It’s funny, when I wrote up the rest of these Director’s Spotlights, this film wasn’t even announced!
Just a couple of months ago I was fortunate enough to catch this while Green was touring theaters with the film. I was actually incredibly excited about this since there was no stop in Cleveland the last time he toured with a movie.
Made in secret, this film takes the Hatchet franchise beyond the originally planned trilogy, bringing Victor Crowley back for a whole new massacre.
We begin with Perry Shen (because it’s not a hatchet movie without Perry!) on a book tour, detailing his story of what happened ten years ago in the original trilogy (remember, though released years apart, all three movies take place over just a couple days). It moves on quickly though and shifts basically into a single set film – a real departure from the previous movies. Don’t fear though, the gore is just as plentiful and creative as anything else we’ve seen in the Hatchet series. Kane Hodder slices and dices his way through the cast with a renewed vigor. Adam told us “When I told the crew we were doing another Hatchet film, NO ONE was happy…except Kane!” No wonder. He’s now officially played Victor Crowley as many times as he did Jason Vorhees.
In preparation for the movie I actually marathoned the first three films and noticed how seldom Crowley is actually on screen. This time around it felt different and I mentioned this to Adam, asking if he intentionally put more Victor appearances in this film. He bobbed his head up and down almost chuckling.
“I’m so glad you said that. Actually Victor has less screen time in this movie than any of the others! We first screened the film and were like oh crap…the movie is named ‘Victor Crowley’ and he’s barely in it!”
He paused and continued.
“The thing is, even when he’s not on screen, his presence is felt through the entire film, so it feels like he’s there even when he’s not. But believe me,” Green concluded. “we stuck in absolutely every frame we shot of Kane (Hodder). There was nothing left on the cutting room floor.”
For my money, the real stand out performance here though comes from Felissa Rose. Horror fans know her as Angela from the first Sleepaway camp movie. She’s a regular on the con circuit and I run into her from time to time. I mentioned back a month ago that I ran into her at Days of the Dead and told her how much I liked her role.
The thing is, in person she’s the sweetest, friendliest extrovert I know. She smiles and chats and hugs whether you like it or not. Yet the character she’s playing here – Perry Shen’s agent- is obnoxious, irritating and despiciable. The heavy long island accent she puts on is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s such a departure from the Felissa I know that it really showcases her range and I loved it.
At the end of the day, I know I’m not saying a great deal about the film itself. Truth is I was asked not to spoil it and even though the theatrical tour is over, there are still going to be ways to watch this and I’d love for you to go in cold, with no spoilers or expectations. Right now it’s my favorite of all the Hatchet films because of the fresh approach and stand alone nature. Definitely seek this out, it’s absolutely worth a buy.
Hatchet is the film that Adam Green made a name for himself with. Around this time the film itself was being rejected by every distribution outlet because it wasn’t a remake or a Japanese horror film…which is what became the tagline. Green embrace everything about 80s horror that the fans love. Back in that time period this would probably fall into the category of slasher, but then again Freddie Krueger falls into that same category – and I’ve never really thought it was correct for him. He is a monster, a Demon, something supernatural and spooky. In that same way, Victor Crawley is more than just a slasher – he is in unstoppable force of nature, risen from the dead in a supernatural way. He is the living, walking embodyment of the forboding swamp and he NEVER stops coming back.
Hatchet is bloody and funny and exciting and I do love it. This film was on my radar for years before I actually get a chance to watch it, indeed it was only after meeting Green himself that I moved this thing to the top of my list and really dedicated some time to it and it sequels. It pays to sit down and watch them all straight through – it’s a brilliant run and we’ll be looking at some of the others later on.
Of course Netflix has its head up it’s tuchas as usual and never has all three listed – the third is frequently up and occasionally you’ll see the second, but never at same time. You’re going to have to buy the DVDs, all of which are available at Greens store up at http://ariescopemerchandise.goodsie.com/ Go grab those and come back next time and we’ll chat a little bit about Hatchet 2.
I remember being pleasantly surprised by MCN when I hit the con back a few years ago. But rising prices, bigger crowds and the constant cash-grab attitude I seem to be running into more and more on the con circuit has left me feeling a little jaded and trepidatious, so I wasn’t sure what to expect here.
