HATCHET IIIUnited States-81 Mins. 2013


Danielle Harris as Marybeth

Danielle Harris as Marybeth

Zach Galligan as Sheriff Fowler

Zach Galligan as Sheriff Fowler

Caroline Williams as Amanda

Caroline Williams as Amanda

Derek Mears as Hawes

Derek Mears as Hawes

Directed by BJ McDonnell

Written by Adam Green

Based on characters created by Adam Green

I have to admit I was a little hesitant to visit Honey Island Swamp for a third time after the uneven effort that was Hatchet II. However, after the first five minutes of Hatchet III I can gladly tell you that Victor Crowley lives and that life’s a big bitch in heat for anyone who steps foot on his stomping grounds. Hatchet III is a funny, witty, gory, scary film made all the stronger by a kick-ass performance from Danielle Harris and of course the legendary Kane Hodder as Victor Crowley. There’s no CGI to be found in this gore-fest; it’s old school all the way.

The film picks up where Hatchet II left off; Marybeth Dunstan (Danielle Harris, Shiver, Among Friends) is jailed for the murders committed by Crowley (Kane Hodder, Frozen, Monster) over the course of the two previous films, Hatchet and Hatchet II. Marybeth tells her story to Sheriff Fowler (Zach Galligan, Gremlins, Waxwork), who of course thinks that the legend of Victor Crowley is all bullshit and sends his unwitting crew out to Honey Island Swamp to investigate. Salvation, of a sort, comes for Marybeth in the form of Fowler’s ex-wife, Amanda (Caroline Williams, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Rob Zombie’s Halloween II), a self-proclaimed Crowley expert who claims to have a way to get rid of Crowley once and for all. Crowley is a repeater spirit destined to relive the night of his death until he can be re-united with his father. Someone from the Dunstan bloodline has to give the ashes of his father to Victor and that will break the cycle. Sampson Dunstan is dead; so who does that leave? You guessed it; Marybeth. Meanwhile Sheriff Fowler is forced to play second fiddle to SWAT Team Leader Hawes (Derek Mears, Friday the 13th, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters); a man whose picture would easily accompany the word ‘asshole’ in any dictionary.

Hatchet III would be in no way complete without the customary over the top death scenes that the series is known for. It seems as if  there are 8 million ways to die in Honey Island Swamp and that Victor Crowley knows at least 7, 999, 998 of them; including death by defibrillator, hands-on mutilation and, duh, hatchet. 8 million, 7 million, 5 million, whatever; Hatchet III is one way to have some gory fun on movie night.


After just one week of shooting Hatchet 3, actor Kane Hodder declared it “the hardest job he’s ever done”. Performing rigorous action and stunts in sweltering Louisiana summer heat and humidity while wearing 50 pounds of silicone and make-up on his body, Kane Hodder truly suffered for his craft in making Hatchet 3.

Series creator Adam Green prides the Hatchet films on their “no CGI rule”. All make-up effects are done the “old school” way with prosthetics, make-up, latex, and silicone in order to give the films their throw back feeling and tone. CGI and digital enhancement is only used for such things as wire removal or fixing any camera issues that occurred while filming, but never to create the films’ outrageous special effects. Hatchet 3 was no exception to this rule and Green continually challenged the make-up effects crew by writing crazy death scenes and sequences that most any other modern production would have brought in computer generated visual effects teams to accomplish.

Actress Rileah Vanderbilt (who plays SWAT team member “Dougherty”) appeared in the first two Hatchet films as “Young Victor Crowley” and also served as the key make-up artist on both Hatchet 1 and Hatchet 2. Hatchet 3 marks her first character in the series using her own pretty face.

Actor Parry Shen has appeared in all three Hatchet films but as different characters. In Hatchet, he played Shawn, who worked for the Swamp Tours. In Hatchet II, he played Justin, who was Shawn’s brother. Justin also worked for the Swamp Tours. In Hatchet III, he played a paramedic named Andrew. Andrew is not related to Shawn or Justin. A joke is even made in the film about how one of the bodies they find looks like him.

bloodbloodblood½ out of 5.

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5 thoughts on “HATCHET III

  1. Pingback: BJ McDonnell

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