Thursday, February 3, 2011
Despite not being much of a fan of the first one, I decided to give Hatchet II a whirl. Most people disagreed with me about the first Hatchet, and I’ve heard nothing but good things about the writer/director, Adam Green. I figured a key point of the review would be to compare and contrast the review I did of the first one, although it was much more etched in my memory than most movies I’ve seen. I still remember most of my criticisms, including a line I used “if you get Tony Todd to appear in your movie, you should have him in the movie as much as possible” criticizing the brevity of his appearance. So I could link back to it, I looked up the address of the original review.
It doesn’t exist.
I looked at the archives of this blog, and of the three previous blogs I filled with my illiterate ramblings (you’ve been at it too long when you’ve written for that many blogs). Nothing. Nada. Zilch. The only reference to Hatchet was in a throw-away line in my review of Laid to Rest. So what happened to this no doubt insightful and brilliantly written review of mine? Did it get accidentally eaten? Put on yet another site I’ve forgotten? Was it written by someone else and my damaged mind is convincing me it was my work? Did it never really exist in the first place?
Oh, and if those guys in the white coats are reading this, this jacket doesn’t fit well at all.
On to the movie…
The original Hatchet was billed as a return to “Old School American Horror”, chock full of horror icons like Kane Hodder, Robert Englund and the aforementioned Mr. Todd. It was a slasher film about a tour group in the Louisiana swamp that runs into a psycho named Victor Crowley and gets chopped to shreds. It had some humor, and a lot of in-jokes for the horror connoisseur (I remember mentioning that in my lost review, too! Dammit!) but I thought in the long run it was just another slasher film, and I’m not that big a fan of the sub-genre.
The sequel takes up where the first one left off, and I mean right where the first one left off. The original cast has been sliced and diced, except for one plucky female survivor, Marybeth (played by Tamara Feldman in the first one, and this time by Danielle Harris, who is becoming something of a horror icon herself). After escaping Victor Crowley, she decides she must…immediately return to the swamp, to get the bodies of her family members. Marybeth obviously didn’t get into MIT. She goes to Reverend Zombie (Todd) and he organizations a return expedition for his own purposes, which seem to be getting rid of Crowley so he can make millions off swamp tours in Crowley’s swamp. The reverend isn’t Mensa material either. He gets together a collection of the dumbest redneck stereotypes imaginable, and they go off to get killed by Crowley.
It’s exactly what you would expect it to be, so if you are looking for a standard issue slasher film, gory with a bit of humor thrown in, this is probably for you. It's the first movie done differently, with a little more backstory, in the tradition of horror sequels. Tony Todd is present throughout most of the movie, so apparently the filmmakers read the review I never wrote in some alternate universe, but that isn't enough to elevate it, as enjoyable as Todd's performance may be.