This sequel could not be more different from the original. It is cheesy, gory, self-aware exploitation that pushes the right buttons. It is not scary, but it is thoroughly entertaining. The violence is cartoonish and completely over-the-top. In one scene, the sometimes subverted theme of sexual violence in slasher films is taken to comical extremes when Leatherface actually pantomimes sexual intercourse with the film's heroin using his chainsaw to represent his "special purpose." Obvious, perhaps, but funny regardless. Nothing is taken seriously, almost as though Hooper decided to mock his first film.
The older brother from the first film is back. He now owns an award-winning chili franchise. "What's the secret?" he is asked by a reporter at the anual chili contest. "Never skimp on the meat," he replies, fiendishly. Yes, it's human meat, supplied by his two younger brothers, Choptop and Leatherface. Choptop, whose character is obviously modeled on the hitch-hiker (middle brother) from the first film, is a Vietnam Vet turned hippie turned Manson family reject. Leatherface is basically the same pea-brained psychopath, but now he gets to display his romantic side.
Dennis Hopper plays the tough-talking Marshal, Lefty, who's single goal in life is to avenge the killing of his brother and his brother's family. He gives us an absolutely ridiculous performance that fits this absolutely ridiculous movie.
It's a well-made film, but, although there was more money, there was not the distinctive vision of the original. However, if you like movies like Dead Alive and Evil Dead II, then you should appreciate where this movie is coming from.
PS: This is the last movie in the series that is worth watching, besides the surprisingly good remake that came out recently.