Final Girl Friday: Stretch, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)

I must have seen TTCM2 at some point in my tiny life but when I picked it up on Netflix last weekend, I couldn’t remember anything about it.

It’s great though, isn’t it? A little bit of comedy can go a long way in a horror movie (if done right) and this has a sort of tongue in cheek charm reminiscent of Evil Dead 2. But to the woman of the hour.

The Girl

Radio DJ Vanita “Stretch” Brock, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)

The Situation

Stretch (Caroline Williams) inadvertently becomes witness to a horrifying chainsaw murder when two horrible college kids, who just happen to be live on the air with her at the time, are attacked by a chainsaw wielding maniac.

As a result of coming forward to dogged Lieutenant Boude “Lefty” Enright (Dennis Hopper), who has his own personal vendetta against the saw happy family from the first film, she becomes very much embroiled in a new kind of nightmare.

The Final Girl

Stretch is great because she’s cool. I mean like radio DJ Stevie Waynes (horror babe Adrienne Barbeau) in The Fog (1980), Stretch has my dream job. Growing up I remember thinking how awesome that was and I still do. I basically want to give it all up to become a late night disc jockey and you know what? Maybe I will.

Stretch suffers no fools and that’s why I like her. She might um and ah about putting the station’s reputation at risk when Lefty asks her to play the murder tape live again on air but in the end she does what’s right. She also stands her ground when Lefty initially rejects her help with the case. Like, beggars can’t be choosers dude.

As things get hairier and the Sawyer Family come looking for Stretch and her station colleague L.G. (just as Lefty knew they would), Stretch is forced to use any means possible to persuade Leatherface (Bill Johnson) not to chop her up like yesterday’s fire wood. This somewhat backfires (or not, depending on how you look at it) when he falls in love with her.

Hey, even deeply damaged horror antagonists need love.

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Give new meaning to the phrase ‘saving face’

Things round The Sawyer’s gaff are not that fun really, not if you’re a civilian reluctant to be murdered horribly, though I can’t deny the set design is marvelous.

Stretch is forced to endure the unusual sensation of wearing her best friend’s face over her own when LF kindly hides her from his family because LOVE, amirite? When she’s inevitably caught she has to sit through the world’s most awkward dinner party  and then gets attacked by a 700 year old grandpa with a hammer. She’s had been better days, I’m betting.

But, like all great Final Girls, she uses her initiative, manipulates the Leatherfaced one, blows up the family (forever?) and escapes to live another day – oh, and star in another sequel which I haven’t seen yet but will be damn well catching soon.

Final Girl Rating

3.5/5 – Chainsaw looks good on you, gurl!

Vanita_Brock_002

If you can’t beat ’em

One thought on “Final Girl Friday: Stretch, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)

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