Follow us on

Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Hatchet III

August 12th, 2013

Hatchet III - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

I've previously reviewed the first two installments in the Hatchet franchise. Hatchet III looks like it will be the end of the franchise. Will it please fans of the first two movies? Does it have broader appeal?

The Movie

Like last time, Hatchet III begins right where Hatchet II ends, with Marybeth shooting Victor Crowley in the head. As she's leaving, we see Crowley sit up again. After getting some distance and seeing another aftermath one of Crowley's kills, she hears Crowley growl in the distance. She tries to grab a weapon, but is only able to start the chainsaw before Crowley attacks. She is able to fight back and manages to make Crowley stumble, and as a result, he falls on the chainsaw and is split in half.

After that, Marybeth grabs the shotgun, and Victor Crowley's scalp, and heads back to town. When she gets to the police station, she simple says, "I killed him." and when asked who, she responds, "They're all dead." She tells them where it happened, Honey Island Swamp, but doesn't tell the cops who she killed. Since she doesn't have any injuries... WHAT? Crowley was choking her. Crowley lifted her up by her throat and was choking her. There should be huge bruises on her neck at the very least. Never mind ... Since she doesn't have any injuries, the cops are convinced she's not the lone survivor of a massacre, but the perpetrator. When she does start talking about Crowley, Sheriff Fowler doesn't believe her. Of course he doesn't, because Victor Crowley is nothing more than an Urban Legend. The interrogation doesn't last long, because the deputies sent to crime scene start finding bodies, lots of bodies, and Sheriff Fowler goes to help them out.

Sheriff Fowler doesn’t even get out of the station before he is stopped by his ex-wife, Amanda. She's an expert on Victor Crowley having written a study on the subject. However, Sheriff Fowler is rather dismissive of her work. She wants to cover the story, because it will be the big break she needs as a journalist. Sheriff Fowler says no, repeatedly, but after he leaves, Amanda bumps into Deputy Elliott Winslow (Robert Diago DoQui), who is a lot more susceptable to her persuasions and he lets her talk to Marybeth. Of course, Marybeth isn't interested in talking, at least not yet.

Meanwhile on Honey Island Swamp, the paramedics have arrived and they begin collecting the bodies for examination. One of the paramedics, Andrew, who is played by the same actor as Shawn from the first movie and Justin from the second, returns to the paramedics' boat with a huge body. He describes the body as having skin and muscle deformities and wearing only overalls. This is exactly how the Victor Crowley urban legend is described. Obviously they don't assume it's Victor Crowley, but they are more than a little curious.

Meanwhile back at the prison, Marybeth finally starts talking with Amanda and Amanda explains what she learned about Victor Crowley. Crowley was cursed as a Repeater. He will relive the night he died over and over again. He can't be killed, because he's already dead. Marybeth is convinced she killed Victor Crowley, but as we see over on Honey Island Swamp, she is wrong. At that moment, Crowley returns to life and begins slaughtering the paramedics and the cops and they are able to hear it happen over Deputy Winslow's radio. Amanda convinces Marybeth that she knows how to get rid of Victor Crowley once and for all, but Marybeth will have to return to the swamp.

It is impossible to review this movie without comparing it to the first two installments in the franchise. This isn't a groundbreaking film by any stretch of the imagination. It takes the elements from the first two movies and just uses them to make a third. A lot of times this would be a negative; I think we can all think of a franchise that was just more of the same of the first movie and the sequels suffered as a result. (Hangover.) However, teenage slashers are different than most movies, You only need a good villain, some convincing kills, and and a Final Girl to please fans of the genre. Hatchet III has all three of those elements. If you are not a fan of old-school teenage slashers, then this film won't change your mind. If you are a fan, then this film will please nearly every Gorehound out there.

The Extras

The extras are excellent, starting with two audio commentary tracks. The first is with the writer / creator of the franchise, Adam Green, and select members of the crew. The second includes Adam Green and a couple members of the cast. Up next is a 9-minute making of / behind-the-scenes featurette. Raising Kane is a 5-minute look at the Victor Crowley make-up. Swamp Fun is a 9-minute behind-the-scenes look at the cast having fun while shooting in a swamp.

The film's technical presentation is solid. It is a low budget movie shot mostly in a dark swamp, so it will not be a visual feast compared to most first-run releases. The level of details is high and the colors are strong, while the blacks are very deep. There are no compression issues worth mentioning. The audio is likewise solid with good use of the surround sound speakers, especially during some of the active gun battles. Overall the technical presentation is excellent, more so when you consider its budget.

The Blu-ray costs $15, while the DVD costs $13. That's a great deal and fans will be happy to snap it up at that price.

The Verdict

Hatchet III is arguably the best installment in the franchise and the DVD and the Blu-ray have more than enough extras to be worth picking up. The Blu-ray has no additional extras, but at just $2 more than the DVD, it is clearly the better deal.

- Submitted by:

Filed under: Video Review, Hatchet III, Hangover, Hatchet, Zach Galligan, Danielle Harris, Kane Hodder, Parry Shen, Caroline Williams, Adam Green