Friday, December 12, 2014

MR Hatchet 3

What, were you expecting for a few Christmas-related reviews this month?

Following the events of the previous film, which saw a broken "Marybeth" turn badass after getting her own "Aliens' Ripley" moment. She now decides to take the situation into her hands and face this swamp "ghost" for good...

Friday the 13th series - Friday the 13th (2009)
Book One (Wildstorm) - Book TwoFriday the 13th (Avatar Press)
Jason vs Leatherface / Freddy vs Jason
Elm Street series - A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (WildStorm)A Nightmare on Elm Street (Avatar Press)
Halloween series - Halloween (2007) - HII (2009)
Halloween (Chaos! Comics)
One Good Scare - NightDance - 30 Years of TerrorThe First Death of Laurie Strode
Final Exam
Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 1 & 2
Pumpkinhead 1
Chucky series - Curse of Chucky / Chucky (Devil's Due Publishing)
Candyman series
 Re-Animator series
Hatchet 1Hatchet 2
Hack/Slash: My First Maniac - Me Without You - Omnibus Vol. 1 - Friday the 31st
Series 1 (DDP)Hack/Slash Meets Zombies Vs Cheerleaders - Series 2 (Image)
Revival Vol. 1 - Vol. 2
Tucker & Dale / Cabin in the Woods
Darkman series
It's Alive series
Gremlins - Gremlins 2: The New BatchCritters seriesTremors series
The Faculty / James Gunn's Slither
 Troll 2
The Thing from Another WorldJohn Carpenter's The Thing
John Carpenter's Prince of DarknessJohn Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness
Jacob's LadderJohn Carpenter's The WardEvent Horizon
DeepStar Six / Leviathan / Lords of the Deep / The Evil BelowThe Abyss
Deep Blue Sea

Movie: Adam Green Presents Hatchet III aka simply Hatchet III
Directed by BJ McDonnell
Release date 2013
Genre Slasher film
Country USA

The legendary swamp killer Victor Crowley is back! This is also the first entry in the Hatchet series not directed by Adam Green. But don't worry, it offers much of the same gore and blood massacre.

The idea of a Hatchet III came from Green always wanting to have a trilogy of Hatchet films. And it the chance to make one more sequel was greenlighted as he was about to embark on a ton of other projects.

Adam Green would still retain the entire creative control of the film and even get a hand in the final cut of the movie, while still writing and producing it. He actually was able to choose the new director himself in a Hatchet 1 and Hatchet 2 cameraman, BJ McDonnell. The series creator could only take the time to write the film since he had other smaller time-consuming projects at the time such as the Chillerama anthology film.

But the rest of the crew remained one board. Hatchet 3 features once more the legendary Kane Hodder and returning Danielle Harris in the lead roles.

Hatchet III picks up right where the second one left us, in true 80s slasher fashion.

We're back with our "last girl" and heroine Marybeth Dunston as she was just about to blow off what remains of Victor Crowley with her shotgun. She was about to finally leaves the swamps, hopefully for good she hopes, when suddenly as she turn her back on the monster only to find several the dead bodies of the protagonists from the previous films she hears Crowley's scream in the woods once more... Victor didn't die!'! He's back up once more! She picks up the chainsaw and starts hack-n-slashing the monster to pieces!

We're back in town. Marybeth arrives at the town's Police Department, she walks into the precinct with a shotgun in hand, what is left of Crowley in the other (in a badass Ash Williams-esque scene). Groovy.

The police grabs her and puts her in a jail cell immediately. When the cops find out how many people have died or disappeared in the swamp they decide to send a small force to investigate the haunted swamp. Sheriff Fowler puts her into custody as Marybeth appears to be both the only remaining survivor and therefore their prime suspect in these murders (and who would believe a ghost story anyhow?). Despite her telling them several times the events of the previous two films. The cops find this silly - "That has to be the stupidest story and some of the most idiotic and contrived decision making I’ve ever heard.", and Adam Green in his regular on-going cameo in the franchise as this drunk guy at Mardi Gras gets angry.. Ha!

