Monday, 13 December 2010

DVD Review: Hatchet II

Starring: Danielle Harris, Tony Todd, Kane Hodder

Directed by: Adam Green

Plot: After escaping the clutches of deformed swamp dweller Victor Crowley, Marybeth (Harris) enlists the help of voodoo man Reverend Zombie (Todd) and a group of unsuspecting croc hunters to rid the wasteland of the rampant murderer.

Horror fans all over the globe have come to know writer/director Adam Green as the man that was to thank for bringing old school American horror back to our screens in the form of the viciously blood-thirsty super-villain Victor Crowley. Reuniting with Hodder (the man behind the deformed mask), Green returns four years later with Hatchet II, picking up the second the original ended with Marybeth, a quiet but hot tempered girl in search for her family, at the clutches of the beast.

Harris (known, most probably, as Michael Myer's niece in Halloween 4 and 5) takes over the role from previous heroine Tamara Feldman, but with the script at a predictably lesser advantage than the first the character lets slip all sense of vulnerability and issues an overwhelmingly annoying and unconvincing relay of moans and whining tones. Still, while Feldman bagged certain aspects, she's nothing against Harris' sharp, brutal screams and enthusiasm towards the more physically demanding scenes -- the last scene springs instantly to mind. Other than Harris, the only true stand-out cast member is of course Hodder. Working previously on a few Friday the 13th films, his brawn-like stance is built for villains of Crowley's stature, forcefully positioning helpless victims into scenarios where an uncountable amount of limbs are destined to be viciously torn off, accompanied by the comedic and outlandishly perfect shot of what i can only assume is a gallon of 'blood' being thrown against an almost idyllically arranged tree.

Much like the first, the script is amusingly brainless, but Green knows this. His tongue-in-cheek nature towards Victor Crowley's carnage is what lights the screen, mixing humour -- albeit cheap shots at a formulaic joke -- with his horrendously brilliant, unsurpassably extravagant array of jaw-dropping, laugh-out-loud deaths. I mean, only Adam Green could write in a chainsaw seesaw and make it as cringe-inducing but so over-the-top that it sparks an applause. For doing so, it's hard not to praise him.

His B-grade charms may fall second best due to a lackluster script and odd editing, but his talents don't go unappreciated, especially by those who admired the original. A ferociously entertaining, excessively gory slasher featuring, if i'm correct, 17 on-screen death scenes. Well, to make it in the horror bizz, you've got to up your game. Hatchet II doesn't redefine the slasher genre, but it's one hell of a fun ride. Long live Victor Crowley, your handy hatchet and that damn impressive ten-foot chainsaw!


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