Adam Green has become one of the brightest stars in modern horror filmmaking. Green places an emphasis on the films of the late ’70s and ’80s that are the holy grail to most fans of the genre. He loves practical special effects, slasher storylines, humor, and metal. And as a die hard horror fan I thank him for this. Green’s namesake, the “Hatchet” franchise put him on the map in a major way . The film series that introduced us to the villain, Victor Crowley returns with it’s third brilliantly gore filled installment. This time around Adam Green has handed off the director’s chair to BJ McDonnell, while he produced and wrote this savage tale. Luckily for the viewer this new pairing has birthed in my opinion the best entry into the series.
“Hatchet III” picks up exactly where the second installment left off, which has become a trademark of the franchise. Marybeth, played by the stunning and highly talented scream queen Danielle Harris is seen attempting to kill Victor Crowley in every imaginable way to destroy the hulking bag of flesh that just won’t die. The gore saturates the screen as Harris uses everything from the tool shed to dispatch the legendary ghost all before the opening credits roll. Green’s love for metal is shown right away as some GWAR is heard during these now infamous credit rolls. This is also a great tip of the hat to his cult Fearnet series, “Holliston” where Green shares the screen with the shock rock bands lead singer, Oderus Urungus. From this point on the viewer is thrown head first into one of the biggest splatterfests ever committed to celluloid.
In true ’80s horror fashion our heroine Marybeth or as genre fans would call her a, “last girl” finishes dispatching the villain and goes to report it to the authorities. Gremlin’s star Zach Galligan stars as a typical sheriff who doesn’t believe the story until it’s too late and Caroline Williams (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2) stars as his journalist ex-wife craving details about Crowley. Any more details would prove to be gigantic spoilers. But you can tell Green has his shit together when it comes to bringing us a familiar storyline but keeping it fresh and very fun. By handing off the directing reigns to BJ McConnell the viewer gets the best of both worlds. BJ McDonnell proves to be a master of the lenses, capturing every visceral blood filled scene. Much like Green in the previous two entries in the series, BJ does not pull the camera away during any of the kills. The audience is happily forced to gaze upon every neck break, gutting and stabbing from the larger than life Victor Crowley. As a master steadicam operator on a ton of horror and action flicks, BJ knows his way around a set piece to make sure everything is directly in the viewers eye line.
- Jay Rubin
“Hatchet III” starring Danielle Harris, Kane Hodder, and Zach Galligan is rated R, and is available on VOD and in limited theatrical release.
- Jay Rubin