Hatchet

WEIRDO’WEEN #15: HATCHET III [2013]

weirdoween2015Here we are: our final trip into the swamp to put an end to Victor Crowley – even if we haven’t had much luck the past two films! [if you missed part 1 or part 2, be sure to check them out as well!]

Although this final Hatchet film isn’t Directed by Adam Green, he actually had complete control over the project, plus the new Director; B J McDonnell, was handpicked by Green – and He did a fantastic job! So for today’s weirdo’ween post, we visit Honey Island Swamp one last time, and we’re going to finish Crowley off. for good.

weirdo'ween-#15Now the important thing to note about this film is that unlike the other Hatchet films, this one took away a lot of the comedy aspects. Don’t get me wrong, there are in movie jokes, but it’s become a full fledged horror film this time around, and it’s great!

Picking up from where Hatchet II left off, Marybeth Dunston [still played by the wonderful Danielle Harris] blows off the head of Victor Crowley with a shotgun. Repeatedly. She walks away and comes across the bodies of almost everyone from the previous film, when she hears Crowley, deep in the woods. Marybeth starts up a nearby chainsaw, but is grabbed by Victor[poor girl can’t catch a break!] Marybeth then kicks him, and as he falls backwards onto the chainsaw, he is then cut him straight down the middle of his torso. She grabs a shotgun from one of the dead men nearby, and shoots Victor‘s head, and walks back into the city’s sheriff’s station, carrying only his scalp. Sheesh. What an opening!

Of course, when Marybeth arrives and explains what just happened, no one believes her and they place her in a cell for the murders. After some discussion, and a hearty explanation in full, finally convinces the Deputies, The Sheriff, [played by Zach Galligan] paramedics, [but, why paramedics? are they going to revive a decapitated person?] and an entire SWAT team go to the swamp, only to find countless bodies and body parts. Working as a team, they start dragging body bags onto their boat.

even covered in Crowley blood, I love me some Danielle Harris

Meanwhile, an annoying reporter who has been listening to the police frequency shows up at the station, and demands to speak to Marybeth. As it turns out, this reporter is the ex-wife of the Sheriff and she manages to manipulate one of the deputies into doing whatever she wants. She comes bearing bad news – Crowley can’t be killed. She explains that he will always return because he’s on a mission – and Marybeth is the solution: Being as she’s the last of the Dunston family, Victor needs to be put at rest. The reporter then convinces one of the security guards to let Marybeth out, and the two go on a trip to find Crowley‘s father’s ashes, which will help put him at ease.

Crowley, of course, has resurfaced and is killing any all law enforcement he can find..in the goriest ways possible. Once again, like the other two Hatchet films, the kills are unique; and gorier than the last two films combined! As expected, the Hatchet franchise has been something of a roller-coaster ride, either lots of fun, or enough to satisfy the horror fans. I for one, love these films; all the films run at around a eighty minutes, give or take, and they all feature enough gore and insanity to impress even the hardened of horror fan. With this third installment, Green has reconnected with his footing, which is a great mix of gratuitous gore and stable story telling; and, not to mention, terrific performances by the likes of people we’ve come to know in the horror genre. People like Derek Mears and Sid Haig! [who gives probably the best performance since Rob Zombie‘s The Devil’s Rejects]

So check out Hatchet III, but do so by picking up the Dark Sky‘s Blu-ray version.. This one comes with two different commentaries that are informative not only on this film but on the horror genre in general. It has some excellent behind-the-scenes footage of how Kane‘s makeup is applied and how terrible mosquitoes really are in the Louisiana swamps, where the film was made/filmed. It’s a truly a must-own disc for the Hatchet fans.

And thus ends the Hatchet trilogy review[s]. Which film was your favorite? Was it the original Hatchet film that came out in 2006? or was it the final one, Hatchet III, that ended the series? Let me know in a comment or two! Also, keep an eye open for a cameo from a familiar face from [the first] Hatchet in this finale film! Fans will greatly appreciate! However, with this being the final Hatchet film, the next review [tomorrow’s] will be something completely unrelated to this series; which leads me to my next question:

If you have an idea for the next weirdo’ween review[s] please let me know which movie[s] you’d like to see next! If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tomorrow morning when I talk about weirdo’ween #16! – STAY TUNED!

