American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Part 2" carries a proud old name in the annals of exploitation, but its only ambition is to outgross the original film. It fails.
The first "Chainsaw" was gruesome and depraved, yes, but it also had an undeniable artistry, and it truly was frightening. "Part 2" has a smirk on its face, and would rather giggle than scream; at the end, we haven't seen a nightmare - we've just seen a lot of latex face masks and red dye.
So what were we expecting? I thought perhaps Tobe Hooper - who directed the first film and is back again this time - would use his larger budget and his greater freedom to make a horror movie that would go through the roof, that would define in some sort of crazy way how nauseating a movie could possibly be.
That wouldn't necessarily be praiseworthy but, in its own way, it would have marked some kind of milestone. Now that bloody special effects have turned horror movies into studies in clinical pathology, maybe it was time for Hooper, the master, to come back and show the kids how it's really done.