Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hatchet (2006)

Fear 1/5
Gore 3/5
Entertainment 2/5
Creepiness 1/5
Nightmares 0/5

I cannot think of a horror movie more hyped (over?) in recent memory than this flick. No major movie theater chain would touch it with a ten foot pole. An online 'petition' was created on the film's website just to get it distributed to smaller, more independent movie houses. You'd think from the looks of things that this was the most controversial horror movie ever committed to celluloid. So vile and disgusting, a harken back to 70's extreme horror goodness. Was the film worth all the fuss? A resounding 'hell no' would come from the lips of this reviewer after being a sucker and purchasing it at my local Best Buy. Damn you viral marketing!!

Hatchet follows the course of just about every slasher movie ever made: a group of college kids go to New Orleans during Mardi Gras, get their drink on, and simultaneously throw beads in the hopes of boobies galore. One of the cohorts, still stewing after a recent break up with a lady friend, is swayed by his buddies to check out a swamp excursion into the bayou with a tour guide that has a penchant for telling stories about ghosts and the macabre.
So he and a couple of friends break off from the main group to track down this tour guide. They come across a shop in which the tour guide does business from, put down their dinero, and pay for an evening with a group of other suckers (er, I mean tourists) to set sail down the bayou and listen to some good ol' ghost stories that are supposed to give you the heebie jeebies.
Embarking on their trip, the dude, his buddies, and a rag tag group of other folks are amused by the tour guides story of one Mr. Victor Crowley. As 'legend has it', Victor was born as a deformed child, only loved by his father and teased by all the local kids. One night, his father went out, and the kiddies of the 'hood decide to have a little fun throwing flares into the house. Little Crowley gets lit up like a Christmas tree and burns to his death like a crispy critter (or so its believed, MuaHahaHahaHa).

Guess who terrorizes the group of tourists all the way through the end of the film? A deformed, mangled, hulkish looking dude slicing and dicing his way through each victim. Standard slasher film fare here folks: imposing figure hunts down 'unsuspecting' group, your mismash of stereotypical personalties that get the axe, and really cheesy one liners that are dispensed more than a 7-Eleven slurpee machine.

I can't figure out why this film got so much hype (and why the closest theater showing this in my area was in Austin). It has some decently done gore but other than that, not too many other redeeming qualities. The running time sucked at 1:16 (are you kidding me, you can't even make a film an hour and a half long???). And does every horror movie made in the last 10 years need a cameo by this guy and this guy? Well lucky for you kiddos, you get both of these clowns.

Cortez the Killer

* * * * *

Fear 1/5
Gore 5/5
Entertainment 3/5
Creepiness 0/5
Nightmares 0/5

Cortez and I hold differing opinions on a few things. He likes Pantera. I think they are a sucky Metallica cover band and a bunch of glam-posers. He loved a movie called Dead and Breakfast which I thought was horrendous. He hated Hatchet - I liked it.

I wouldn't say I had low expectations about the film, but I would say all I was expecting was gore and in that department it delivered big time. Sure, they spent way too much time yukkin' it up with cheap jokes, bad puns and one liners galore, but I'll admit I laughed a couple of times, despite shaking my head and feeling like a dope.

Cortez nailed the story line which is more of a nod to Friday The 13th than to any other 70's film. I wasn't really expecting to be grossed out the way Maniac or Last House on the Left got me and, to Cortez's point, I wasn't. And I also agree that the hype around this film was way overdone, and possibly marketed as a way to get more people to see the film on DVD since they knew they did not have the financial backing to get it into large numbers of theaters.

But that sort of thing doesn't bother me as long as the blood goes splashing and the heads start rolling, two qualities Hatchet excels at. The "kill scenes" in this movie are truly over the top and splatterific. Very well done, very ridiculous, very fun.

So bravo Hatchet - as far as I am concerned, you accomplished your goal: I was grossed out, I turned my brain off and I had a fun hour and a half.

Well, ok, not quite and hour and a half. You're also correct there Mr. Cortez.

- Complaint Department


Mike said...

Thats a shame.

I thought it would be good..

Anonymous said...

Shit sandwich is right. This movie makes me so angry. It is not only my least favorite horror movie, it is my least favorite movie, least favorite work of "art" and possibly least favorite thing ever. Garbage! What clever kills? I remember nothing but painful "acting" and the MOST derivative plot(in horror that's saying something) that I have ever seen. Fuck this guy who made the Hatchet movies, fuck him.