THANKS FOR READING.

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Weirdo’ween #14: Hatchet II [2010]

weirdoween2015Today, we return to the swamp in the sequel to yesterday’s movie, Hatchet II.  To no one’s surprise, Kane Hodder and Tony Todd reprise their roles as Crowley and Reverend Zombie, but this time, we get Danielle Harris, who replaces Tamara Feldman as Marybeth. As with many sequels, this one takes place more or less right after the first film ends, and even if we have a “new” Marybeth, Harris works really well as the character – to the point of making us feel how vengeful she really is towards Victor Crowley. If you’re reading this review, hopefully you’ve seen the first Hatchet film, because Hatchet II takes place right after the first film. Down to the very last frame.. HOLD ON TO YOUR PIECES!

weirdo'ween-#14Last time we saw her, Marybeth was in Honey Island Swamp with the group of tourists who were all massacred, though Marybeth barely escapes the wrath of Victor Crowley. Her father [and brother] were not so lucky. [they were the fishers, who were killed in the first ten minutes of the first film] We now see that she’s saved by a local swamp scavenger, who proceeds to yell at her after he finds that she is from the Dunston family. He does tell her she should have Reverend Zombie explain everything to her, as that’ll clear some things up.

After she gets a long explanation from Zombie, he explains that he was a friend of her father’s. [who, if you remember, was played by none other than Robert Englund!] As it turns out, it was Marybeth‘s father and his two friends played fire induced prank that ultimately resulted in Victor Crowley‘s death. Together, Marybeth and Reverend Zombie decide to round up a party of local hunters to clear the swamp area in order to recover the bodies of her brother and father, where Zombie offers $500 just for going on the expedition. [y’know..to cover legal costs…and stuff] Who knows? Maybe the expedition might lead to opening the Swamp for legal gator hunting, and therefore; legal swamp tours by Zombie‘s company. Listen carefully though when the group of hunters are talking about their plans for Crowley, one hunter specifically mentions another Local Legend from his town by the name of Leslie Vernon [Behind The Mask references!]

Once the group gets deeper and deeper into the swamp by nightfall, they try to figure out their plan. Naturally, to increase incentives, whoever brings back the head of Victor Crowley, Zombie will give them $5000! Because Zombie has a ‘secret’ plan that he thinks will destroy the curse.

Hatchet II looks and feels much cheaper than the first, but that might be considering the original was shot on 35mm film for $1.5 million, while this one was shot on digital for half that budget. There’s a nice flashback sequence explaining the origins of the killer, and Tony Todd gets to play a leading role this time around and, as per his usual, does a great job holding things together. But if we are to get real here, the target audience isn’t really going to care much about the dialogue, plot, acting or even the production values: they’ve come here for the gore, and this movie delivers on that front. As expected, Adam Green seems to be fond of head and face mutilations in his horror films. We see a face get sliced off, a face chopped to a bloody pulp, a face smashed to a bloody pulp, a face chopped to bits by an boat motor and a head getting sanded down [and then smashed in] with a belt sander. It’s a gory, bloody mess; and I absolutely love it.

Hatchet II is clearly not for the faint-hearted, but then every moment of violence is so over the top that, if treated as the pure horror comedy spectacle it is, it will have audiences clapping and cheering at every lovingly put together death sequence: it’s almost as if the unique deaths of the first Hatchet film got boosted times 1000000! If the gore itself isn’t enough for you, Hatchet II‘s final tally count of fake blood used in the making is a whopping 136 gallons.. This means, that over 81 gallons more was used in this sequel and double the amount used in the making of Hatchet, which reportedly used 55 gallons of fake blood by the film’s end. Unfortunately, like the first film, Hatchet II met with a lot of negative responses, mainly saying that it’s just a ‘gorefest’. I mean, it is: the third act goes into ridiculously over the top slasher gore. But, it’s for good reason. The film goes from one insanely original and creatively grotesque death scene to another. Let’s be honest though, the film does open with a man being strangled until his head bursts by his own intestines.. but we don’t get much more of that until the last third of the film. It’s worth the wait though, because even if the film isn’t very scary or even disturbing at all, it’s so over the top and ridiculous, it comes off as fun! You can tell, like the first film, that Adam Green had a blast making these movies, as they are tributes to the slasher films of the 80s that he grew up with, that aren’t meant to have story telling genius plots, but instead; gratuitous violence…which we’re all here to see anyway, right?

