Upon a second glance, “Hatchet” really doesn’t play too well. It’s a bit shrill, it’s pretty average slasher fare, and like it or not, the incredibly ridiculous hype really did hurt what was a pretty fun slasher film in spite of it all. David Green has a knack for direction and makes “Hatchet” an utterly hilarious slasher flick that’s helped by the above par production qualities and great performances. Deon Richmond almost steals the show with Parry Shen, and Mercedes McNab continues her dumb blond shtick with surprising competence. The gore effects are simply astounding and I really enjoyed the gruesome splatter and overall creative methods of dispensing of the poor saps that come across the deformed hacker that is Victor Crowley.
Fans of the film will be surprised with a wonderful DVD treatment featuring some excellent extras. Included is the forty minute “The Making of Hatchet” a wonderful tale of how Adam Green concocted the idea for his film and how he took production by the balls and garnered the resources to make the film. Green is a great person to watch interviewed, and his recollections of filming along with his chemistry with Kane Hodder make this a feature that has to be seen. “Meeting Victor Crowley” is a wonderful story of Victor Crowley and Hodder’s approach to the character, all the while discussing the assorted pranks on the cast, as well as Green’s Ridley Scott approach toward Crowley, keeping his make up a secret and garnering genuine horrifying reactions from the actors when he bursts onto the screen.
“Guts & Gore” is a nice take on the gore effects discussing the conundrum of featuring the kills without CGI, and Green makes great use of prosthetics and latex and improvises with great finesse. “Anatomy of a Reel” discusses the staged effects and kills and how difficult it was to create the mouth ripping sequence in spite of the actor’s surprising cooperation. As well there’s also “A Twisted Tale” a detached but interesting story of Green’s love for Twisted Sister and how Dee Snider affected him as a child. The “Gag Reel” is just a good enough three minute look at the line screw ups and McNab’s inability to improvise, and the “Audio Commentary” is the best of the bunch with Green and the cast recollecting much of the set problems and giving some great shooting stories. I wish I enjoyed “Hatchet” as much the second time around, but I didn’t. I like it well enough, but am still baffled by the enormous hype it receives. However, the DVD is fantastic and the extras will keep the fans sitting pretty.