Hatchet (2006) - Unrated Director's Cut

Genre(s): Horror
Anchor Bay || Unrated - 84 minutes - $26.97 || December 18, 2007
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-03-01


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Adam Green
Writer(s): Adam Green (written by)
Cast: Joel David Moore, Taramra Feldman, Deon Richmond, Kane Hodder, Mercedes McNab


Theatrical Release Date: NA


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Cast & Crew Commentary
  • The Making of Hatchet
  • Meeting Victor Crawley
  • Guts & Gore
  • Anatomy of a Kill
  • A Twisted Tale
  • Gag Reel


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: None

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.::THE FILM::.

Plot Outline (from DVD back cover): When a group of New Orleans tourists take a haunted swamp tour, they slam face-first into the local legend of deformed madman Victor Crawley.

Hatchet purports itself to be ‘Old School American Horror’. I’m not the biggest horror fan out there. Not by a long shot. But I do enjoy the occasional splatterhouse flick, horror movies of the 1980s like Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street. Writer-director Adam Green tries to bring back that era back to the big screen with his own creation, a monster named Victor Crawley.

What was interesting about the movie was how Green somehow made this ‘Old School American Horror’ movie into part comedy, part terror. Whether it works or not depends on how easy something makes you laugh or how loyal you are to true horror movies. For me, I found the comedy quite funny and the horror is very gruesome, but together it just didn’t work. Yeah, it’s a fun enough movie but it’s not scary... at all and Victor Crawley himself isn’t all that memorable of a villain, despite being played – under three coats of latex – by Kane Hodder (aka Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th Part VII).

Some might complain about bad acting but if Green is sticking with the classics as his horror template, does that not fit right in? Sure, Jamie Lee Curtis was fine in Halloween but that movie didn’t feature stellar acting and I guess if the blood is rich enough, one can ignore a movie’s short(prat)falls. Hatchet features some OK acting from Joel David Moore – who reminded me of Jon Heder of Napoleon Dynomite --, Tamara Feldman as the strong female character (Curtis has nothing to fear) and Mercedes McNab of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel” fame as the buxom dumb beauty. I think the best performance goes to Deon Richardson (Scream 3) who provides the sane voice of the audience. Horror fans will also get a kick out of cameos from Robert England and Tony Todd.

I give Adam Green props for trying something new and given his limited budget, he does a good job with what he has. Yet, I still didn’t find Hatchet all that different from all those horror knock-offs that have come over the years. Rental worthy, nothing more.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Cast & Crew Commentary – Writer/director Adam Green sits down with cinematographer Will Barrett and actors Joel David Moore, Deon Richmond and Tamara Feldman. Moore and Richmond come in about 15-minutes into the movie, Feldman about the 30-minute mark. The group provides a fun track with Green taking control throughout but the cast recounts their own stories before bolting with about 10-minutes left leaving Green and Barrett time to properly close things out with advice for other aspiring filmmakers.

The Making of Hatchet (38:16) – This fairly comprehensive ‘making-of’ featurette shows how the movie came to be from pre-production as Green and the rest made a teaser trailer to sell the concept to the difficulties filming during nights and wet weather. Here you get to see how much fun everyone seems to have on the project with Green setting the tone as he screams “Cut!” and runs out in a victory lap of sorts.

Meeting Victor Crawley (9:17) – This featurette introduces you to the feature monster and features interviews with Kane Hodder and the rest of the cast and crew as they react to the creature for the first time (with Tamara Feldman taking the brunt of scares for an emotional scene).

The DVD also includes a couple other cool featurettes: Guts & Gore (10:51) takes you behind how much fake blood was used and the making of doubles for the deaths of various characters; Anatomy of a Kill (6:14) goes behind one of those deaths as Crawley splits own a woman (like how Schwarzenegger killed a croc in Eraser).

A Twisted Tale (8:25) – This is a great and fascinating featurette on how Adam Green went from a lowly commercial director down on his luck to a budding filmmaker partially due to his idol, Dee Snider from Twisted Sister. It’s actually a nice story as each of them helped each other.

A gag reel (3:36) rounds out this surprisingly extensive set (all things considered).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen, 1.78 OAR and features a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track (a 2.0 track is also available). Both the audio and video are solid enough, though nothing that fantastic.



.::OVERALL::.

Hatchet may not be that great of a horror movie, at least as it was advertised, but there are some things that work and the cast at least have a nice report with each other. The special features are also quite good and if that’s something that goes into whether or not you buy a DVD, it might be worth it, otherwise this is purely only a rental.