Hatchet is an American independent horror film of the slasher subgenre. Released theatrically in 2006, it was directed by Adam Green and distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment. Hatchet features the brutally disfigured Victor Crowley and the bloody rampage that he perpetuates to safeguard his territory in the swamps of the Louisiana bayou.
|Kane Hodder||Victor Crowley/Mister Crowley|
|Joel David Moore||Ben|
|Joel Murray||Doug Shapiro/Samuel M. Barrat|
|Richard Riehle||Jim Permatteo|
|Patrika Darbo||Janet Permatteo|
|Tony Todd||Reverend Zombie|
|John Carl Buechler||Jack Cracker|
|Rileah Vanderbilt||Young Victor Crowley|
An old fisherman named Sampson and his adult son Ainsley are out in their boat fishing at night in the middle of the Louisiana bayou. The two bicker with one another and Sampson accuses his son of being a homosexual. Ainsley attempts to relieve himself off the side of the boat, but is nearly attacked by an alligator. After arguing with his father, he decides to finish the chore on dry land. Ainsley relieves himself, but when he returns to the boat, he finds that someone or something has brutally murdered his father. He begins to panic, when suddenly a mysterious creature springs out from the foliage and kills Ainsley who gets mutilated by being bashed 2 times againist a tree, having his arm torn off, guts torn out and severed from his legs
Mardi Gras & Reverend Zombie
The following day, a group of young men enjoy the Mardi Gras festivities in the French Quarter of New Orleans. One member of the group however, Ben, is not having a very good time. Ben is preoccupied with the recent break-up of his girlfriend, Christine. His best friend, Marcus, tries to brighten Ben's spirits, but he has little interest in getting inebriated and making a fool of himself.
Instead, Ben presents the idea of going on a swamp tour. None of the others wish to embark upon this, but Ben refuses to partake in any more senseless revelry. Marcus finally relents and agrees to go on the tour with him, leaving their other friends behind.
Ben and Marcus explore the various head shops and voodoo parlors of the French Quarter until they come to the door of a man named Reverend Zombie (played by actor Tony Todd, who also played William Bludworth in Final Destination). They inquire about his swamp tour services, but the eerie reverend reveals that he no longer conducts tours, ever since he was sued by a customer who injured himself on his boat. Reverend Zombie refers the boys to another business two blocks south.
They reach their next destination and find a small voodoo shop and its young Asian-American proprietor, Shawn. Inside the shop are several customers including two vivacious girls named Jenna and Misty. These girls are amateur actresses who are in the midst of filming a supposedly "professional" video shoot for a director named Doug Shapiro. Shapiro is present with a small handheld camera and directs the girls to expose their breasts and pose erotically for him.
While Shapiro continues to film Jenna and Misty, Shawn greets Ben and Marcus and tries to impress them with several meager sleight of hand tricks. They ask him about the swamp tour and Shawn tells them that for forty dollars each, they can take the tour right away. Ben pays for both Marcus and he and they board Shawn's "Scare Bus". Doug Shapiro, Jenna and Misty join the tour as well. Adding to the group is the middle-aged couple, Jim and Janet Permatteo, who are the embodiment of the stereotypical tourist. Ben take a seat next to a quiet girl named Marybeth. He tries to flirt with her, but Marybeth ignores him, preferring instead to sit in silence, staring out the window.
Shawn drives the "Scare Bus" towards the swamps, and along the way, he attempts to entertain the tourists with tales of local lore. It is clear that he is not very experienced at this job, and he relies upon a stack of 3x5 index cards to help him remember his lines. Mister Permatteo seems to know more of New Orleans' customs than Shawn does, and corrects him on several occasions. Shawn begins grumbling to himself in Chinese.
The bus eventually reaches the swamplands, and Shawn ushers them all onto his "Scare Boat". He continues the tour, and with a fake southern accent, amuses his guests with tales of ghosts and local folktales.
