Captain Obvious here. And I’m here to tell you that you don’t fuck with Victor Crowley. He’ll rip your head off, tear limbs from your body, and embarrass your ass for good measure. All of this Victor Crowley talk can only mean one thing: that the horribly disfigured supernatural Bayou Butcher is back for more mayhem in Hatchet III! So how does the final (which remains to be seen) entry into the trilogy stack up to the previous two? Well I’m glad you asked……
Picking up right where Hatchet II left off, we find Marybeth (Danielle Harris) giving Victor Crowley a shotgun blast to the head as she finally believes she has destroyed him for good. And in doing so, she promptly shows up at the local police station, bloody from head to toe with shotgun in hand, and tells everyone in attendance that she has indeed killed the legend that is Victor Crowley (played again by the great Kane Hodder). Well, of course Sheriff Fowler (Zach Galligan!) doesn’t believe it, handcuffs her, and throws her in a cell. Oh – did I mention that they give Marybeth an old school prison hose down because she’s so bloody and dirty? I can now cross that off my bucket list. I saw Danielle Harris get a nude hose down. But anyway, while that’s going on, we have a crew collecting all of the bodies at the swamp and also collecting what seems to be a now dead Victor Crowley.
Meanwhile, back at the jail cell where Marybeth is holed up, Sheriff Fowler’s ex Amanda (Caroline Williams) shows up and wants the journalism scoop on the happenings of Mr. Crowley. Seems she’s a bit obsessed with him and brings some bad news to Marybeth: Victor Crowley can’t be killed and will keep coming back to life unless he can be reunited with his father, who is now a bunch of ashes in an urn. Well – you know what that means. Taking a page out of countless past slashers, most notably Friday The 13th Part 4, Victor raises up out of his body bag and begins a new series of ‘Holy Shit!’ moment carnage. Throw in a SWAT team lead by Derek Mears to finally stop him, and you have the part of the movie where shit really ramps up for the better.
I won’t give too much more away as far as the plot goes, but if you’re a fan of the Hatchet franchise, you will get some of answers to questions that you’ve been wondering about, as well as some great cameos. Gotta love Sid Haig as the cranky, racist, hard of hearing Uncle of Thomas Crowley. There is also a cameo that will make fans of the first film grin for sure. I absolutely have a hard-on for the first Hatchet. And I absolutely did not have a hard-on for Hatchet II. To each his own though, and I was more than willing to sit down and go on another ride though the murky swamp and see if, from my perspective, they could right the wrongs of the second one.
Adam Green, who directed and wrote the first two entries, is only along for writing duties this time and hands the directorial duties over to BJ McDonnell, who worked the cameras on the first two. Good news for those who love Adam Green, McDonnell holds his own and it really feels like a Hatchet movie. Danielle Harris gives us her best Southern drawl and really goes all in as “The Final Girl”. Did I mention that I’ve had a crush on her since her days on Roseanne? Anyway, I loved seeing Zach Galligan again (just revisited Waxwork last week btw) and the showdown between Kane Hodder and Derek Mears doesn’t disappoint. The dialogue at times dragged, as in the first two films, but that’s not what we come to watch here. Give us some guts and gore!
And guts and gore we receive! Not quite as groundbreaking or shocking as in the first film, there are enough beheadings and disembowelments to go around to make the average gorehound happy 🙂 My favorite might be the ‘death by defibrillator’ scene. All in all, I was a happy gore camper, and that’s really all that matters in the Hatchet series. It’s a throwback to a simpler time when slasher films didn’t have to be too clever. They gave you what you wanted: boobs, blood, and more blood. Hatchet III was a big step up from the second entry in my books and a fitting way for the franchise to go out. It knows it’s audience and takes pride in that, which is something rare nowadays. Even though it doesn’t match my love for the original, it does enough to get praise from a guy who grew up on these kind of slasher movies. And any movie that has a song by Gwar over the opening credits can’t be bad, right?
(3 1/2 out of 5)