Villanelle Review of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part Two

It’s been a while since my last poetry review, so to kick start the series again, I’ve decided to review Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2. Of course, his original Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a major milestone in horror history, but I’ve always been partial to the sequel. It’s really a dark comedy about the plight of small business, the decline of family values, and the violent clash of cultures in post-Vietnam America. The film is a garish, unrelenting mixture of the absurd and the grotesque, with bits of western allegory added in such characters as Stretch, the spunky and leggy damsel in distress, and Lefty, the bad-ass cowboy who’s hell-bent to rescue her and also find the savages that killed his niece and nephew years earlier. Plus, it features one of my all-time favorite psychos and Lefty’s perfect foil, Chop Top, the burnt-out hippie-Vietnam-vet with a metal plate in his head who loves music and murder with equal gusto.

What is a villanelle? Villanelles originated in France during the 1500s and originally meant “country song.” They were simple narratives about folk heroes and peasant life, in contrast to the more refined and ornamental verse being developed by the French aristocracy. Centuries later, English poets such as Oscar Wilde re-discovered the villanelle and transformed it into an elaborate and exotic form of poetry with complex, interwoven lines. Modern villanelles are 19 lines long and use an ABA rhyme pattern in which the first and third lines of the first stanza alternate as the third lines of the remaining stanzas until they culminate as a couplet in the final quatrain. This unwavering blend of the rural and the urbane, or the straight and the crooked, makes the perfect formula for a tribute to the hero and villain of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part Two.



The Ballad of Lefty and Chop Top

All the papers mocked: “crazy cowboy chases chainsaw.”
Still, he doesn’t care. Lefty knows who killed his nephew.
Music is his life, but Chop Top’s head is bloody and raw.

Stretch, the best disk jockey in Texas, hears it all:
Leatherface makes two of her callers splatter and spew.
All the papers mocked: “crazy cowboy chases chainsaw.”

Lefty always knew these killers were beyond the law.
“Hell’s what they raised.” And Drayton’s chili is the Devil’s stew.
Music is his life, but Chop Top’s head is bloody and raw.

When Stretch replays the murder on the air, Chop Top is in awe,
but wants her to die. Leatherface is in love and won’t follow through.
All the papers mocked: “crazy cowboy chases chainsaw.”

But when Stretch tries to stop them, it’s her fatal flaw.
She falls into their lair. And Lefty knows what he must do.
Music is his life, but Chop Top’s head is bloody and raw.

Lefty duels Leatherface, before a grenade kills them all,
and Stretch can escape. But it looks like Chop Top survives, too.
All the papers mocked: “crazy cowboy chases chainsaw.”
Music is his life, but Chop Top’s head is bloody and raw.

One Response to Villanelle Review of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part Two

  1. horrorhound weekend in pittsburgh was awesome. lots of fun was had, much pasta was eaten, too much money was spent, too many drinks were drunk and tons of photos were snapped. below i share some of the latter in an effort to convey some of the

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