Hatchet III (2013)

The Hatchet films have always been more of a love letter to horror fans than anything else. Writer/Director Adam Green is certainly talented enough to create artsy, thought provoking films (see: Spiral). However Hatchet and it's sequel, the aptly titled Hatchet II, seem to come more from the movie wishlist of of a 15 year old than from the man who produced the amazingly haunting Frozen.

I loved the first Hatchet film. I thought it was charming, heartfelt, scary and disgusting all at once. The sequel, I felt, was more mean spirited. It lacked the innocence and love that a person can only feel extremely early in their career. Truthfully, it just wasn't that good of a film. It certainly was not on par with the first film and not in the same stratosphere as Spiral and Frozen (as a side note - I love the one word film titles. For someone who's not the best typist, it's a godsend.) So with one tremendous film and one so so to bad film behind it, Hatchet III is birthed into the world...or should I say the swamp.

Picking up right where the last film left off, Hatchet III rejoins Marybeth (Danielle Harris) after she has shot series psycho, Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder) in the head, blowing his face off in the process and walking away. But this is Victor Crowley, so we know it's not over, after all what would the rest of the film be about? Crowley attacks Marybeth as she wanders through the carnage from the first two films. She kills him again. This time dismembering him with his own monster chainsaw in the process. Finally able to escape, she makes her way back to civilization and stumbles, still covered in blood, into the local police station.

After recounting her story to a disbelieving sheriff (Zach Galligan), she is locked up. Sheriff Fowler assembles a search party to look for, what he believes to be Marybeths victims. At the swamp they sift through the carnage, coming across the still dismembered body of Victor Crowley in the process. Zipped up in a body bag, Victor suddenly starts to regenerate. The carnage is on! Again!

The rest of the plot is unnecessary. You know it's going to be cheesy. You know it's going to predictable. Even the most unseasoned horror fan can call most of the beats of the film. But that's not important. What's important is Hatchet III recaptures the tongue in cheek love of the genre that permeated the first film. It's almost as if Green went and watched all the ridiculously lame ways movie baddies are killed and resurrected, then decided to try and out cheese them all. It works because we know Green isn't some fly by night hack. He's a legitimate creative force. If he wanted to invent a better way to kill Victor Crowley he could of. If he wanted to come up with a better way to resurrect Victor Crowley he could of. But that's not the point of Hatchet III. It's a love letter to the genre not a masters thesis on it.

Much like the previous films, Green populates the cast with a who's who of genre faves. There is a line on Kiss Alive III where Paul Stanley says "This one has one of those beginning's where you go 'Oh yeah! I know that one!'" That's how it feels to watch Hatchet III cycle through it's plethora of horror stars. "Oh yeah! I know that person!"

In the end you are not watching Hatchet III because you think it will be Citizen Kane or even Alien. You are watching it because you want to laugh, see crazy amounts of gore and maybe some boobs. Sadly there is none of the latter, although there is a Danielle Harris shower scene with an awesome tattoo that may or may not be hers (I'm too lazy to look) - but sadly no boobage. Although, half the interwebs are filled with porn, so my guess is if you really needed to see some boobs, there are far more efficient ways to do so other than sitting through Hatchet III.

Hatchet III is a fun gore filled romp that's a definite return to form for the franchise. It wears it's heart on it's sleeve - just like we want it to.  It's streaming now on various VOD systems. Check it out.

*** 1/2 out of *****

"Enjoy Every Sandwich"

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