Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (partially lost deleted scenes of Tobe Hooper horror film; 1986)

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The theatrical poster for the film.

Status: Partially Lost

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is a cult-classic horror film directed by Tobe Hooper that was released on August 22nd 1986. Cannon, the distribution and production company behind the film, forced Hooper to remove plot points and scenes from the film. Most of these deleted scenes can be found online, and have been included as special features on DVD releases. However, there are some scenes that have yet to be found, and are considered lost.

Lost Scenes

Those who worked on the film were upset with the removal of integral plot points that explained character motivations and backstories. A test screening for the film was a huge success with audiences, however Cannon was upset with the lack of ‘monsters’, as they described it. As a result, much of the emotion was gone from the final film.[1] Cinematographer Richard Kooris had this to say:

“Cannon took over the cut and if we’d shot anything with blood, gore or chainsaws they just threw it in, and in order to make it come to the proper length they had to throw the story away – that’s the real tragedy…” [2]

Scenes involving Dennis Hoppers’ character, Lieutenant Lefty Enright, received some of the most severe edits. The original story would have revealed that Stretch, played by Caroline Williams, may have been Enright’s illegitimate daughter. [3] According to Hooper, it would have been revealed later on in the film that Enright used Stretch’s mother as bait during a drug bust. Hooper then explains that, when Enright uses Stretch as bait to trap the Sawyer clan, their relationship comes full circle.[4] With this scene missing, the symmetry was gone.

Lefty Enright (played by Dennis Hopper) during the lost hotel room scene.

Another lost scene involved Enright in his hotel room. This scene was to occur before the character Stretch meets him for the first time. After eating a worm from a bottle of mescal, he proceeds to hallucinate chainsaws coming out of the walls around him. One sequence included a 360-degree dolly shot around Enright, as he sat on his hotel bed and held his gun. Cinematographer Richard Kooris has stated that saving the outtakes for the film was not “a huge priority” for Cannon Films, so the current whereabouts of the lost scenes are unknown. [5]

An alternate version of the “skinned” scene with L.G. (played by Lou Perryman) was also filmed. According to Perryman, Hooper asked him if he could film the scene naked, his reasoning being that the cannibalistic family wouldn’t leave him any boxer shorts. Perryman stated that Cannon found the scene too ‘distracting’ and it had to be reshot, this time while he was wearing boxer shorts.[3]

Found Scenes

Thankfully, many of the scenes that Hooper was forced to cut from the film have surfaced overtime. One scene cut from the film involved Leatherface and his family in an underground parking lot. The scene is infamous for its gratuitous gore and special effects done by Tom Savini. This scene was filmed by the second unit crew, the director of which Hooper found inept for the job. In one moment, Leatherface is depicted as having his victims “underneath his spell” which angered Hooper tremendously. Not having time for reshoots, he removed the parking lot massacre with very little hesitation, despite how expensive it was to shoot. [6]

Other noteworthy cut scenes include a cameo appearance from famous movie critic Joe Bob Briggs, an extended credits sequence, and cut dialogue between the Sawyers in their van.[7]

Availability

The cut scenes that’ve been found are easily available online, and are featured on some DVD releases of the film. However, the footage is in a very poor quality, and key elements such as sound effects and music are missing. This is due to the fact that these scenes are from work print copies of the film, and were used by the editor during the editing process. In other words, it is from the pre-final cut of the movie. It is unknown if high quality footage of these scenes exists.

Footage of the hotel scene with Dennis Hopper’s character Lefty Enright is featured extremely briefly on a TV Spot that was aired to advertise the film.[8] Promotional stills of this scene have also surfaced online.

Videos

Footage of the deleted Joe Bob Briggs scene.
A TV Spot featuring footage from the lost hotel room scene.
Footage of the deleted parking garage scene.

References