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Hatchet III

PLOT: HATCHET III continues the tale of the now-iconic villain Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder). As a search and recovery team heads into the haunted swamp to pick up the pieces and carnage left behind from the first two films, Marybeth (Danielle Harris) hunts down the true secret to ending the voodoo curse that has left the ghost of Victor Crowley haunting and terrorizing Honey Island Swamp for decades.

REVIEW: Every film genre is full of tropes. Sure, it’s great to sit down to see a film and be completely sideswiped when the story doesn’t go where you think it’s going. BUT, sometimes, just sometimes, you just want to sit down and watch a film knowing every single trope, but not giving a crap about it. You know why your watching it, so why fight it, just kick back and see if they deliver the simple promises that you, as a viewer, are asking for.

Example: When I watch a martial arts movie, I not only want to see great fight choreography but also different varieties of fighting. One on ones fights, weapons to weapons. one against a dozen (or even a hundred). etc.

When I watch a slasher film? Why nearly cartoonish levels of gore of course.

The Hatchet series is a very by the numbers slasher series…yet it knows that.

It honestly has no problem with that. It isn’t a self aware slasher, but a true blue (red?) gorefest that doesn’t run away from the genre it’s in, it embraces it with big bloody hands.

One thing I feel I should point out is that the writer of all three Hatchet films, Adam Green, is a horror fan. This guy knows ALL the tropes too, but, like any good fan who goes on to be a good writer, Green takes the tropes and plays with them.

You know how they never really explained how Jason is fast in the Friday the 13th films? How does he get to one side of the camp to another? Well, Adam Green doesn’t try to be cute with it and try to give an irreverent answer, he actually has a very subtle answer that simply explains how his monster, Victor Crowley, can do such a thing.

Now of course, this is third in the series, so you ask yourself,  “Can I start with this one?”

Oh god no!

Taking a page from the Back to the Future series, all three films can actually be seen as one WHOLE movie. If you start here, your just going to be lost lost lost.

So yes, while if any of this sounds interesting to you, then I hate say this, but you have to start from the beginning.

But, that’s ok, because if your in a fix for good old fashioned ’80s slasher films, then the Hatchet series is the right meal for you.

Personally, the first Hatchet is still my favorite of the three. It’s the funniest, with the most enjoyable characters, and with some of my favorite kills.

Hatchet II was a nice follow up, but I wasn’t as connected to the newer cast then I was with the first film’s cast.

Hatchet III has in a similar problem, but I do have fun seeing how a film series keeps going, and I feel this one is a nice ender to the trilogy.

The film does have some fun performances. Derek Mears (who played Jason in the recent Friday the 13th remake.) is a ton of fun as the bad ass swat leader, and his confrontation with Crowley is very memorable. (Yes Jason Voorhees fans, Mears fights THE famous Jason actor Kane Hodder. It’s Jason VS Jason!) I also really dug Cody Blue Snider (son of Dee Snider of Twisted Sister fame) in his hilarious turn as Schneiderman, the Bill Paxton’s to this films Aliens.

Interesting enough, Danielle Harris hasn’t been Marybeth, THIS series last survivor character, for all three films (she replaced Tamara Feldman who played Marybeth in the first Hatchet.) It’s a shame really, since I never feel like I get a good grasp on the character of Marybeth in all three films, and I think that’s due to not seeing the Harris play the role in the beginning. I feel the Marybeth that was in the first film was the same Marybeth in the last two, and that’s due to the character having a different experience by then. Had Danielle been there since the beginning, I could feel like I saw the story completely, but Danielle plays her very differently then Tamara so it’s a harder connection to me.

As a kid who grew up watching Gremlins and Gremlins 2: The New Batch over and over again, I was very happy to see the star of those films, Zach Galligan, in this one as Sheriff Fowler.

Though this was the first film that wasn’t directed by Adam Green, Director B. J. McDonnell does well filling in Adams shoes and making a movie that doesn’t feel stylistically different from the first two, yet giving the movie a slightly bigger scope this time out.

The Blu Ray comes with some special features, but I will say that I am a bit disappointed with this disk. The previous Hatchet films came with some great documentaries and interviews, and interviews on the making of the make up effects, but this disk is mostly made up of behind the scenes footage. The featurettes are ok, but not as meaty as the extras as the first two films came with.

That’s OK thought, since the disk does contain two full length commentaries. One commentary is the crew commentary with : Writer/producer Adam Green, Director B.J. McDonnell, cinematographer Will Barratta, and Make-Up Effects Artist Robert Pendergraft. The second commentary is the Cast Commentary with : Adam Green, B.J. McDonnell, Kane Hodder and a few more guests.

Both commentaries do fill the need of in-depth making of stories about how the film was made and fun anecdotes. Hear how the RED Cam nearly fucked up one of the most epic sequences in the film due to the camera no properly capturing the footage!

Hatchet III does fill a nice slasher film void that is lacking now a days. It’s a fun goofy horror film. If that’s what you want on the menu, then order up Hatchet III very soon.


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