by Paul Knoll
Directed and written by Adam Green. Starring Joel David Moore, Deon Richmond, Mercedes McNab, Kane Hodder, Robert Englund and Tony Todd.
Those of us of a certain age remember fondly '80s slasher films. Hell, we were practically raised on late-night treats of Happy Birthday to Me, Friday The 13th and My Bloody Valentine. Thank God for cable. Hatchet’s writer-director Adam Green must’ve spent his wonder years viewing slashers the way we did — he knows his subject well and puts his knowledge to good use in this savvy slasher homage.
Ben (Joel Moore, Dodgeball) and buddies are in New Orleans whooping it up with boobs and booze. But the Girls Gone Wild atmosphere ain’t working for poor Ben; he just split with his girlfriend and the bare-chested chicks remind him that his ex is probably at home screwing her new beau on the couch his parents bought them. So Ben winds up on a haunted swamp tour with his reluctant pal Marcus (Deon Richmond, Scream 3) and a goofy bunch of characters, including an older tourist couple, an intense-but-quiet girl named Marybeth and a would-be porn director with two bickering starlets — played to hysterical perfection by Mercedes McNab (Addams Family Values) and Joleigh Fioreavanti.
They soon learn of Victor Crowley, the guy born deformed who lived in the swamp with his loving father. Area kids tormented him and on one Halloween night they played a prank which cost Crowley his life — or so everyone thinks.
Crowley’s legend rises when the tour boat wrecks and begins to sink. The gaggle flees to shore safely and discovers they’re in front of the old Crowley homestead. The very-much-alive Crowley — who harbors a shit-load of anger and hatred! — doesn’t take kindly to trespassers. The ensuing carnage is some of the goriest and inventive the genre has seen … ever. Green has fun with genre conventions puts twists on various clichés (here, you actually give a shit about some of the characters.) And rarely will you hear praise for a slasher film’s dialogue and acting, much less its one-liners. So kudos to Green. Hatchet is nostalgic (yes, nostalgic), blood-soaked, chock-full of pointless female nudity and may just have you actually rooting for its victims.
Opens Friday, September 7.