29. Hatchet

Schlocktoberfest #29: Hatchet

Decent slasher set in the Louisiana swamp, paying homage to its predecessors but unfortunately not improving on them with its ending. But at least until then, it’s some good bloody fun! Some Mardi Gras-goers want to go on a haunted swamp tour- while I’ve seen ghost tours and swamp tours, I’ve never heard of combining them. But who cares, it’s a great reason to get nerdy Ben, his funny black buddy, and the mysterious girl into the swamp for some killin’. And not just with a Hatchet, neither.

The low-rent tour guide, an Asian fella in vampire gear, and his customers end up in a “forbidden” part of the swamp home to Victor Crowley, a deformed behemoth who was tormented as a child, and whose own father accidentally chopped him in the face with a hatchet while trying to rescue him from their burning home. Vic sorta got a chip on his shoulder after that, and now he kills everyone who enters his swamp. But he’s the origin of the term hatchet face, apparently.

He’s a huge musclebound hunchback with a face like Arseface from the Preacher comics, and he hacks, chainsaws, and neck-snaps his way through the tourists as they flee piggledy wiggledy through the swamp. It’s cheese with blood intermingled, sort of like port wine cheddar spread, and pretty entertaining for gore fans. Vic hacks up the “Jump to Conclusions” guy from Office Space, he rips a gal’s jaw off, he saws another woman’s jaw off with a chainsaw. He has something against jawbones. He kills Joel Murray (One Crazy Summer) too, but I think his jaw gets a pass.

Our plucky heroes fight back with guns, fire, spears and one-liners, but like Jason before him, he doesn’t like staying dead. Kane Hodder, the guy under Jason’s mask, plays Victor in make-up; Victor’s Dad without- Robert “Freddy” Englund is an early victim; and Tony “Candyman” Todd plays a voodoo huckster, so the movie is more of a jokey homage than real horror. But it’s good fun, and while the ending was predictable and nothing new, it’s a decent watch. Good fun for slasher fans but probably a bit bloody for anyone else. And don’t piss on gators. They’ll try to bite your sack.