Hatchet (2006)

June 15, 2010 - 12:00pm | FrighT MasteR
  Tags: Adam Green, blood, campy, cheesy, comedic, Deon Richmond, gore, hatchet, homage, Joel Moore, Joleigh Fioreavanti, Joshua Leonard, Kane Hodder, Louisiana, Mercedes McNab, Parry Shen, Patrika Darbo, Richard Riehle, Robert Englund, slasher, Tamara Feldman, Tony Todd

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Adam Green
Patrika Darbo, Tamara Feldman, Joleigh Fioreavanti, Kane Hodder, Joshua Leonard, Mercedes McNab, Joel Moore, Deon Richmond, Parry Shen, Richard Riehle, Tony Todd, Robert Englund

Filmed in '04 and completed in '05, the film didn't actually hit the festival circuits until the Spring of '06 and was hailed by critics and fans that had the pleasure of seeing it. Word of mouth spread over time, eventually making it out to be one of the most hyped horror films of this year. Supposedly Lionsgatefilms was going to distribute the flick, but only on DVD, while Anchor Bay promised a theatrical release (albeit limited) before hitting the DVD market, and writer/director Adam Green decided to go for the chance of more fans catching it on the big screen.

Sadly, with promotional efforts mostly made by fans and participants in the "Hatchet Army" the movie only made it to a certain number of theaters in the US, and didn't even put a scratch at the box office. It almost seemed like all those countless submissions to the MPAA to secure that much-need R-rating was a wasted effort. However, there surprisingly wasn't much removed from the film gore-wise, as it actually all came down to cutting some death scenes shorter than they were originally intended.

Hatchet is a throwback of classic slashers from the 80's (namely the Friday the 13th series), with writer/director Adam Green successfully attempting to bring that old school feel and flavor by dishing out gratuitous nudity, violence, and gore, which just so happens to also be perfect recipe for a highly entertaining horror flick! The 80's is my personal favorite decade for the genre, and Hatchet definitely does bring that style back, but sadly loses its mark when it ends abruptly, and you come to realize the film was nothing more than 'Girls Gone Wild' the first half, and lots of bloody deaths and running away the second.

I don't think I've ever seen a movie that had so much running involved without actually reaching any sort of destination. The whole entire second half is nothing more than the group trying to escape from Victor in the swamps, and somehow still getting picked off one by one. It also seems like the movie holds the record for the most main-villain knockouts, with Victor going down up to four times (from what I can remember) and each time the remaining survivors would simply run away again instead of finishing the job (yeah, like he's not gonna get up again like he did the past three times already).

Like I brushed on earlier, this film is an obvious nod to the F13 films, with the swamps of Louisiana replacing the misty waters of Camp Crystal Lake. In this movie we follow a group of adventure-seeking tourists as they attend a cheesy over-priced ride through the bayou, only to get stranded after the boat collides with a series of rocks. The crew also just so happens to become lost near the old Crowley home, where the locals believe the spirit of Victor Crowley still haunts the grounds. As legend has it, a man (Kane Hodder) had a disfigured son, whom he kept hidden away in his home in order to protect him from bullies and peering eyes.

When a prank by a few kids goes wrong one night, the boy is seemingly burnt to death in the home and now whoever passes through the area winds up either dead or missing. What Hatchet lacks in story does make up for in gore and awesome deaths. Although the ripping-jaw-death (my favorite in the film) has been done before, I don't think it has been perfected as well as it has in this movie. There's literally buckets of blood being thrown around (which looks ridiculous, but does add to the camp factor).

This is a movie made by horror fans and will pretty much only speak to horror fans, which is why so many of us have taken a liking to it. It's a pretty brutal and ballsly slasher that has its ups and downs -- it's fun and gore-filled, but it's way too short (75-minutes, with another 5-minutes worth of credits), and delivers a ridiculously simple story.

The gore works in its favor, but to be honest, most of us have generally matured as an audience and demand slightly more story-wise, and we especially don't need any more back-from-the-dead unstoppable killers; we've already seen our favorites either in space or battling-it-out with rappers. Hatchet could have been a great film if more of an effort was made towards the story instead of focusing it all on the gore. Sure the gore is great, but what's left in the movie if all that's taken away?

Hatchet is a fun ride, but (much like a ride) once things start moving along, before you know it, it's over. The first half is nothing but dirty jokes and T&A, while the second half is a lot of running in circles and bloody deaths. The movie has its ups and downs, but when it all comes down to it, it's still an entertaining watch. What it lacks in story it makes up for in gore and great deaths. Worth a check, but don't expect much story-wise.

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FrighT MasteR's picture
FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.




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