I SHOULD HAVE GONE ON THE SWAMP TOUR
After dispatching serial killer Victor Crowley with a shotgun and a chainsaw, Marybeth (Danielle Harris), the sole survivor of his murderous rampage of Honey Island swamp, takes his scalp to the authorities to prove he’s not just an urban legend.
Suspecting her of the mass killings, Sheriff Fowler (Zach Galligan from Gremlins fame) locks Marybeth up and sends out a group of officers and medics to recover the bodies. But when they too go missing, Lewis heads into the Louisiana swamp with some reinforcements, where a SWAT team is also looking for answers. And it’s not long before they do… for Crowley (Kane Hodder) has indeed regained his form and is ready to rumble.
Meanwhile, Fowler’s Crowley-obsessed journalist ex-wife Amanda (Caroline Williams) breaks Marybeth out of jail in a bid to find the one thing that will end Crowley’s curse – the ashes of his dead father. It’s then a race against time to get back to the swamp where Marybeth must personally hand over the remains before the SWAT and police teams are completely wiped out by the unstoppable killing machine.
EVIL NEVER DIES
You needn’t have seen the first two films to enjoy this latest Victor Crowley gore-fest, as the dungaree-wearing bayou bad boy’s bloody back story is revisited and expanded on here, and there’s a whole bunch of new victims for him to rip, shred and tear apart.
Creator/director Adam Green hands his monstrous creation over to BJ Connell, who takes great pleasure in poking fun at the contrived events of the previous film, while serving up a bloody brilliant new brew of thrills, spills and irreverent giggles.
The gloriously grisly highlights include a medic having his brains blown out of his skull with some cardio pads, the horrid SWAT leader getting his heart and spine ripped out, and a weedy officer having his arms torn off in revenge for bazookering Crowley’s cabin. The blood gushing is prolific and blackly comic: one poor medic has to choose which death would be worse: Crowley or a crocodile, while another utters the film’s best line: ‘I hid. And that’s the only reason why those are not my balls hanging from that tree’.
Look out for Adam Green playing a drunken Mardi Gras party reveller and the legendary Sid Haig, who has a hilarious cameo playing a racist war veteran who thinks its still 1953.
Hatchet II (2010) | Swamp monster serial killer Victor Crowley delivers another bloody blow to your funnybone
When it comes to tongue-in-cheek horror comedy few films can surpass 1985’s Return of the Living Dead whose comic script, great special effects, neat soundtrack and solid acting really sets the benchmark for these kind of films (as far as I’m concerned, that is).
Adam Green, Horror-dom’s favourite poster boy, made his name back in 2006 with his old-school serial killer horror Hatchet. Since then, he’s stretched his directorial wings with the classy thriller Spiral and the taunt survival chiller Frozen [reviewed here]. But he’s always promised his fans more Hatchet sequels, beginning with this one from 2010.
It doesn’t matter if you haven’t seen the original, but it does help to know a little about Friday the 13th, as this film is a pure homage to the horror franchise and its leading man, Jason Voorhees. Here, Green has fashioned his own horror icon-in-the-making in the form of Victor Crowley: a deformed, indestructible, serial killer who haunts a cursed Louisiana bayou and looks like a cross between Troma’s Toxic Avenger, The Elephant Man, and Robert De Niro’s Frankenstein monster.
The sequel follows directly from the first with heroine Marybeth (Danielle Harris) escaping Crowley’s clutches then returning to the dreaded swamp with a pack of hunters in tow, headed by Tony Todd’s flamboyant Reverend Zombie, to avenge the deaths of her father and brother. Only problem is, Crowley (again played by Kane Hodder, aka Jason Voorhees VII-X) also has a score to settle: the deaths of the three boys responsible for his fiery death.
You have to wait 53-minutes of back-story and highlights from the original before you get to your first fresh kill, but once Crowley starts butchering, you’ll find yourself whooping in delight as the body count rises. The death scenes are gory; inventive and well executed with all manner of tools including shovels, boat motor blades, giant double chainsaw and a sander – in addition to Crowley’s trusty hatchet – being used to decimate the cast.
Forget the cardboard story and mostly lame acting (Harris shouts through her role, while Todd seems to be invoking True Blood’s Lafayette with his performance); it’s the jokey violence and bloody pulp of an ending that makes Hatchet II a winner for me. Does it reach the lofty heights of my favourite horror comedy? ‘Fraid not, but it’s still one to enjoy with your fellow horror fiends over a few beers.
Just one question, does anyone know what a ‘Voodoo Fluffer’ is?
Hatchet II screens on The Horror Channel (Sky 319, Virgin 149, Freesat 138), with the next showing on Friday 28 March at 10.50pm.
Hatchet III is released on DVD in the UK on Monday 31 March from Metrodome Distribution[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qmgd6_KzV_8%5D