The body-count movie isn't dead, and your reaction to that news is the surest barometer of how much you'll enjoy Adam Green's stripped down, gore-spattered homage to "old school American horror."
College buddies Ben (Joel David Moore) and Marcus (Deon Richmond) are in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, but Ben can't get with the drinking-and-hooking-up agenda; he's still pining for the girlfriend who just dumped him for a jock. So he persuades Marcus to join him for a nighttime swamp tour that promises beaucoup thrills and chills. Their fellow passengers are the classic cross-section of victims to be: Frequently topless actresses Misty and Jenna (Mercedes McNab, Joleigh Fioreavanti) and director Doug (Joel Murray), who's persuaded them to appear in his installment of the "Bayou Beaver" series; Jim and Shannon Permatteo (Richard Riehle, Patrika Darbo), the fat old know-it-all tourists; and pretty-but-surly local Marybeth (Tamara Feldman), who has her own reasons for going on a tacky tourist attraction. The group is rounded out by guide Shawn (Parry Shen), whose corny line of spooky patter is as dubious as his New Orleans accent. Shawn soon sinks the boat, stranding them all in the sticks with legendary bogeyman Victor Crowley (FRIDAY THE 13TH regular Kane Hodder), a deformed, hulking and all-too-real psychopath who murders the interlopers in supremely gory ways. Heads are twisted off, flesh shredded, jaws ripped from skulls and limbs from torsos as the ever-smaller band of survivors tries to find a way out of the swamp in one piece.
It's not hard to guess what's in the horror section of Green's video library, and like a true fan, he persuaded genre icons Tony Todd and Robert Englund – respectively Candyman and Freddy Krueger – to stop by for cameo appearances. He also secured the services of old-school effects artist John Carl Buechler, who spent the '80s creating graphic, if somewhat primitive, effects for films like GHOULIES and TROLL (Buechler brought Hodder aboard), which contributes to the film's retro look. Green knows his genre cliches and HATCHET is a better evocation of the gory days of budget slasher pictures than, say, VENOM (2005), which is faint but genuine praise.
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- Released: 2007
- Rating: R
- Review: The body-count movie isn't dead, and your reaction to that news is the surest barometer of how much you'll enjoy Adam Green's stripped down, gore-spattered homage to "old school American horror." College buddies Ben (Joel David Moore) and Marcus (Deon R… (more)