I want to start off by saying that I loved Hatchet 1. I thought it was a very original film using a great slasher formula from the 1980s. The kills were original, Victor Crowley was a great character, the cast was top-notch slasher fodder, the FX were spectacular and practical.
Hatchet 2 was terrible. Even though Adam Green directed, I felt like his heart wasn't in it fully, like it was in the first one. The FX were still good but the characters, except for Parry Shen, were terrible.
I hate to say it, but it wasn't Danielle Harris' best work either. Please don't get me wrong, I adore her. She's a very good actress, but everyone does a film that their fans don't like. For me, it was mainly how she slipped in and out of her Louisiana accent. She's still a badass though and I did like the ending.
Now on to Hatchet 3...
Starts off right where 2 ended: Marybeth (Harris) just survived another encounter with Victor Crowley by shooting him in the face with a shotgun, making a mess of things. Then she walks away and falls to her knees in thankful heroine fashion, trying to cope with what just happened.
Silently, Victor pulls a Michael Myers and sits up while Marybeth tries to find her way out of the swamp. She meanders her way to a group of bodies and hears the ominous "Daddy" coming from all directions. She starts trying to start the humongous chainsaw on the ground, when a faceless Crowley grabs her and lifts her up while she still holds the string to the chainsaw, which starts it. She sticks her fist in the hole of his head and knocks him on top of the chainsaw, which chews its way all up and through his head. Blood and viscera all around!
Sounds awesome, right? Indeed it was...until my foe, ever present in many modern horror films reared its ugly, misshapen head: THE PAINFULLY OBVIOUS CG BLOOD! (Hello, my cheap, overused whore. How have you been? Oh, you look so tired. Maybe you should take a rest...) The CG blood was added for no reason. It's so damn obvious that you see it appear on the screen. It's like here's some blood spray, then BAM, overlay of CG blood. And if that wasn't enough, after Crowley is halved, there are 2 bits of painfully obvious CG guts that fall. WHY THE FUCK WAS THAT EVEN THERE?!? Was this scene not lively enough for the director? A monster getting sawed in half with physical blood splashing about didn't do it? With all the practical gore in this scene, in this film, there was just no need. I don't know...I felt insulted.
Anyways, enough with the CG blood rant. I don't want to sour you for future posts.
Marybeth finds her way out of the swamp and arrives at the police station with the scalp of Victor Crowley in hand. She is promptly arrested by Sheriff Fowler (Zach Galligan "Gremlins" "Waxwork I and II") I'm a big fan of him for those 3 films. Loved Gremlins, but there was something about Waxwork 1 that was just captivating to me as a kid. Again, here was a slipping in and out of the accents, but he was a very enjoyable character, and minus a little grey hair and a few pounds, he still looks like he did when he was younger.
Soon after, we are introduced to Deputy Winslow (Robert Diago DoQui), a by the books kind of deputy and Amanda Fowler (the venerable Caroline Williams "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2"), a journalist who was blacklisted for her work on the Victor Crowley legend, and in my opinion, one of the saving graces of this film because, she acts her ass off, adds a presence, and produces one of the only believable accents. (Sorry, but authenticity is important to me. It's like when a British actor tries to do an American accent but can't quite hit it. See Sam Worthington in Avatar, or any of his films.) Amanda talks with Marybeth and tells her she knows how to kill Crowley once and for all.
Meanwhile, Sheriff Fowler leads a team of doomed deputies as well as a doomed SWAT team, lead by giant manly man, Derek Mears (Friday the 13th (2009)), into the swamp. One character among this fodder (rhymes with Hodder. (LAUGH)) is Deputy Schneiderman (Cody Blue Snider), the only person with the sense enough to be scared, even if he is armed to the teeth with a bazooka: "Those are someone's balls nailed to this tree. I don't want my balls nailed to a tree." (Not every single tiny syllable, but basically...)
Victor rises and a bloodbath ensues in all its gory glory. (I'm not spoiling any of the mayhem. After all, that is why we watch these films)
Sid Haig ("House of 1,000 Corpses") makes an appearance as the hilariously racist, stereotypical, backwoods Louisianan, Abbott McMullen, delivering lines as only Sid can. It was truly a humorous sequence between Abbott and Deputy Winslow, a real palette cleanser. Getting what they needed from Abbott, Winslow, Amanda, and Marybeth head to the swamp to face Victor one last time.
One problem, and it may even have been a pseudo-problem, was the coloring of the film. Everything appeared to be washed out and the blood was orange. The TV I watched it on had the same settings it always had, but once I darkened things up a little, it was fine, so you may need to adjust a couple settings, or it may have just been me.
All in all, I enjoyed the film. I really liked the ending, but as the title of this post suggests, it's really Caroline Williams and Sid Haig that stole the show, and without these two, I just don't think that I would have enjoyed it as much. Kane Hodder ruled, but no shit. Did I really need to even waste the space to say that?!? C'Mon! He was an unstoppable juggernaut.
If you've seen the other two, then you MUST see this one. It's a trilogy! Do you watch "A New Hope" and "Empire Strikes Back" without watching "Return of the Jedi?"
Yeah, I didn't think so...