I take issue with is it's length. I had to wait over an hour before FrankenHooker is on screen and she is not in it for that long. Instead we get long scenes of Jeffery(James Lorinz) talking to peices of his dead girlfriend. Then it has to show him visiting the whores and taking the time to set up their deaths. Although the way they do die is pretty comical so I will give it points for that. I just wanted Frankenhooker to be on screen longer because she was certainly the highlight of this picture. I would recommend this movie to watch just for the scenes of Patty Mullen as FrankenHooker. Just be aware that you will have to wait a while before you get it.
(A short scene from the film)