Hatchet on Blu-ray
by Jef Burnham
Making its Blu-ray debut on September 7, 2010 from Anchor Bay Entertainment.
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On the heels of Hatchet II’s premiere at FrightFest 2010 and with just enough time to saturate the market before Hatchet II’s theatrical release on October 1, comes the premiere of the Unrated Director’s Cut of Hatchet on Blu-ray. Adam Green’s fun, gore-filled throwback to the slasher flicks of the 1980’s came out back in 2006 to much accolades from horror-starved critics, yet remains fairly unknown to the general public (I know of but a small handful who saw it). Though it may not be the best-written or conceived movie out there, Hatchet’s still a fun picture with buckets o’ fan service, released here in a pristine HD transfer that gorehounds are definitely going to want to check out.
Hatchet follows a group of tourists on a New Orleans haunted swamp tour, who stumble across the leading man of one of the bayou’s darkest legends: Hatchet-Face Victor Crowley. Seriously deformed and seriously pissed, Crowley hacks, slashes and tears his way through the group as they make one grievous horror movie error after another. As Green’s entry into the pantheon of slasher icons, Crowley just might have the makings of a horror mainstay. He is at once pitiable and pitiless, and possessed with immense strength as well as the requisite dash of murderous creativity (there are some truly gruesome kills here!). However, it takes more than just a good baddie to make a decent horror movie. Here, Green takes time to develop the other characters with continuous comic exchanges between them when Crowley’s not, you know, killing them, which in fact makes their deaths all the more difficult to stomach.
Hatchet boasts some solid talent too. Referring back to the buckets o’ fan service, the film stars Kane Hodder (as in, THE Jason) as Victor Crowley, as well as Crowley’s father in a flashback (a role which he’s quite good in, appearing onscreen sans full-body make-up at that), with cameo appearances by horror legends Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street) and Tony Todd (Candyman). The two’s appearances are brief, but take comfort in knowing that Todd is to play a much larger role in the upcoming sequel. Hatchet also stars the highly underrated Joel David Moore (Grandma’s Boy, Avatar), who is terrific as the lead and kudos to Green for using him, with Tamara Feldman (Dirty Sexy Money), Mercedes McNab (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel), Richard Riehle (Office Space, Palindromes), and Deon Richmond (Not Another Teen Movie, Scream 3).
The HD transfer of the film is offers up vibrant colors and crisp detail to offer up the most vivid gore possible. And you’re liable to jump right out of your seat as the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio really really during the scares. The Blu-ray release includes all the special features previously available on DVD with the inclusion of an all-new commentary with Adam Green and Kane Hodder.
Jef Burnham is a writer and educator living in Chicago, Illinois. While waging war on mankind from a glass booth in the parking lot of a grocery store, Jef managed to earn a degree in Film & Video from Columbia College Chicago, and is now the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com.
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