Hatchet III: Film Review

Hatchet III Film Still - H 2013

Hatchet III Film Still - H 2013

This horror sequel delivers the explicitly bloody mayhem genre fans crave.

The third entry in the horror trilogy once again features the hulking Victor Crowley rampaging through a Louisiana swamp.

Hatchet III begins immediately after its 2010 predecessor left off, and that’s not the only feeling of déjà vu permeating this third installment in the cheesy trilogy recalling ‘80s era horror films. Once again depicting the murderous exploits of the swamp-haunting Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder), the film offers gore hounds generous doses of the bloodily explicit mayhem they’ve come to expect.

Creator Adam Green has handed over the directorial reins to BJ McDonnell, a former camera operator on the previous films, but little differs in the way of its aesthetics. The execution, however, leaves something to be desired, as this effort seems more visually muddled and choppier than previous installments.

The opening sequence features heroine Marybeth (Danielle Harris) blowing Crowley away with a shotgun, but every horror film aficionado knows that hardly means anything. Indeed, the hulking monster is soon back to wreak more violent mayhem, a situation conveniently explained by the revelation that he’s a “repeater,” or spectral figure with the ability to return to life night after night in physically unaltered form.

Among the other characters figuring in the simplistic storyline -- which basically involves the local cops racing to the scene of the crime only to get dispatched one-by-one in bloody fashion -- are a local cop (Zach Galligan) and his journalist ex-wife (Caroline Williams) who claims to have figured out a way to get rid of Victor permanently. It’s not hard to guess that -- should Hatchet III prove successful enough on DVD -- her scheme will be proven ineffective.

The fast-paced film certainly features enough dismemberment, disembowelment, shootings, stabbings, etc. to please genre fans, even if the special effects employed often prove less than convincing.

Hodder, who also holds the dubious distinction of having played Jason Voorhees in no fewer than four Friday the 13th Films, remains a suitably forbidding figure. As usual, the casting provides nods to aficionados: besides the presence of Galligan (Gremlins), Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) and Derek Mears (yet another Jason Voorhees, in the 2009 reboot) in leading roles, there are also cameos by genre veteran Sid Haig and Green himself.

Opens June 14 (Dark Sky Films)

Production: (ArieScope Pictures, Dark Sky Films)

Cast: Danielle Harris, Zach Galligan, Caroline Williams, Kane Hodder, Robert D. DoQui, Derek Mears, Cody Blue Snider, Jason Trost, Sean Whalen, Rileah Vanderbilt, Sid Haig

Director: B.J. McDonnell

Screenwriter: Adam Green

Producers: Greg Newman, Sarah Elbert

Executive producers: Adam Green, Malik Ali, Hamza Ali, Cory Neal, Andrew Mysko, Mark Ward

Director of photography: Will Barratt

Editor: Ed Marx

Production designer: Jaymes Hinkle

Costume designer: Victor A. Sandoval

Composer: Scott Glasgow

Not rated, 81 min.