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Hatchet II – 8

Director – Adam Green

Cast – Danielle Harris, Tony Todd, Tom Holland, Kane Hodder, Parry Shen, R.A. Mihailoff, AJ Bowen, Alexis Peters, Ed Ackerman, David Foy, Colton Dunn, Rick McCallum, John Carl Buechler

Release Year – 2010

Reviewed by John of the Dead

Writer/director Adam Green first broke onto the horror scene in 2006 with Hatchet, an utterly fantastic gorefest of a slasher film, and has since delivered positive efforts in Spiral and Frozen.  However, all of his post-Hatchet success was overshadowed when word hit that there would be a sequel to the film, and that due to numerous incursions with the pathetic hominids known as the MPAA…would be released in theaters UNCUT and UNRATED.  The first horror film since George A. Romero’s 1978 classic Dawn of the Dead to be released uncut and unrated, Hatchet II delivers heavily on the gore-induced antics that occurred in the first film, and along with numerous quality laughs we are given another modern day American classic horror film from Adam Green.

Marybeth(Danielle Harris; Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween 5, The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond, Urban Legend, Halloween remake, Halloween II remake ) has survived her deadly ordeal with the grotesquely deformed vengeful swamp slasher known as Victor Crowley, but she will not end the saga until she can return to Crowley’s swamp and retrieve the bodies of her now deceased father and brother.  With the help of Dr. Zombie(Tony Todd; Candyman, Night of the Living Dead remake, Hatchet, Wishmaster, Final Destination, Final Destination 2, Masters of Horror: “Valerie on the Stairs”), the town’s voodoo priest, she learns the truth about her family’s connection to Victor Crowley, and she returns to the swamp with Dr. Zombie, her uncle Bob(Tom Holland; Director: Fright Night, Child’s Play, Thinner), and an army of the area’s best hunters/outdoorsmen to kill off Crowley and not only make their swamp safe again, but satisfy Martybeth’s thirst for revenge.

If you enjoyed Hatchet then you are sure as hell guaranteed to enjoy this awesome sequel.  Right from the get-go we are thrown into Crowley-induced carnage, and from then on out the film never really slows down and keeps delivering the goods.  This is a common benefit that sequels tend to reap given the original film spends much required runtime setting up the storyline, so this is an unfair advantage, but a positive nonetheless.

The story is nothing truly unique, and focuses mainly on Marybeth’s thirst for revenge against Victor Crowley for what he did to her father and brother, although her family’s connection to Crowley, the “twist”, was a nice touch that made the film all-the-more enjoyable.  Just like in the first entry, we get quite a few colorful characters, with Tony Todd getting much more screen time as Reverend Zombie.  Reverend Zombie was not a huge character in the first entry, but in this film he plays a strong supporting role, and delivers numerous laughs as well.  I was surprised at just how funny this film is, and it was not the overly silly Scary Movie type funny, but some simple yet high quality funny that left me laughing out loud on numerous occasions.  We also get some pretty creative kills written into the film, which brought back that warm feeling I got as a result of the awesome kills from the first entry, except in this film there are more of them.  The overall storyline is fairly simple and does not contain much more than what I have already explained, and it is Adam Green’s execution and direction that sell the rest of this watch.

What Green brings to screen not equally as awesome as what he wrote for the screen, but in fact MORE awesome than what he wrote for the screen.  He basically accomplished everything that he wanted to accomplish, and gave us Hatchet fans exactly what we wanted to see…more Hatchet.  The biggest selling point of the film is the same selling point we had in Hatchet…Victor Crowley’s gory kills.  In Hatchet we were given 55 gallons of fake bloody goodness, and according to Bloody-Disgusting.com(whom I also write reviews for) Hatchet II delivers 136 gallons of fake blood!  That is right folks, a whole 81 gallons more than the original, a 247% increase.  To make matters cooler is the level of fun involved in these kills, which were mostly downright ridiculous in nature and had me laughing at times due to how utterly awesome they were.  It is obvious that Adam Green went out and had loads of fun without taking himself too seriously with this film, and I love it.

Kane Hodder(Hatchet, Friday the 13th Part VII/VIII/IX/X) once again delivers a great wordless mumbling performance as Victor Crowley, which he has perfected due to his experience with such characters, a trait he has possessed since his days as the greatest Jason Vorhees ever.  Tony Todd also delivers a great performance, and is definitely the most charismatic of the actors involved.  In all honesty, I cannot see anyone else portraying Reverend Zombie, and that is due to Todd’s immense voice and his uncanny ability to be portray this unique and awesomely sarcastic character.  Now hold on there, Adam Green is known for his shout-outs to the horror genre, and the shout-outs don’t end at him using horror legends Kane Hodder and Tony Todd, as he also thrown in famed horror director Tom Holland as Uncle Bob, and the popular Halloween 4/5 actress Danielle Harris.  I was very surprised at how well Tom Holland portrayed Uncle Bob in this film, and for a man mainly known as a director he did an awesome job selling his role.  Now, despite my love for this film there is one major fault that I truly hated…and that was Danielle Harris’ acting.  She did a good job with her childhood roles in the Halloween series, but ever since she became an adult I have never found her acting mostly non-worthwhile, and it shows in this film.  I found her completely unlikable, and I blame that on her acting performance and now on how Adam Green wrote her character.  Every line she spewed felt forced and overdone, and whatever tears and emotion she showed were most likely coming from her realization of just how bad of an actress she is.  Thankfully, everything else in this film is intense and awesome, which drowns out her bad performance despite her being the lead actor in the film.  Plus, we all know who the real star of the Hatchet series is…and that is Victor Crowley.

Overall, this is an awesome sequel that is sure to please fans of Hatchet with Adam Green’s awesome direction and usage of Victor Crowley and the insanely gory kills he delivers.  Green once again delivers another American horror classic, which comes with a nice humor element and close to 90 minutes of nonstop cheezy goodness.  Highly recommended.

Rating: 8/10

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