The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 review

Tobe Hooper's horror sequel cuts through the competition with this feature-packed release

If Tobe Hooper's 1974 horror classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was a response to the concerns about American identity following Watergate and Vietnam, his 1986 sequel is imbued with the notion of excess that defined the decade in which it was made. The big budget Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is bigger (if actually not better) than the original in every imaginable way. It's got more action, (much) more gore and more gags. A deliriously sick and funny film that has actually improved with age, with Dennis Hopper brilliant as the vengeful lawman hunting Leatherface et al.

Picture: Having first got to know The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 courtesy of a bootleg VHS back in the 1990s, it's almost impossible to believe that the film could ever look as good as it does on Arrow's deluxe Blu-ray release.

Transferred from a 35mm interpositive and restored in the US, with additional restoration work undertaken in the UK by Arrow, it's entirely likely that Hooper's sequel hasn't looked this good since the original negatives were struck. Colour reproduction is one of the biggest strengths of the film's AVC 1.85:1 1080p encode, undoubtedly down to the fact that director of photography Richard Kooris supervised the colour correction process during the initial HD transfer.

Outside of the leering close-ups of Grandpa's face in Chapter 11, detailing is perhaps not quite as finessed as you might expect. But given the authentically coarse, grainy nature of the material, this is understandable. 
Picture rating: 4/5

Audio: The film arrives on Blu-ray with a surprisingly intense and effective LPCM 2.0 stereo soundtrack. Separation across the front soundstage is perfectly acceptable and the dynamic range is expansive enough to cope with everything from the rumbling engine of a chainsaw to Caroline Williams' ear-splitting screams with no trace of distortion at either end of the scale. Dialogue and music reproduction are also first-rate.
Audio rating: 3.5/5

Extras: Accompanying the film itself on the first Blu-ray platter are the pair of commentaries (one with the director, the other featuring actors Bill Mosely, Caroline Williams and special effects legend Tom Savini), 88-minute It Runs in the Family retrospective documentary, alternate opening sequence, four deleted scenes and trailer that first appeared on the 2006 US DVD release. To this Arrow has added a half-hour discussion of the film by Nightmare USA author Stephen Thrower, a 14-minute interview with stunt performer Bob Elmore and a gallery of 85 behind-the-scenes photos.

Bundled with this is a second Blu-ray platter titled Tobe Hooper's Early Works (and a DVD that replicates the same content). This contains HD presentations of Hooper's sublime 1964 short The Heisters and his way-out 1969 feature debut Eggshells (restored from the only existing copy – a faded 35mm show print). The disc also includes a director's commentary on Eggshells, a new 24-minute interview with Hooper and a reel of trailers for 13 of his films.
Extras rating: 4.5/5

We say: We’re buzzing with excitement about this sensational Blu-ray package and its great array of bonus features

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Arrow Video, Region B (Disc One)/All-region BD (Disc Two)/R0 DVD (Disc Three), £30 Approx