I was pleased to find it’s just as much fun as I remember. MCN tries really hard to put on a good show with panels, screenings of dozens of new indie films and shorts, along with engaging panels. They bring in high profile guests to draw the crowds and that leads to some good discussion.
While I enjoyed the PJ Soles/Nancy Allen panel and fought my way to get into the Return of the Living Dead one (The line for this panel got cut off! Small room, big crowd – I told the doorman “I’m just one guy, and I’ll stand in the back! He found me the last seat in the last row) the best panel by far was the Devil’s Rejects one. Not because of the film – they barely discussed it. It was mostly because of the way you can just see Bill Mosely, Sid Haig and William Forsythe genuinely enjoy hanging out…and that’s a lot of what I was seeing.
The local Haunted House had a booth – and what a booth! they were doing free makup (airbrushed) which I of course took advantage of (after I got my photos and autographs out of the way) but even cooler was the mini-haunt they set up. About a minuet to go through, with a couple of workers inside to jump out, along with lights, sounds, obsticals…I’ve been doing cons a LONG time and NEVER run into this! I know it was the vendor, not the con, but man, more cons should court vendor s who do this kind of thing and perhaps partner up with them. It was really the highlight of the show for me!
I Headed over to Tiffany Shepis, I haven’t seen her in a long time, and had a comic book she appeared on the cover of. She perked right up as I pulled my item out of the folder I was keeping it in, exclaiming “Is that an Angel Fire comic???” in astonishment. Then she reached under the table.
“Hang on, I have something that only someone who owns a Angel Fire comic would appreciate.”
She pulled out several posters that featured similar images of her astridea bike, but in diffrent outfits and on diffrent bikes. These were the Japanese alternates for the cover of this issue of the comic book. Ironically they feature her on a Harley with a flag painted on it as opposed to the American cover that features a Ninja (a Japanese bike).
She hates her hair in these pictures because she would keep cutting it short, but it would stay wavy and never grew out the way she wanted. It was fun that not only did she recognize this picture but was so excited to see it.
Tiffany is great fun, and I sadly departed, to go see Sid Haig. I have a photo of him with Julie Newmar. He gave me a big smile, and talked about how much fun it was to work on Buck Rogers, the last show of the first season and the first show of the second. He said Julie “was so beautiful, whenever she walked in the room, everything just…stopped.”
I managed to catch a bit of “Chubbies”, making up for having to leave the Wasteland screening early, and also watched a bit of a new Sci-Fi film called “Magnetic”. I fear my interest in europop music increasing as a result.
Clu Gulager is getting senile. I’m certain of it.
I mentioned having to almost fight my way into the Return of the Living Dead panel. The line stretched down the hotel hallway and around the corner, and we inched out way in after the vip pass holder’s had been seated (I know, don’t get me started). I commiserated with the couple ahead of me, our anticipation building as we got just a bit closer – that’s a small room (and they really need a PA system. NO ONE was miced). But finally I was in, and just a couple minuets after the panel started.
Clu talked so much you could easily mistake him for the moderator, he really felt like he was trying to fill that position. but he’d also talk over other people an not notice, he’d ignore questions from the audience in favor of his own tangents…it was a bit strange.
But not as strange as what he did to my poster.
He signed on the side…and I thought “He’s getting close to John Russo…..” but figured he was just trying to squeeze it in. Scott Speigle had tried to do the same thing on my Evil Dead 2 poster, and kind of ran into another sig, but not badly.
Clu on the other hand – he just kept going….apparently clueless. He signed straight over John Russo’s autograph – bizarrely, inexplicably. I had no idea what to say.
It’s not that bad. John signed years ago in black, Clu signed in gold – both are actually visible….but how strange….
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the cosplayers. Horror cons don’t get as many costumes as Comic conventions, and not nearly as many as Anime cons, but MCN drew in more than it’s fair share. They held a costume contest in the afternoon, and lined up all the cosplayers, then paraded them around the dealers room, going past the jusdge seated above the haunted house. It’s a great touch, and something I’d like to see more of. Some of those outfits were stunning; the Predator was pitch perfect. The woman in the Trick or Treat outfit got absolutely mobbed when she came in the door and snake Pliskin…what can I say?
Motor City is actually a con I should hit more often. It’s less than two and a half hours away -not even as far as Monster Bash, and they put on a really good show. We’ll have to keep an eye on who shows up next year!