Friday, March 25, 2011

DVD Review: Hatchet II (2010)



2011 hasn't really started off great for our favorite genre of film. In fact, the only real bright spots for horror, so far, has been I Saw the Devil and Black Death (still trying to find a goddamn theater in Chicago that is playing Bereavement). So, during this dry horror season, I've been catching up on all the horror that I missed in 2010. One of those films is Adam Green's sequel to his slasher tribute of 2006, Hatchet II. Jesus Christ...did I really miss this one last year??!? Sadly...yes. Unfortunately, I was way too busy championing Green's other highlight of 2010, the magnificent Frozen, that I missed the horror treat that is Hatchet II.

So, if you remember...the first film left us wanting more gratuitous female nudity and over-the-top gory violence. Well....Hatchet II pretty much picks up exactly where its predecessor left off. Only...this time the badass Marybeth is played by the luscious Danielle Harris instead of the last film's Tamara Feldman. Personally, I really like Danielle Harris and I'm really stoked to see her getting good roles in the genre again. She holds a place in my heart ever since her Halloween films. So, it was refreshing watching her play the lead role in Hatchet II.


If you remember, Marybeth was searching for her family, who mysteriously disappeared in the swamps of the bayou. After she narrowly escapes the vicious hatchet-wielding clutches of the ghostly Victor Crowley, she teams up with the good Reverend Zombie, played with devilish fun by the legendary Tony Todd, where she learns the malevolent connection between her family and Victor Crowley's tragic death. Together, the two gather a team of hunters in which to go back into the Louisiana swamps to recover the bodies of Marybeth's family and end Crowley's murderous reign of horror.


Green does a fine job of weaving together the fun and the horror as he enlists the talents of Kane Hodder (!), AJ Bowen (!), Perry Shan (the hilarious brother of Hatchet's Shawn) and a list of other comedic talents. It is clear that we are watching a blood-drenched love letter to the midnight slasher films of the 80's. In fact it is important to note that this film is an exercise of pure love for the genre. Nothing more....nothing less. It would fit the bill nicely after a long night of beer-guzzling fun at a Slayer concert. Gather a bunch of your metalhead buddies, who are still high out of their minds, and sit back and have fun with Hatchet II. The plot is simple. The delivery is straight-forward. The fun is in the over-the-top kills and watching horror icons like Hodder and Todd ham it up with the rest of the cast. And did I mention Danielle Harris? There's a part in the behind the scenes featurette where they are filming the shower scene she's in and Green makes a hilarious comment about her tattoo. That moment pretty much speaks for the entire tone of the film. And AJ Bowen.......I cannot speak enough about this guy. He's been highlights in films like The Signal, The House of the Devil, as well as the upcoming A Horrible Way to Die. He's a true talent and it'll be interesting to watch what he does next in the genre.


In the end, Hatchet II exists for the exhilaration of watching someone get beheaded while banging a hot blonde. That's all. There's no science to it...no reasoning behind any of the madness. And that's what I like most about it. If you're looking for a blasty blast in horror to watch tonight....look no further than Adam Green's Hatchet II. It's a good time that recaptures the spirit of its predecessors from the 80's.

Oh...and by the by...it looks as if Victor Crowley will return in Hatchet III. Dark Sky Films has secured a deal for the third installment. It's not clear if Green will return in the director's chair...but, he will definitely be involved as executive producer. So, hurry up and snatch this one up in which to prepare yourself for more Crowley fun!

7.8 out of 10

Recommendation: Definitely rent this tonight! If you already own the first film...then, Purchase it on DVD/BluRay!



Thanks for reading,

bryan.

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