Friday, June 15, 2012
Boggie down the Swamps: Hatchet (2006)
starring: Kane Hodder, Joel David Moore and Deon Richmond
Time to say hello to the overly familiar and recognized cult hit classic of the 2000s; A messy offering to the 80s stalk and slash done in tribute of Friday the 13th with gore.
Opening with a pair of an awkward father and son gator hunters who gets a terrible turn with a human body-disassembling hulk, the film shifts to a lively and sexually active Mardi Gras party as boobs, booze and beads filled every corner of the street.
Comes in our reluctant hero, Ben, whose recent break-up had him dragging his heels around New Orleans, ignoring the festivities and queering up his crew of college frat mates, including token Black guy, Marcus. However, he decided to be more culturally active in another way, a haunted swamp tour. Yay?
Now shifting to the swamp tour, which a reluctant proprietor (Tony Todd no less) had willingly cut off his ties with due to a bad experience with a couple of tourists before, it is now hosted by his right-hand, an eccentric Asian guy called Shawn, and packing quite a group, including a porn producer and his two female "stars", a middle-aged overweight couple, and a local, whose mysterious and distant personality clearly marked her for suspicious connection number uno. Sometime in the middle of the murky tour, we all get educated by the story of Victor Crowley, a uber-deformed boy who had only known the love of a father, who tries his best to hide his son away from the judging world. Sadly, it ain't that hidden well, as one Halloween night, while his father's away, a group of pranksters accidentally sets Victor's house on fire. When his father returns immediately, he reaches for a hatchet to break into the house and save his son; however, in a panic streak, Victor had his face pressed against the door, killing him instantly when his father's hatchet split his face in half by accident. His father died soon out of heartbreak, and so starts the legend of the vengeful ghost of Victor Crowley.
Not too soon, these unfortunate group would find themselves away from civilization and trapped in the swamp when, in dumb luck, their boat broke open after breaching against some rocks. In addition to that, one of them got bitten on the leg by a croc. And in Addition to that, they also ended up nearby the Crowley House (or at least what remained of it), where, so to speak, resides the fleshy ghost of none other than Victor Crowley himself, bulked up and effing angry. Soon, the group waters down to twos, threes, quarters, as Crowley tears them to pieces, literally. With an angry mongoloid killer out for their spines and guts, who will survive the night and what will be left of them?
If there's one thing we slasher fans can agree with, it's the 80s. Yes, we all miss those days of forbidden fruit partaking, slipping into drive-ins or grindhouses or even yer local movie houses as a little tyke, or hanging out with yer girlfriend in hopes her frightened screams would be followed by her arms wrapping around you. (That is unless yer like me, a 90s baby) Eitherways, a lot of our slashers these days does have their own turf, but it's best to remember the good years that started the full run of the slasher franchise. And with movies like Blood Night: Legend of Mary Hatchet, Dark Ride, Last Caress, The Tripper and even the new sleeper hit, The Sleeper (*rimshot*), young fans of the 80s grue are doing their best to keeping it felt.
Hatchet for one, actually feel more of the late 80s entries where plot is thin and gore is important, only here, thanks to our little improvement, gore is good to look at and the story is a silly romp that's made for pure enjoyment. With limbs torn off, bodies chopped (or torn) in half, and jaws shredded to bits, the film's gore broke all limits and delivers some of the sickest kills ever to lay eyes upon, and thank God none of them were CG. Committing these acts against the human form is our new age boogeyman, Victor Crowley, who's deformity based origin rings a bell or two to our beloved Jason Voorhees as well as his hulked up backwoods hick character. In fact, if you're an avid fan of the F13th series, you'll see a lot of inspiration drawn from our Hockey masked killer and his films. (and they, in return, felt honored to be an inspiration...based on documentary His Name was Jason.)
Ringing true to it's 80s inspiration, Hatchet walked through rounds and rounds of the cliches the genre is known for, which may or may not be a hot idea for many people, nevertheless worked fine if the audience had been booking up for the throwback horror of the year. Sadly, among it's attempts to spark the flare back to its granddaddies, it can't help but be guilty of the flaws. As one might expect, the comedic nature of the film relied heavily on script and with that, some of the jokes just fell flat like pancakes. Some works, but the cheesiness had its levels, and in the end it, will all up to the peeps who're gonna watch this film.
Still, as a Friday Night flick, you can't go wrong with realistic latex gore and blood that run like rivers, packed in a slasher flick who knows its genre well. Hatchet may not be everybody's piece of pie, but for those who loves their gore and their slasher, ought to give Hatchet a try and a chance. Who knows, maybe with all the hype going on with it, you might end up hitching along to the ole' Crowley Place, and had yourself holding to all yer pieces!
1 Male found in half
1 Male dismembered to bits, torn in half
1 Boy face split open with hatchet by accident (flashback)
1 Male hacked in half with hatchet
1 Female head pulled apart by the jaws
1 Male head twisted off
1 Male decapitated with a spade
1 Female face shredded with belt-sander, impaled to a shovel's handle
1 Female dismembered
1 Male arms ripped off, slammed to a tombstone