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Hatchet (2 stars)

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(18) 85min

Although the tagline – ‘it’s not a remake, it’s not a sequel and it’s not based on a Japanese one’ – suggests Hatchet is an original horror movie, it’s far from that. It is, as a second tagline more accurately describes this low-budget offering, ‘old school American horror’. Cameo appearances by Robert ‘Freddy Krueger’ Englund and Tony ‘Candyman’ Todd signal we’re in late 80s/early 90s stalk’n’slash territory, something confirmed by the casting of Kane Hodder, aka Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th series, as the facially disfigured, preternaturally powerful, Florida swamp-dwelling, axe-wielding, psycho Victor Crowley.

As movie monsters go, Crowley’s evil origin isn’t very imaginative, and his ‘murderous operandi’ isn’t particularly original – teenagers who get lost in his swamp get hacked up with the titular gardening tool. The execution of his crimes, however, is satisfyingly gory in a way we don’t see anymore in the sanitised chillers Hollywood has been churning out for the last decade.

In one scene, Crowley chops the torso of a screaming victim into a V-shape before hacking the unfortunate completely in two. It’s simple-minded, occasionally humorous, gruesome stuff, with none of the misogynistic nastiness, nor the socio-political pretentiousness of the recent crop of torture porn films. For that we have to thank newcomer writer-director Adam Green.

Hatchet

  • 2 stars
  • 2006
  • US
  • 85 min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Adam Green
  • Written by: Adam Green
  • Cast: Joel Moore, Tamara Feldman, Deon Richmond, Mercedes McNab, Parry Shen, Joleigh Fioreavanti, Joel Murray, Richard Riehle, Patrika Darbo, Joshua Leonard, Tony Todd, Robert Englund, Kane Hodder

Unoriginal stalk'n'slash horror film about swamp-dwelling axe-wielding psycho Victor Crowley (Hodder). Simple-minded, occasionally humorous, gruesome stuff, with none of the misogynistic nastiness or socio-political intelligence of the recent crop of torture porn films to slither out of Hollywood.

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