The Tale of Victor Crowley
The most infamous swamp legend in this region is that of the mysterious Victor Crowley. According to Shawn, Victor Crowley was born horribly disfigured in a large house in the swamps. His mother died when he was young and his father raised him as best as he could. He was often subjected to cruel taunts and harassment from other children because of his deformity. One Halloween night, many years ago, a group of trick-or-treaters came to the Crowley house to play a prank on him. Shouting taunts and jeers, they began throwing sparklers towards the house. One of the sparklers went inside a window and the dry timbers of the house caught fire. Victor Crowley, now an adult, was trapped inside and began to panic. His father returned home just in time to see their house on fire. Wielding a hatchet, he began hacking away at the front door, desperate to save his son. What Mister Crowley didn't realize was that frightened Victor was pressed against the back of the door when his father began swinging the hatchet. The blade cleaved through the door panel and imbedded itself into Victor's head. His father died of a broken heart soon after. The incident earned Victor the uncomplimentary nickname of "Hatchet Face".
Shortly after the conclusion of the tale, the tour is interrupted when Shawn accidentally pilots the "Scare Boat" into a fallen tree. The blow causes enough damage that it rapidly begins to sink. They have little choice but to climb across the timbers to dry land.
Mister Permatteo attempts to get out of the vessel first, but as he does, an alligator pops up out of the muck and bites him on the leg. Marybeth produces a handgun and uses it to drive the gator away, but the injury to Permatteo's leg is severe. The rest of the tour group gets Permatteo to dry land, and everyone begins to panic.
Ben questions Marybeth as to why she is carrying a gun. Marybeth echoes Shawn's tale of Victor Crowley and tells him that the legend is real. She believes that Crowley still exists and is “stuck in the night that he died”. She further explains that she signed up for the tour because she is looking for her missing father and brother (Sampson and Ainsley), who disappeared in these swamps the previous evening.
The Permatteos spot a darkened house very nearby, but Marybeth warns them that it is the Crowley house. Janet Permatteo helps her husband walk down the path towards the house, but as she does, the monstrous Victor Crowley appears before them. Wielding a hatchet, he savagely attacked Jim Permatteo, hacking at him repeatedly until he splits his body in half down the middle. The others begin screaming in terror and Marybeth fires her gun at Crowley, but the bullets seemingly have no effect on him. Scared, they turn and begin running.
Crowley pursues them and quickly catches up to Janet Permatteo. He grabs each section of her mouth, and hyper extends her jaw, practically tearing her head into separate pieces.
The others continue running until they get to a clearing. Most of them regroup, but Doug Shapiro dashes off in another direction entirely. Victor Crowley comes upon him and grabs his head in both hands. He twists his head a full 360 degrees and Shapiro drops to the ground dead.
Time passes and the other tourists eventually come upon Shapiro's duffel bag. They inspect the contents and find a New Jersey drivers license with Shapiro's real name, Samuel M. Barrat. Apparently, he had used the name Doug Shapiro as an alias in order to manipulate gullible young actresses into posing nude for him. Jenna and Misty are quite distressed over this revelation and Misty inquires, "So he didn’t really work for Bayou Beavers?" Embarrassed, she confesses that this was the third time that she had fallen for this sort of trick.
In short order, they come upon Doug Shapiro's corpse. Marybeth now realizes that Crowley is still alive and that her bullets did little to slow him down.
By this point, Marcus and Shawn have been quipping with one another ever since they got onto the boat and the two come to blows. Ben breaks them up and Shawn cycles through various personalities. He's not really Southern, and he's also been playing up his Asian-American heritage. He's actually just a guy from Detroit who only recently started giving swamp tours. This is his second tour, though he admits that this is the first time that he's ever sunk a boat.
Through the course of conversation, it is revealed that this section of swamp is restricted territory and nobody is supposed to be giving tours out here. This causes the others great consternation, as it means that there will be no other patrol boats coming through the area.
Suddenly, Misty hears the sound of her cell phone ringing in the distance. The group follows her to the sound, but when they discover it, they find that they have traveled around in a circle and they are now right back in front of Victor Crowley's house. Misty tries to telephone for help, but isn't sure if 911 is the correct emergency number or not. She fails to get a signal.
Jenna and Shawn
Ben and Marybeth decide to inspect a tool shed on the estate in the hopes of finding something they can use to arm themselves. As they enter the shed, Marybeth is horrified to discover the dismembered remains of her father and brother.
Outside, Marcus, Jenna, Misty and Shawn hear noises originating from a quivering bush. Marcus inspects it, but it turns out to only be a frightened raccoon.
