The Night Thread Fights With Chainsaws (9/29)

The chainsaw fight.  A great cinematic tradition.  Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2Mandy.


…. that…


… that’s about it.

Wait… did they fight with chainsaws in the Fast and Furious movies? No, that was wrenches.

Bullet to the Head? … wait, that was memorial fireman axes. Ironic, considering the movie’s title. Contrary to popular belief, it turns out all problems can’t be solved with a bullet to the head.

No wait… Han Seoul-Oh shoots Aquaman in the head.

Forget I said anything.

Despite being directed by Tobe Hooper (who helmed the original), Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 was poorly received when it first hit theaters. Audiences looking for the visceral thrills of the first movie were instead treated to a movie that more or less lampooned everything about that movie. Rather than the dingy confines or a rural Texan farmstead, the climax instead takes place in an abandoned amusement park… the most fun of all horror movie settings.

Also, there’s fighting with chainsaws.

Sarah Kurchak, a writer at Electric Literature, even posits that TCM2 is a feminist movie. Our female lead, Stretch (Caroline Williams), is harassed by annoying frat-bros from minute one. She gets no help from men who are supposed to be her allies: Lefty (Dennis Hopper) keeps pushing her away or is arriving too late to be of any use. Her radio producer, LG, is friendly and sympathetic but completely powerless to stop even prank callers. She keeps getting beat until she realizes that true power lies within. Or more precisely, within chainsaws.

As a wise old man once said, the saw is family.

Kurchak speculated on what Stretch taking up the saw could mean. Was it empowerment? A template for the “strong female character” to come? Or had she become as monstrous as her tormentors? I think the true answer is a far simpler one:

Fighting with chainsaws is fun.