So if you like messy, gory films: check out Hatchet II. It’s by no means a fantastic storytelling film, but it has passion put into it. Like it’s predecessor, Hatchet, you can tell that the people who made them aren’t out for awards, but to have fun. It’s a great movie to watch on an October Friday night while trying to figure out, just how do you kill the infamous Victor Crowley? Like the first film though, it does end kind of abruptly, with Crowley getting shot in the face with a shotgun..multiple times. But is he truly gone..for good? I guess not, because tomorrow I review the epic conclusion to the Hatchet series, Hatchet III!

another thing! If you have an idea for the next weirdo’ween review please let me know which movie[s] you’d like to see next! If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tomorrow morning when I talk about weirdo’ween #15 – which will conclude the trilogy with Hatchet III! – STAY TUNED!

open wide! [I feel like I already made this joke.. my bad]

THANKS FOR READING.

WEIRDO’WEEN #13: HATCHET [2006]

weirdoween2015We’ve all heard of local legends/ghost stories surrounding our town. Whether it’s Bloody Mary or the Boogyman, there’s always one that stands out amongst the rest. It doesn’t matter what the story is behind the legend, one fact remains the same: the “spirit” of the legend will never die, unless they’re put to rest. Enter our crew of tourists. They decide to go on a boat ride on the haunted waters of the Louisiana bayous where they learn the terrifying tale of local legend Victor Crowley. According to the stories, Victor is a horribly disfigured man who was tragically and accidentally killed with a hatchet by the hands of his own father. But when their boat sinks and the ghost story turns out to be a real thing, the group tries desperately to escape the swamp with their lives…and all of their pieces. That’s right everyone, today we’re talking about Adam Green‘s classic 80s throwback horror slasher: Hatchet. What makes this review so special, is that I’m going to be reviewing it’s sequels: Hatchet II and Hatchet III tomorrow, and Thursday respectively! But today; we’re starting at the very beginning of this trilogy: the way it was meant to be.

weirdo'ween-#13Hatchet begins in Louisiana during Mardi Gras with two friends walking around the streets, with another part of the opening already including a cameo from Robert Englund and Tony Todd[though Englund gets killed off in the first 10 minutes.. talk about a risky move!] These two guys are down for spring break and after deciding they’ve had enough of Mardi Gras, decide the next course of action is to take a haunted swamp ride; headed by Reverend Zombie. This is where we meet the core group of people we will be following for the rest of the film.

As they travel out farther out into the far reaches of the swamp, their guide starts talking about the local legend of a man known as Victor Crowley. Though no one believes him, [at first] the guide starts looking, and acting, like he has absolutely no idea what he is doing.. Which he later admits to, saying it was a way to make a few extra bucks. The boat eventually ends up sinking in the middle of the swamp and the boarders of the boat learn that they are officially in Victor Crowley‘s territory. With no help coming anytime soon, and little [to no] cell phone service, it looks like the only way off the island they landed on is to take the path behind the old Crowley home; where his spirit is rumored to be still living after his father accidentally hit him in the face with a hatchet..

a face only a father could love.

Hatchet is what some would call a blood soaked love letter to the campy horror-slasher films of the ’80s. It pays homage to films like Friday The 13th and Sleepaway Camp, all while catering to the fans who love a good old-fashioned gore fest, with the occasional set of boobs of course. When I first bought this movie, I hadn’t even seen it yet; I bought it blindly because I had heard so many good things! Of course, I was not disappointed. The important thing about the movie is to not take it seriously, not even 10 minutes in, and you can tell that it was definitely not meant to be. It’s a very campy film, but that’s because it’s supposed to be that way. There are also plenty of hilarious in jokes that will get you laughing, further proving the not so serious tone. The film’s set-up is repetitive, the dialogue is corny, and the special effects [while over the top] are great. That’s what makes it fun to watch: it’s fun. You can’t go into this movie expecting some great masterpiece or even a really good horror movie; You’re supposed to go into this movie expecting a campy gore-fest that you can laugh at.. because of how ridiculous it is! and yes – this is a good thing!

