Victor Crowley, 2017
Written and directed by Adam Green
Starring Kane Hodder, Parry Shen, Tiffany Shepis, Dave Sheridan, Brian Quinn, Felissa Rose, Laura Ortiz, Blake Woodruff, Katie Booth, Chase Williamson
Ten years after the events of the original movie, Victor Crowley is mistakenly resurrected and proceeds to kill once more.
It’s been a few years since we last saw the gore-soaked Hatchet III, which writer/director Adam Green promised would be the final part of the franchise. In his speech at this year’s FrightFest, he said that it was indeed the end and he was done with the series but encouragement from the late, great George A. Romero convinced him that the fans needed another Hatchet outing. And so here we are. Green and his team have been working in secret for the last two years to bring us Victor Crowley – easily the bloodiest, funniest and best Hatchet movie to date.
It’s been ten years since the events of the first three Hatchet movies, and one of its survivors Andrew Yong (Parry Shen) has been reaping the benefits, profiting off the tragedy by writing a book. However a trip back to the scene of the crime for a television special – which crosses over with a group of young filmmakers looking to make a movie around the murders – sees the resurrection of Victor Crowley. And he is not a happy chappy.
Green’s passion for the horror genre is nearly unmatched, and that shows in Victor Crowley and the rest of the Hatchet series. Victor Crowley isn’t just some cash-in, nor is an attempt to revive a franchise. It exists for fans – the same fans that made Green the director he is today. That’s not to say Victor Crowley is front-loaded with insider baseball terms that newcomers won’t understand – as anyone who enjoys a good blood-soaked adventure will get a kick out of it – but Green knows how to pluck the strings of every gorehound in the horror community.
The film features a really great cast of characters, including the returning Shen as Andrew Yong, and Sleepaway Camp’s Felissa Rose as his PR manager Kathleen – who is very enjoyable as a money-driven, pill-popping annoyance. Dave Sheridan brings the humorous side of things with the utterly ridiculous Dillion, while Laura Ortiz brings the sweet and innocent with Rose. And fans of Impractical Jokers will get a kick out of seeing Brian ‘Q’ Quinn as sound guy Austin with a performance that is genuinely really great.
But of course, this series wouldn’t be where it is without the brilliance of Kane Hodder as the deformed monster Victor. There’s a common misconception that any stunt actor can play a character under heavy prosthetics, but Hodder proves the opposite. He brings so much to the character of Victor Crowley without saying a single word. His documentary To Hell and Back is also showing at this year’s FrightFest, and is equally as excellent.
It’s the obscene levels of gore that the Hatchet series is best known for, and that is once again on display in Victor Crowley. Before the title has hit the screen, multiple limbs have been chopped off, heads have left shoulders and fingers have become detached from hands – and it only ramps up from there. However Green is smart enough to know when to show gore and when to show constraint, and he even has moments of pure heart and sadness among the falling intestines and debris. Victor Crowley succeeds on more levels than just gore, showing why Green is excellent at his craft.
It’s difficult to know whether Victor Crowley will appeal to anyone not already invested in the Hatchet series, but it’s a damn fun ride nonetheless. It’s bloody, gory, funny, sweet and heart-racing all at the same time. Adam Green may have been hesitant to bring the series back again for another outing, but this writer is very glad he did. Victor Crowley isn’t just a fantastic film, it’s the best Hatchet film yet.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth, the co-host of The Flickering Myth Podcast and the author of Lights, Camera, GAME OVER!: How Video Game Movies Get Made. You can follow him on Twitter @ThisisLukeOwen.