DVD REVIEW: Hatchet II
Victor Crowley scares up a sequel...
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The first Hatchet film hit the scene in 2006 and excited horror fans as it was touted as an old-school American horror film the likes of Halloween and Friday the 13th for a new generation of fans. While certainly not the caliber of the old classics, newcomer writer/director Adam Green created a great original concept and interesting mythology that served as a breathe of fresh air in the current climate of mediocre remakes. The first film, with a cast that included such horror legends as Kane Hodder, Robert Englund, and Tony Todd, was so well received that a sequel was inevitable.
Hatchet II picks up directly after the events of the first film, with Marybeth, the only survivor of the doomed tour boat, in the clutches of Victor Crowley. It should be noted that Halloween-alumni Danielle Harris, who does her best acting in the film when she isn’t speaking dialogue, now plays the character. After narrowly escaping, she seeks out Reverend Zombie (Todd) and learns that her father had a hand in Victor’s untimely death and may be part of the “curse” plaguing the swamps. In order to retrieve her families’ bodies, she agrees to go with Zombie and a band of hired guns back into the swamp to find Crowley’s house and take out the “ghost” once and for all. Of course, none of the people who attend the excursion really believe Crowley exists and when the hulking monster does show up no one puts up much of a fight.
If the film has anything going for it, it's the over-the-top kill scenes that include a four-foot long lumberjack’s chainsaw, outboard motor, and a hatchet to a woman’s “ahem” woman parts. In the end, it would be hard to believe there would be any more sequels, but Green had stated that he originally wanted to do a 3 & 4, but as of now is not slated to be involved with the franchise further.
The DVD includes a small amount of special features, most of which can be expected with a low-budget horror release. Along with the trailer, teaser, tv spots, and radio spot is a making of feature entitled “Hatchet II: Behind The Scream.” The film also includes two commentary tracks, a Production Commentary with Green, the cinematographer and the make-up effects supervisor and the Cast Audio Commentary that features Green, Hodder, and Todd.
Despite the bad dialogue and goofy, over-the-top gore that borders on Troma-quality at times, Hatchet II is an enjoyable horror romp on par with the first film an in many ways better. Hatchet II is available on DVD and Blu-Ray now and is rated R (or Unrated) for strong bloody horror violence, sexual content, nudity, and language.
- Michael Klein