From start to finish – all 84 minutes of Hatchet is pure slasher goodness. Rather than being just a stale homage to the franchise films that dominated his childhood, you can tell that Adam Green has actually created an character all his own, that pays loving tribute, rather than references to other horror icons. While Victor Crowley might never reach the heights of Freddy, Jason or Michael, he’s certainly the stuff fan-favorites are made of: a unique monster with an easy to remember name, with some unique kills under his belt! You just can’t go wrong with a horror movie made by a horror movie fan with outrageous effects. It’s the perfect movie to put on during a Friday night, and it’s certainly one of the finest modern slashers to come along in a recent history.

The problem is, a lot of people didn’t like Hatchet.. but forget them! If you like slashers, and over the top gore; you’ll have a blast with this movie. It has a bit of everything for everyone: boobs, gore, funny moments, and cameos galore! Please.. check out Hatchet, you’ll have a great time, and you won’t regret it!

and another thing! If you have an idea for the next weirdo’ween review please let me know which movie[s] you’d like to see next! If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tomorrow morning when I talk about weirdo’ween #14 – which, as discussed above, will be Hatchet II! – STAY TUNED!

open wide! [a small example of the over-the-top gore in HATCHET]

THANKS FOR READING.

film study: who did it better? — HATCHET [2006] vs MIRRORS [2008]

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Whether it’s about movies, sports, video games or pretty well anything, everyone has their own opinion on something; the only question is who agrees with them on that opinion. As always, we’re talking movies on warrenisweird but today is something I found a little special: in both the movies Hatchet and Mirrors there is a ‘jaw ripping’ death scene. While both are grotesque, [and fairly gory!] they both have their own “goods and bads” to them. in this edition of “who did it better?” we’re going to compare both scenes and I’ll give my final opinion of which one I personally prefer.. though my answer may be obvious! [also, if you like this idea of “who did it better?” posts, let me know in a comment! they could become a regular thing!] due to the nature of the topic at hand, spoilers are strongly implied.. so if you intend to see these movies, and haven’t yet — click away from this post. If you’re good for spoilers, let’s begin with the scenes!

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Let’s start with Mirrors — as seen above. The film [which happens to be a remake of the classic Korean film “Into The Mirror“] follows an ex-cop [now working as a security guard] who becomes the target of an evil force that uses mirrors as a way to kill people. The scene in question happens when the ‘mirror demons’ get to the main character’s sister, who happens to get attacked [in this such way] while preparing to bathe. The ‘jaw rip’ is grotesque, bloody as hell, and somewhat terrifying in the sense of the shaking camera, invoking her pain — making the scene seem almost more gritty, and raw. I enjoyed Mirrors as a whole [I enjoyed it a lot more than most critics did anyway] this scene, in my opinion, was certainly a high point for us gore-hounds.

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Now let’s switch to a film I know 100% more about: [and strongly recommend if you haven’t seen it already] Hatchet. this film follows a group of tourists that go on a New Orleans Swamp Tour, only to find out that the “ghost” from the ghost stories being told isn’t just a fairytale. This particular ‘jaw rip’ scene blew my mind when I first saw it on screen, it’s all done practically, [no CGI!] and you almost feel the pain — if only for a second — when the woman gets her mouth ripped open! What makes this scene so intense is the fact that the rip feels so real, and has an almost over-the-top feel to it; yet it just works so nicely, especially for the kind of film Hatchet [and it’s two sequels] becomes.


Both Hatchet and Mirrors were good films. they had their ups and downs but obviously I came into this post with my answer already set in stone: my personal favorite ‘jaw rip’ goes [easily] to Hatchet. It just has a better look to it, and it’s lack of CGI, which Mirrors had a lot of, [especially in the jaw rip scene..]just cemented my decision further. But that doesn’t mean that Mirrors was that bad of a film: it is still enjoyable, and sits on my DVD shelf along with Hatchet!

So which “jaw rip” did you enjoy most? the gritty and dirty realistic feeling Hatchet? or was it almost seeing Amy Smart naked in Mirrors rip her mouth open? [so close, yet so fucking far..] Let me know in a comment or two! Also, once again — if you enjoyed this comparison, let me know! If it becomes popular enough, maybe this will become a thing that happens more often!! [and if so, what scenes should I compare next?]

THANKS FOR READING.