Suddenly, Victor Crowley springs up from behind them. Wielding a gasoline-powered belt sander, he begins mutilating Jenna's face. Marcus and Misty run, while Shawn tries to reach for a shovel. Crowley scoops up the shovel first however, and swings it low, severing Shawn's right leg at the knee. As Shawn drops to the ground, Crowley digs the shovel into his throat, decapitating him. He then grabs Jenna, who is scrambling to get away, and impales her upon the top of the shovel handle.
The shouts and cries brings Ben and Marybeth running out of the shed. They regroup with Marcus and Misty and begin running. When they feel that they are safely far away, they stop to catch their breath. Ben tells them that he saw gasoline cans inside the shed. He borrows Misty's lighter and says that if they can somehow spray Crowley down with the flammable liquid, then they might be able to set him on fire.
Ben goes back into the tool shed. Marybeth and Marcus remain outside in order to provide a distraction should Crowley suddenly surface again. Misty mysteriously disappears.
Ben scrambles around in the shed gathering gas cans when he is suddenly struck by Misty's severed head. Turning around, he finds Victor Crowley standing before him. Crowley is holding Misty's bloodied torso and heaves at Ben, knocking him backward. He then attacks him, but Marybeth rushes inside and tries to pry the maniacal killer off of him. Ben succeeds in dousing Crowley with gasoline and he throws Misty's Zippo at him, lighting him up. Crowley bursts into flame, and begins spinning about, howling in agony. He eventually falls to the ground unconscious.
As luck would have it though, it begins to rain and the rain water quickly extinguishes the flames. Ben, Marcus and Marybeth begin running again in case Crowley wakes up. Victor rises moments later and begins to pursue them again.
Crowley chases them into a cemetery and tackles Ben to the ground. Pressed against him, he vomits up a strange, white, viscous substance into Ben's mouth. Marcus and Marybeth begin kicking Crowley, and succeed in rolling him off of Ben. They try running for the cemetery gates, but Crowley snatches Marcus in a bear hug. He then tears both of his arms off and swings his armless body against the side of a mausoleum, killing him.
Before renewing the chase, Crowley tears out one of the bars from the front cemetery gate. He lopes after Ben and Marybeth and hurls the gate pole at them like a javelin. The projectile strikes Ben in the foot, pinning it to the ground. Crowley begins charging them, but Ben and Marybeth push down on the pole, leaning it to a horizontal angle. Crowley cannot stop himself in time and he impales himself upon the pole. Ben frees his foot and Marybeth and he escape into the swamp.
Before long, they come upon Marybeth's late father's fishing boat. They get inside and begin rowing away. While they talk, Marybeth wraps Ben's injured foot.
Suddenly, Crowley emerges from beneath the muck and pushes Marybeth into the swamp water. Her legs get tangled up in some weeds and she begins to drown. Looking up, she sees Ben's hand reaching down into the water for her. She grabs it, and is hoisted up above the water line. She is horrified to discover however that her would-be rescuer is not actually Ben, but Victor Crowley. Crowley, having already torn Ben's arm off, used it to pull Marybeth out of the water. While Ben lies bleeding, Crowley lunges at Marybeth.
Cut to black.
Notes & Trivia
- The unrated director's cut DVD was released in the United States by Anchor Bay Entertainment on December 18th, 2007. 
- Despite the title of this film, only one victim in this movie is killed by a Hatchet. 
- Writer/Director Adam Green conceived the character of Victor Crowley when he was only eight-years-old.
- The tagline for Hatchet is "Old School American Horror".
- During the scene aboard the "Scare Boat", the cast comes upon a dirty transient named Jack Cracker who warns them against venturing deeper into the swamps. Jack Cracker is played by John Carl Buechler, the special effects supervisor for the film. Buechler was also the director of Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, the first of the series to feature stunt coordinator Kane Hodder in the role of Jason Voorhees. Hodder also plays the role of Victor Crowley.
- The ring tone on Misty's cell phone is "I Don't Want to Wait" by Paula Cole. The song was used as the theme song to the popular television series, Dawson's Creek. Actress Mercedes McNab (who plays Misty) made a guest appearance on Dawson's Creek in 2002.
- Hatchet at Wikipedia
- Hatchet Army
- Hatchet MySpace Page
- Hatchet Official Website
- Hatchet at Headhunter's Horror House
- Hatchet at the Internet Movie Database (IMDB)