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John’s Horror Corner: Hatchet (2006), a brilliantly gore-slathered slasher spoof

October 9, 2013

MY CALL:  If you think you’re a horror fan and you haven’t seen this yet, I’m taking your Union card away.  Do yourself a favor and just buy it!  You’ll want to share it with friends.  MOVIES LIKE Hatchet:  Movies from the Friday the 13th (1980), Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and Wrong Turn (2003) franchises comprise the more serious suggestions–the movies being lampooned.  But Final Destination 5 (2011), Piranha 3D (2010), Piranha 3DD (2012), The Hazing (2004) and Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010) seem to better capture the flavor of Hatchet.  For more gore-geared hilarity, try Drag Me to Hell (2009) and The Cabin in the Woods (2012).

Writer/director Adam Green (The Diary of Anne Frankenstein in Chillerama, Hatchet II) successfully brings us a spoofy horror that pays homage to the Gods of 80s slasher movies.  While only cusping the outright horror comedy (e.g., Shaun of the Dead) or the more twisted slapstick approach (a la Evil Dead 2 or Dead-Alive), the humor is frequent and undeniable and the epic hatchetry (yup, just made that word up–please feel free to spread it like wildfire!) deserves a blood-soaked grin of approval.  This reminds me more of the farcical approaches of Piranha 3D, The Hazing and Tucker and Dale vs Evil.

A group of mostly twenty-somethings take a trip to a much cleaner and far more sober-looking New Orleans than I’ve ever seen.  They decide to go on a haunted swamp tour (led by a horrendously accented Parry Shen; The Hazing/Dead Scared) and find themselves stranded in the wilderness.

Ben (Joel David Moore; Shark Night 3D, The Diary of Anne Frankenstein in Chillerama) is the more sincere character whom we expect to survive this movie.  He’s interested in fellow tour-goer Marybeth (Tamara Feldman; Perfect Stranger), who is suspiciously quiet and reclusive as if she’s on the tour with very different, more serious motives than simply having a fun night.  She reveals that this swamp belongs to the horribly disfigured Victor Crowley and basically tells the other tour-goers Crowley’s “origin story.”  Crowley looks like The Goonies‘ Sloth and teenage Jason Voorhees had a lovechild–pretty much like one of the Wrong Turn hillbillies–and he loves to kill.

“Heeeeey you guuuuuys!”  [Okay, seriously, who got that reference?]

Bringing us laughs and TnA, Doug (Joel Murray; numerous sitcoms) is working on a low budget Girls Gone Wild: Girls of Mardi Gras video with two airheaded breast-baring rivals Misty (Mercedes McNab; Addams Family Values, Dark Reel) and Jenna (Joleigh Fioravanti ; Rampage: The Hillside Strangler Murders).  They’re always reminding us they don’t like each other by criticizing their on-camera performances.  “Your woo is so not in the moment.”  “Yeah, well your nipples are dumb!”

WTF!?!  HFS!!!!  I have no idea why this happens.  But it does!  Adam Green, if you can hear my prayers…THANK YOU FOR THIS!

Once they find themselves in Victor Crowley’s territory there’s head-twisting, impalement, lower jaw-tearing, creative use of a grinder as dental equipment, loads of dismemberment, a bloody “death sneeze” to the face, diagonal torso cleaving (points for difficulty!), a gross case of mouth-to-mouth drooling and someone even gets hit in the head with a severed head; and the overall gore-slathered action comes at a very healthy pace.  Piles of rubber guts, limbs and organs being forcibly sundered and yanked from their bodies, and buckets of blood being flung in front of the camera as readily as the young bare breasts of Mardi Gras all contribute to the fun of this movie.


I have this hunch that Victor really wanted to be a dentist when he grew up…

They say your gums bleed if you floss infrequently.

Cameos by Robert Englund (Zombie Strippers, Freddy vs Jason) and Tony Todd (Final Destination 5, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) round out the satisfaction for horror fans.  The sets and acting all seem a little fake, but not “bad” fake.  It all fits nicely with this more jesting approach to horror.

A classic actor.  Englund’s still got it!

The killer (Kane Hodder; Hatchet III, Jason X) literally pops up out of nowhere between our victims mid-conversation like an over-sized hillbilly mutant ninja.  It’s stupid as sin, but I laughed…after all, it was hilarious.  Clearly, this is a nod to 80s killers’ legendary ability to vanish and then teleport the moment their victims’ take their eyes off of them for even a second.

From beginning to end, the movie kept a grin on my face.  This is well-worth your time.

No. This in no way reminds me of the ending of Friday the 13th. What could possibly happen here?

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  9. Love in the Time of Monsters (2014), a horror comedy filled with chest-bursting zombie squirrels, mutant rage zombies dressed as bigfoot, and delightfully deliberate stupidity. | Movies, Films & Flix
  10. John’s Horror Corner: Love in the Time of Monsters (2014), a horror comedy filled with chest-bursting zombie squirrels, mutant rage zombies dressed as bigfoot, and delightfully deliberate stupidity. | Movies, Films & Flix
  11. John’s Horror Corner: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985), a sequel with a very different story to tell. | Movies, Films & Flix
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  16. John’s Horror Corner: Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings (1993), a decent B-movie creature feature sequel that pales to the original. | Movies, Films & Flix
  17. John’s Horror Corner: Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines (2012), not quite the worst of this hillbilly horror franchise. | Movies, Films & Flix
  18. John’s Horror Corner: Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), where psychotherapy meets telekinesis and Kane Hodder’s zombie Jason. | Movies, Films & Flix
  19. John’s Horror Corner: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), teleporting all over the place in a love letter to Dream Warriors and The Dream Master. | Movies, Films & Flix
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  21. John’s Horror Corner: Jason X (2001), a wonderfully bad movie featuring a sexy fembot versus Mecha-Voorhees in space. | Movies, Films & Flix
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