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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hatchet (2006) Horror Slasher Ghost

Hatchet (2006) -  You have to love when a movie knows what it is and approaches it with vigor. Hatchet is just that movie, a excessively gore filled horror romp that pulls no punches and wastes no time. Watching the unrated directors cut I was hoping to get absolutely the most gore possible and I believe that is what I got. This hour and a half film has some stunning blood spurting limb ripping scenes that can only be enjoyed on a large TV or in a theater. The film is a horror romp based on the Legend of... killer variety with Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder) a deformed ghost monster seeking his father after a fiery death. He haunts the swamps outside New Orleans stuck in the painful angry state he was in on the night of his death. Legend has it if anyone comes too close to his house they will hear him moaning for his Daddy and then he will come and kill them. This is exactly what happens and writer / director Adam Green makes the film self aware enough that the ridiculous amounts of blood, and poor character decision making create a film that is campy fun instead of well executed cliche. In fact the gore is so over the top that if the movie tried to take it self any more seriously it would have been ruined. It didn't though and instead we have a fun ensemble horror flick for gore fiends to feast upon. The variety of  "kill bits" in this film include, between the buckets of blood being thrown against trees and walls include:
  • Body ripped apart, piece by piece and tossed (not a dwarf).
  • Alligator leg chomp.
  • Hidious hatchet hacking.
  • Skull ripped open at the jaw.
  • Shovel splitting head and an impaling. 
  • Beheading, burning alive, more ripped off lives and buckets of blood as noted before. 
There is some really shitty dialog too but so much of it feels camp that I really did not mind it. The one bit where the group is deciding who will check out the movement in the bushes is not very good but overall it felt like this movie was playing off the genre not trying to execute it.
  In the film we have a strange collection of people out on a illegal (only the guide Shawn (Parry Shen) knows its illegal) haunted boat ride in the swamp when things go horribly wrong for them. Shen does his own comedy bit switching from a Louisianan southern drawl, to an Asian accent to dropping the accent altogether. hmm... I wonder if that last switch was intentional? On for the ride and into the slaughter are Ben (Joel David Moore) and his friend Marcus (Deon Richmond) who are visiting Mardi Gras as a way to help Ben get over a breakup with his girlfriend. Doug Shapiro a businessman pretending to be an adult film maker so he can expand his porn collection with the lovely forms of Misty (Mercedes McNab) and Jenna (Joleigh Fioravanti), Midwest tourist couple Jim (Richard Riehle) and Shannon Permatteo (Patrika Darbo) and Marybeth (Tamara Feldman), a local out looking for he missing brother and father. When the tour boat gets stuck and then starts to sink this Hodge-podge of people have to fend for themselves in the haunted swamp of Victor Crowley.
  Crowley's story is told through exposition at various times between kills. A deformed child made fun of in town,  who was accidentally burned to death by three local kids setting off fire cracker and worst maimed by his father who was trying to break through the door to save him. He reawakens in the makeup heavy form of actor Kane Hodder, who played Jason in many Friday the 13th movies, and in the night and calls for his father, stuck in the pain and anger of the night he died. He is a ghost, who remarkable can be hurt but not killed, raising each time he is put down with renewed angry. This story and the strange disappearances in this part of the swamp are why the authorities closed it. So when Shawn illegally brings this group to the area and the boat sinking traps them it is but a short time before the carnage begins.
  Now this is not a great movie, at best it is a so-so movie with bonus points for the great gore effects. The effects are reminiscent of many Asian cinema action films, with limbs removed cleanly with extensive blood spurts and sprays. Its really over to top but brought into a camp American style horror film.  The style and irony of the writing are real positives even if the content is less than original. Add in a couple of key cameos by well known horror actors Robert Englund (Freddie Kruger in A Nightmare on Elm St series) and Tony Todd (The Candyman) and you end up with a very enjoyable time. So if you go into this film with expectations in check, really enjoy crazy gore and remember this is all for fun, you too will enjoy this movie. Certainly it would be great fun in a group watching jsut to see some reactions from the less strong willed.

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