From writer/director Adam Green, Hatchet (2006) was a revelation. Funny, incredibly violent and with more horror-movie-references than you can shake a stick at, the film introduced us to the iconic Victor Crowley. Crowley was supposedly killed with a hatchet by his own father or so the characters on an ill-fated boat tour are told. Nonsense. These people clearly haven’t seen the movie. Victor Crowley doesn’t die! Not ever!
This is a man you could cut in two with a chainsaw. Give it a day or two and he’ll use the gore-drenched pieces to tie himself back together!
The Hatchet films are gory, old-fashioned fun. From Robert Englund’s cameo in the first film, we immediately know what we’re getting into. There are a lot of films like this. Some go too far in their attempts to be funny and lose their way but not Hatchet. All three movies are triumphs of bad taste, fake blood and real carnage. The death scenes are gleefully orchestrated and get more creative and entertaining as the series progresses.
A ‘love scene’ which soon involves a decapitation and a hatchet in a very uncomfortable place is but one example and there are many, many more. The effects people also love to throw a bucket of blood at a tree after each death. I’m not really sure why, it often makes no linear sense. But that’s the Hatchet films for you. They’re over-the-top horror comedy at its B-Movie finest and they know it well.
More famous faces from other horror franchises flit in and out of the series as it progresses and Parry Sheen is hilarious as a different character in each of the films. You know he’s in trouble, he know he’s in trouble. Still, he acts like he’s not in any trouble. It’s genius if you appreciate this sort of humour.
The films maintain a nice balance of tension and funny moments. They’re certainly not for everyone. But if you don’t like your movies dripping blood and gristle, what are you doing on this site? If on the other hand, you enjoy horror movie in-jokes, over the top gore and ridiculous ‘troma’ looking villains, you’re in for a treat.
Watch the three Hatchet films with some friends and some beers.
You won’t regret it.
Reviewer: Dave Coughlan