Director: Adam Green
Starring: Danielle Harris, Kane Hodder, Tony Todd
It’s no secret to those who know me (and soon, to most of you, faithful readers) that I am a gore junky. Hatchet II is one of the top 3 goriest films I have ever seen. Add to that the fact that this film has two of my favorite modern horror actors—the lovely Danielle Harris and equally huggable Kane Hodder—and Hatchet II is an instant hit with me!
The film rolled the dice by maintaining an “unrated” status with the MPAA. This would explain why the film was only in theaters for about 15 minutes. I actually was lucky enough to attend a CON that Fall and be present for a Q&A with Hodder and Harris and Kane actually confirmed that the film was pulled specifically because of the gory content. The duo’s promotion of the film, and the fact that I couldn’t see it IMMEDIATELY pretty much ruined the next 5 months of my life while I waited for the DVD release.
Finally, though, the wait was over and the film was released on DVD. Before I begin the synopsis, let’s get something straight before you attempt to watch this picture. Adam Green is an insane horror fan, and the Hatchet films are made for the fans. They’re over the top disgusting, perverse and morally reprehensible. And I fucking love them! So don’t expect Shakespeare, or anything resembling class and you’ll be just fine. Oh, and if you have a weak stomach, you’d better time this one carefully.
First off, if you haven’t seen 2006’s Hatchet, I would recommend watching it first. However, if my writing is truly that gripping, and you just can’t put this book—er blog—down, then let me give you the 30 second back story on the Hatchet tale. It’s essentially a ghost story, but what’s bitchin’ about it is that our ghost, Victor Crowley, is rather meaty and capable of inflicting intensely painful boo boos on the folks that wonder into his swamp.
I don’t want to give too much of the legend away so again, you’ll need to see the first film for the whole picture, but basically Crowley kills a couple of gator hunters and a boatful of tourists, and
then the daughter of one of the dead gator hunters, Marybeth, goes looking for Crowley. The first film ends in an almost Soprano’s-esque “what the fuck just happened” moment and for four years we were left with a proverbial case of blue balls while Adam Green was busy concocting a sequel. Then, in 2010, the fans got what they wanted.
Hatchet II starts immediately where the first film leaves off, except that (thank God) the role of Marybeth is now played by the ridiculously cute Danielle Harris. There’s an amazingly gruesome death scene before the opening credits even role (and a fun one at that, as fans of the genre will notice that Kane Hodder gets to brutally murder John Carl Buechler, the director that first put him in the hockey mask in Friday the 13th Part 7). Having determined in the first film that Victor Crowley (Hodder) has killed her Father and Brother, Marybeth makes her way back into town and visits Reverend Zombie, played by the always immaculate Tony Todd, who, along with her Uncle Bob (Tom Holland—Director of Child’s Play and Fright Night) get together a hunting party to head back into the swamps to search for Crowley. Along the way we get a little more insight into the legend of Victor Crowley and how he came to be. During a flash back Kane Hodder ditches the makeup and plays Victor’s father, showcasing his acting talent as a NON-character actor. From this point the film follows the pretty typical path that Green established in the first film. Characters are dispatched one by one in increasingly horrific and awesome ways. I don’t want to give too much away here, but Crowley kills a character played by R.A. Mihailoff (Leatherface, from Texas Chainsaw Massacre III—did I mention this flick has some cameos in it?!?) with what Kane Hodder has affectionately labeled “the ultimate curb stomp” and he puts an end to Todd’s character with what I’ll venture to say is one of the best on screen deaths I’ve ever seen. We get the mandatory dose of T and A (and no, it’s not Danielle Harris, so don’t get your hopes up) and Marybeth kills Crowley in the end. Or does she?
Even as I write this Hatchet III is out in a very select few theaters, and of course none of them are close to me, so once again I’m left counting the days until the DVD release. UPDATE: CHRIS (NERDCRONOMICON STAFF) SURPRISED ME WITH A COPY OF HATCHET III ON DVD AND IT’S AWESOME!! LOOK FOR A REVIEW SOON…
I’m with all of the other Kane Hodder fans out there and anxiously await the return of Jason Voorhees as played by the only man 100% made for the job. But in the meantime, I think I could get used to seeing Victor Crowley come up with increasingly unpleasant ways to paint his Swamp red with blood.