A few police officers and paramedics get on the scene, the only guy left behind back at the Police Dpt. is this Deputy Winslow. When word is heard from Marybeth's tale, the Sheriff's own ex-wife, Amanda Fowler, a journalist, arrives to interrogate Marybeth regarding these events. Turns out this Amanda has a huge interest in Victor Crowley's story. In fact she already investigated it and interviewed a lot people about it. She knows about this voodoo curse that has left Victor Crowley haunting and terrorizing Honey Island Swamp for decades now. She says she wants to help Marybeth. Victor Crowley is surely not dead, at least he's still a ghost and cannot be stopped by any conventional means. If Marybeth wants to bring some peace to her dead relatives (her father, brother and "uncle Bob"), she needs to put an end to this curse for good. Otherwise she might just be facing a death penalty for what happened back at the swamps. Amanda tells her how Victor Crowley is not just a mere "ghost", but a "slasher" monster, a "repeater" that will resurrect and relive the events of that fateful night he first died, cursed for an eternity. The only way to put an end would be to find his father Thomas Crowley's ashes and bring those back to Victor. And since Marybeth's father, Sampson Dunston, is long dead, she is now the only last remaining family member to share the bloodline with the people that cause this entire story back when Victor died. She's the only one that can end Victor Crowley's curse! But she still thinks she killed Crowley for good....

Meanwhile back in the swamps, the paramedics have just bagged the last remains rests from Victor Crowley and were about to get off the ambulance boat... when suddenly Victor resurrects one more and starts killing people left and right right away!

They locate Crowley's old house but also get killed one by one! There's no way to stop the killings! And all that despite the police having called a SWAT Team to help! The SWATs are led by this guy, Hawes. These heavily armed soldiers certainly come a bit off and inappropriate for a slasher horror story, but there's still plenty of surprises on the way as they think their superior fire power is enough to kill a slasher! It doesn't stop Crowley from picked them off one by one. Even a rocket launcher doesn't seem able to stop Victor's rampage! The last remaining people, a SWAT, the sheriff and this paramedic Andrew hide inside the boat to escape the carnage outside.

Back at the station they hear about the killings. Deputy Winslow agrees to let Amanda take Marybeth to find the ashes of Victor's father.

Marybeth and the rest finally arrive at the swamp, pretty late.

Only Andrew is left, still hiding. They were able to call the National Guad but it seems they're still nowhere to be seen...

Amanda tries to sacrifice Marybeth to Victor, but she's killed instead. Marybeth offers Victor back his ashes at first, but then she gets impaled on a tree branch because of all the commotion. Victor's about to kill her with his machete... but she then smashes Victor's father's urn over his face!.. The monster then starts to melt!! She grabs a gun and and blows him off to pieces... again!

Marybeth seems to be dead (or is she...?) as the National Guard arrives on the scene...

It's... more of the same.

There's some weaker FXs, but the film's still pretty good.

In a way it's kind of the Aliens of the Hatchet series, bringing the heroine unwillingly back to the scene where she faced the scary monster, while overconfident soldiers prepared to hunt the creature get killed one by one.

The practical effects and the make-up still looks pretty nice, although there's some cheaper effects here and there. The deaths get over-the-top right from the start (defibrillator, anyone?).

If anything the movie feels a lot more self-aware this time around. There's lots of references to the previous films and it's poking fun at the genre ever more frequently.

We also get easily one of the best moments in the entire series as we witness two Jason Voorhees face off each other. We get Kane Hodder (as Victor Crowley) versus Derek Mears (from the reboot, playing the SWAT leader)!

