director Tobe Hooper returns for another round of gory excess with Leatherface and kin. This 1986 project is less than inspired—a few good shocks and an hour's worth of screaming hardly add up to a sequel—and Hooper tries to cover his bets with lots of peripheral busyness: cinematic hommages
(mostly to Hitchcock), baroque production details, a Motel Hell
-inspired subplot (the Leatherface clan makes prizewinning chili out of human body parts), and assorted camp diversions. Some of it works in its own empty way—Hooper gets more expressive mileage out of Christmas-light arrangements and mounds of Ivan Albright clutter than the Spielbergians do from all their high-tech millions—but the horror's diluted by Hooper's insistent camping up: by pulling his punches he saves our stomachs but undermines his own cred. With Dennis Hopper and Caroline Williams; the screenplay is by Paris, Texas
's L.M. Kit Carson.