This Day in Horror

10 October 2010

Hatchet II 2010 - REVIEW


If you've followed my sight for very long then you know that I am a huge Adam Green fan. He is quickly becoming a force to reckon with in the horror community. From the original Hatchet to Spiral to Frozen he has consistently given horror fans what they want. The original Hatchet didn't do so well in theaters but gained a huge following once the DVD was released. Green was pelted with requests for a sequel and once again gave horror fans what they wanted. Believe me when I say he knows what we (well most of us) want. A rip roaring good time full of gore and cheesy one liners. He makes me, a child of the 80's, feel like a kid again with his ability to channel the old school style and bring it to life on the big screen.

Once again, we join Marybeth (Danielle Harris) at the exact moment the original ended as she escapes the clutches of Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder). Marybeth seeks out Rev. Zombie (Tony Todd) in search of answers regarding her family's connection to the slasher in the swamp. With his own ulterior motives in mind, he gathers a group of money-hungry hunters and heads off to the swamp to confront the legendary evil.

Before I give my thoughts on the film I have to say that I am seriously disappointed in my local horror community. We got to the theater an hour ahead of start time because I was certain there would be a line of hungry horror fans just waiting to indulge in the gore and mayhem. Turns out it wasn't necessary because we were the only four people in the theater. It was nice because we could kick back and enjoy the film without all the usual distractions but I'd expected to see so many more genre fans come out in support of unrated horror. All the bitching and complaining on Twitter and Facebook about horror not having a voice and this is unfair and that's unfair and we're the only four people in there? WAKE THE FUCK UP PEOPLE! Nothing is gonna change if we keep pussing around and shying away from things we should be standing up for. Ok, stepping off my soap box now.

Keeping with typical slasher format, there really isn't much character development going on but under the circumstances it's not really necessary. Green knows how to make a fun film and if he wanted it to be a likable cast, he'd have written them that way. I often have issues when there's a major cast change in a sequel but veteran scream queen Danielle Harris fit perfectly into the role of Marybeth. Colton Dunn's character Vernon cracked me up every time he appeared on screen. His 'Chicken and Biscuits' song had me rolling. Word is it was completely improvised but I can't say for sure. Parry Shen makes another appearance as the goof ball side kick. Not much different than his role in the original except he may be a little smarter this time around... NAH. AJ Bowen has what will probably go down in horror history as one of the best sex scenes ever. I had hoped he'd have a little more screen time but he made an impression nonetheless. Even Adam Green makes an appearance as a puking Mardi Gras patron. And let's not forget horror veteran R.A. Mihailoff as the take no shit hunter Trent.

Hatchet II starts off rather slow, much slower than the original but rest assured the violence is coming. And while we're on the subject, Green comes up with some of the most creative kill scenes in horror history and apparently scoured the shelves of Fastenal for the biggest chainsaw I have ever seen. It's a good thing Kane Hodder is both Jason and Victor Crowley otherwise there might be a little chainsaw envy going on there. Originally I wasn't convinced that it would make sense for Marybeth to go right back into the swamp after the shit storm she just survived but Green worked his magic and made it plausible. This film is what it is and you know exactly what you're in for when you walk in the theater (well now you have to wait for the DVD - thanks MPAA). Green set out to make a 100% fan film and that's what he did. It's a throwback and a tribute to every slasher before it. Full of grit and guts and campy humor. You're either gonna love it or hate it.

Even though Hatchet II was unfairly pulled from theaters the point has been made. It will still go down in history as one of the few unrated films to show in theaters and all the attention it's getting will bring more horror fans to the DVD once it's released. Whether you're a Hatchet fan or not you have to respect Green for sticking to his guns and fighting for his film to be shown in all it's gory... er... glory. Kudos to him bringing attention to cause of unrated horror. I'm sure it gave him many headaches and caused him much stress but hopefully more indie directors/producers/studios will take a cue from him and fight for the same privileges the bigger budget productions are given.

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