As per usual with this loving tribute franchise to old school slasher flicks, Hatchet III stars a lot of fan-favorite and well known faces of the genre. Kane Hodder continues to portray both Victor Crowley and his father Thomas Crowley. He even gets an all new scarier look, bigger and more menacing. Danielle Harris returns as well. She's always fun, the only sad thing is that she doesn't get a lot to do in this film aside from the opener and the end of the film. Caroline Williams plays Amanda, she's an horror icon mostly known from her appearances in Texas Chainsaw Massacre (she also got roles in other famous franchises such as Leprechaun and Rob Zombie's Halloween II). She plays her a pretty good likeable character that might not be entirely good. We also have Gremlins ' "Billy Peltzer" aka Zach Galligan as the Sheriff. Like I said above, the SWAT team is led by none other than Derek Mears - Jason vs. Jason!! There's also "Captain Spaulding" himself Sid Haig as a distant racist living relative of the Crowley family, he always plays the crazy guys and this funny minor appearance is no different. Parry Shen returns for the third time in the series as another different each time (it's funny when you consider Marybeth's been recast and played by two different people between the first two films). And finally "Ben" from the first film returns in a very quick minor cameo appearance, that's right Joel David Moore returns and it is shown Ben was still alive after all this time, despite making it barely alive in a canoe and being left with an arm ripped off at the end of the first appearance. He gets a pretty funny cameo before being finally killed by Victor Crowley for good.

After a great gory opening, following this epic cliffhanger resolution, Victor Crowley's cut down in half... But it isn't long before Crowley appears again and starts killing all over again. After that the movie is off for such a fun ride. This sequel plays off with our slasher's superhuman abilities. Something that is never brought up or thought much about in slasher films (except in the Hack/Slash comic series, of course).

Hatchet continues to be one of the better recent slasher series in ages. Still very fun for long time fans of the genre, it's so rare to see a new modern franchise like this get off the ground while playing as a loving tribute to films of old, and generally following and playing off the same formula. Having fun with the genre and yet playing with the tropes of the genre.

There's a lot of nods to fans of the series and the genre. Derek Mears also seemed to be having a lot of fun in this soldier-pastiche role and almost carries most of the film's second act. He's such a fun enjoyable asshole in this film!

There's several famous faces that pop up in this film that will please any fans of the genre. Great impressive death scenes. The film still is very much over-the-top and well done! They were able to continue to play with all these creative death scenes!

It's a great homage to 80s slasher films. The first episode made such a surprising impact thanks to its low budget and how impressive it looked like at time, and it had been followed by an even more impressive and technically proficient graphic sequel! This time the shock value might not be as huge, for one it's already the third time and the surprise has passed, so instead of focusing on the mere carnage alone it tries to expand the mythos.

The film has a great solid pacing and there's still some suspense. No real surprises, sure, it's more of the same afterall, but there's a lot of inside jokes and winks at audience. Like Parry Shen's return, who played one of the main protagonists in the first film and his twin brother in the second, now back in an unrelated role and not amused to see suggest "they all look the same".

Also I should mention this time there's no female nudity (or male, for that matter). But don't worry, there's still plenty of guts and gore flying all around as the supporting cast is ripped apart in increasingly gory and crazier scenes!

The story (or the film) is not partcularly deep. Hatchet 3 contains more than a few flaws, but it's just so much fun. It's not bringing anything new to the slasher genre, sure. And it even borrows a lot of elements and ideas from the Friday The 13th series. But these films are always fun as long as they're able to make it feel "fesh".

All in all, it's a pretty fun film. With an enjoyable cast. It gets to be creative with the deaths and looks pretty good despite the modest budget nature of the series.

Overall, this last insallement in this cult favorite franchise is pretty good. The film works as a great conclusion to the Hatcher trilogy.

The film seems to rely a lot less on horror and more on humor, as some of these slasher series tend to do over time. Also more time is spent on the story and the backstory behind the unkillable monster.

At the time the film got a mixed reaction from the general audience and critics alike. Not as positive as it had been on the previous films. But despite the mixed opinions on the film, I still consider it pretty fun, Well Recommended to any fans of the genre!

Despite it being director BJ McDonnell's first time on directing a film, after having a long time career as a cameraman, it's still a pretty good looking film and a worthy successor of the other episodes.

One can only wonder how it would even be possible to have another entry in the series. I suppose they would need to drastically change things up and make it different enough, like a change of scenery (no more swamp?) or at least bring new protagonists into the mix.

This is the end (for now?) to an awesome modern slasher series (Victor Crowley would be seen again in the pages of the Hack/Slash series, in a sort of crossover/epilogue to this film series). And it would be hard to top this one!

I give it:
2.5 / 3 Necronomicons!

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