Hatchet 2 (2010)

Here’s a film that has some history behind it.  It seems that almost as soon as writer-director put out HATCHET in 2006 genre fans everywhere were screaming, pleading, and begging for a sequel.  Well Adam Green is one of those rare filmmakers who actually appreciates his fans and listens to them.  So a meager 4 years later we have HATCHET 2.  Originally HATCHET 2 was released in select AMC theaters in it’s unedited and uncut version and was quickly pulled from Canadian theaters after only one day (bunch of pussies).  But that was enough to start the domino effect and then a day or two later HATCHET 2 was pulled from American theaters (bunch of pussies AND followers).  But now we get to judge for ourselves.  Is HATCHET 2 excessively gory and violent, filled with horrific deaths at the hands of killer Victor Crowley.  You bet your ass it is, and I loved every second of it.  Some of the cast has changed but the spirit of the film is the same (it once again recaptures that fun 80‘s feel) and more importantly the gore is just as good, if not better, than the original.  In a word, Adam Green has made one helluva entertaining horror flick that’ll be 100% satisfying to fans of the original HATCHET and which will get a following on it’s own merits.

Genre fav Danielle Harris. A little under utilized but she puts in a great performance.

I watched HATCHET 2 with my buddy Brian; it’s currently playing on Time Warner’s MOD and since I’ve recently switched to AT&T U-Verse (which is a horror story in and of itself) and they aren’t carrying HATCHET 2 we decided to watch this over at his place (Brian’s a horror/gore hound like myself).  So thank you Brian for our HATCHET 2 screening.  Part 2 starts seconds after where the original one ended — with Victor Crowley’s hands wrapped around Marybeth’s neck.  The actress playing Marybeth has changed (played by Tamara Feldman in the original and genre fav Danielle Harris here), but the character herself has stayed the same.  Marybeth is still an independent, strong, ass-kicking female.  After escaping from Crowley, Marybeth makes a brief stop at a local Jack Cracker’s cabin on her way back to New Orleans.  Cracker is a trapper who lives in the swamps and is played by John Carl Buechler.  What’s that?  You never heard of Buechler?  First off, shame on you.  Secondly, yes you have.  He did the special f/x work in HATCHET, FROM BEYOND, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII (which he also directed), and BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR, just to name a few.  His cameo only lasts a few minutes but trust me; you won’t forget his appearance.  And Buechler is just one of many cameos (MANY cameos) by some of the genres most familiar names (more on this later).

So when Marybeth gets back to New Orleans she immediately looks up the good Rev. Zombie (again played by Tony Todd).  Yes, Todd serves as “Mr. Exposition” here explaining the true back story of Victor Crowley, but the Rev. Zombie character itself has been further developed to become a main character instead of just a cameo (as he was in the first one).  It’s good to see Tony Todd in a solid role again after having to endure him in a string of pretty shitty flicks (I’m looking at you SHADOW: DEAD RIOT and THE GRAVES).  Todd has a really fun time with his role here and does indeed ham it up as only Todd himself can do.

Kane Hodder returns to play both Victor Crowley & his father.

Marybeth makes plans with Rev. Zombie to go back into the swamp to retrieve the bodies of her dead father and brother.  But the reverend agrees to take her back into the swamp only if her uncle Bob (Tom Holland) goes with them.  That’s right; Uncle Bob is played by Tom Holland, the director of the original FRIGHT NIGHT and CHILD’S PLAY.  The reverend has a plan on how to break the curse of Victor Crowley, and Marybeth and her family play a huge role in that plan … unknowingly of course.  So they gather up some of the swamp’s best hunters, trappers, and trackers, they all arm themselves to the teeth, and they go out to the swamps to claim the head of Crowley (and the $5,000 bounty Todd promised).  The scene where they’re recruiting the hunters and trappers is a pretty fun scene.  Writer-director Adam Green gathers up some of the genre’s most familiar faces for a huge group cameo.  Included are Mike Mendez (THE CONVENT); Dave Parker (THE HILLS RUN RED, THE DEAD HATE THE LIVING); Ryan Schifrin (ABOMINABLE); Marcus Dunstan (THE COLLECTOR); Steve “Uncle Creepy” Barton (from the website dreadcentral.com); and Lloyd Kaufman (POULTRYGEIST, president of Troma Films).  It’s a really fun group cameo that you might miss if you’re not paying attention.  Make sure to keep your eyes open for Nick Principe (ChromeSkull in the LAID TO REST films), Joe Lynch (director of WRONG TURN 2 and a Troma alum), and Adam Green himself as a vomiting tourist.

