The never-ending slasher genre is as seemingly critic-proof as the shambling, indestructible killers who populate it are resistant to knives, guns and dwindling market share. Still, there's a profit margin to be squeezed somewhere, and remaining gore fans are a dedicated and appreciate bunch. So comes the Hatchet franchise, designed for diehards who can tell you in which installment Jason took Manhattan (Ed: It's VIII).
The "plot" picks up right where the 2006 original left off, with Marybeth (Danielle Harris) as the lone survivor of a massacred boatload of bayou tourists, who ran afoul of a hulking, deformed madman named Victor Crowley.
Our intrepid gal barely manages to escape dismemberment, hightailing it back to New Orleans, where, despite her abundant cuts, bruises and dead friends, everyone insists that Crowley is but a folk tale, told to scare the gullible. Apparently the legend is working, because no one wants to venture back into the swap, which is killing the tour boat business of huckster preacher "Revrend Zombie" (Candyman's Tony Todd). Ever the entrepreneur, Zombie offers up a cash bounty for anyone brave enough to form a posse and go monster-hunting, though his hidden agenda is to bring along Marybeth and her uncle, who was one of the kids who set fire to Victor's farm in the first pla... and then, whoops, I stopped caring.
For a monstrous, drooling overall-wearing psychopath, Vic's sure handy with maintaining power tools, which he uses to dispatch the hunters, one by one. Generally I'm going to bet on the guy with the high-powered rifle and night-vision scope, over the shambling, malformed hillbilly, but this is a horror flick after all.
About all Hatchet II has going for it are some fairly creative kills, like the guy who gets his head lopped clean off during coitus, but director Adam Green somehow forgot to turn the lights on, and he shoots everything, including the carnage, through a thick, boggy layer of confusion. At least the cast is made up of a murderer's row of genre icons, including Tony Todd, Robert Englund and the man behind Jason's hockey mask, Kane Hodder. If you know those names, or are the kind of hardcore gore-lover who can spot a Lloyd Kaufman cameo, then you're probably looking for nothing more than quality splatter. Others should just keep looking.
Corey Hall writes about film for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.