Tony Todd is back as the Rev. Zombie, and this time he has a plan!!

The pacing and set-up is essentially the same as the previous HATCHET except we get more gore (and isn’t that always a good thing)??  Through flashbacks and a gory pre-credit segment, you won’t be disappointed with the level of gore here.  Green heard his fans loud and clear and he listened.  Not only is the gore plentiful, but it’s also full of some truly unique and creative kills (just like in the first one).  Just wait until you see Crowley’s version of “curbing” someone!!  And Crowley himself (again played by Kane Hodder) is just as brutal, bat-shit crazy, and violent as before.  Crowley is your typical 80’s slasher killing machine and you’ll love every minute of it.

Green also gives us plenty of humor in HATCHET 2.  We get a lot of inside jokes (i.e., references to Jason Voorhees and Leslie Vernon) and tons of funny scenes that are placed really well so they don’t take away anything from the horror elements.  For example, right when the shit starts hitting the fan two of the characters decide to break the tension by having sex in the swamp.  As the guy is banging her from behind she starts talking dirty to him.  She starts off with the typical stuff (“You like that baby?” “I bet you missed this, didn’t you?”) but then she starts getting really freaky.  She starts moaning to him, “Do you like this more than baby jesus?”  Which sparks him to say, “I really don’t think that’s appropriate;” to which she asks again, “Come on; tell me you like this better than baby jesus.”  He finally gives in and says, “Well I like it as much as baby jesus.”  The whole time he never stops banging her.  Classic moment in slasher history!!

The man of the hour is back, and he’s more pissed & violent than ever!!

There’s not too much NOT to like here.  Probably the only negative thing I have to say here is that I felt Danielle Harris was kinda wasted in her role.  There were a lot of characters here … A LOT, and in order to develop them all Green wasn’t able to give Harris’ character any new development.  She gets a lot of screen time, but her character really doesn’t develop or evolve at all in HATCHET 2.  But on the up side there’s a ton of victims for Crowley to slash, hack, and tear his way through … and boy does he!!

Bottom line is that HATCHET 2 is a completely satisfying, fun, and excessively gory film that’ll have you standing up and cheering during the gore-set-pieces.  Should this have been pulled from theaters?  You bet your ass; but AMC is still a bunch of pussies for doing so.  Any fan not just of the first film but of slasher/gore films in general will love this film.  Don’t miss this one!!

My Summary:

Director:  Adam Green (and writer)

Plot:  4 out of 5 stars

Gore:  9 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem:  0 out of 5 brains

Reviewed by Scott Shoyer

5 Responses to “Hatchet 2 (2010)”
  1. eazy says:

    on dvd tomorrow i wonder why they changed crowleys makeup for the one.


    • They always change the make-up in genre films from film to film. All the ALIEN films had different looking creatures; all the PREDATOR flix had different looking predators; and all the FRIDAY THE 13THs had different looking Jason’s. Let me know if you like HATCHET 2!!


  2. eazy says:

    if it aint broke dont fix it is a good rule to follow crowley looked better in the first film judging on pics here need to see the flick went to pick it up the other day but not gonna be out here until the 15th. Waiting can suck did you think it was nearly as good as the first one ?


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