The fourth installment in the Hatchet franchise must be one of the best-kept secrets in recent movie history. While in pre-production the movie went by a fake title, and when they started auditioning actors they used a fake script. From the first few moments of Victor Crowley, you can just tell that the movie was a labor of love and that the cast and crew just had to have had a blast making it. To be honest, I wasn’t very excited when I first heard another “Hatchet” movie had been made. The third installment didn’t really do anything for me, though the first two are favorites of mine. Writer/Director Adam Green had no plans on making another installment in the “Hatchet” franchise until he found himself in a deep depression after his hero/mentor Wes Craven’s death. Realizing his “Hatchet” films had made a contribution to the horror genre, he realized he needed to keep the franchise alive. Spurred on by encouragement from famous horror director George Romero, who would also pass away soon after, Green began writing Victor Crowley . I’m glad he did, and you will be too when you see the film.
Victor Crowley is a rip-roaring great time, full of clever comedic dialogue, memorable (and mostly likable) characters, and over the top death scenes that simultaneously grossed me out and had me laughing. What makes the gore so fun is that the effects people aren’t trying for realism – they’re just trying to see how much fake blood they can use and what ungodly abominations to the human body they can capture on film
To call Victor Crowley a slasher film is to do it a disservice; however, it does capture that wonderfully campy feel of 80s slasher films. What sets it apart from those other genre films is great writing, good cinematography and sound, and a cast that has some real acting chops.
The film stars Parry Shen, who has appeared in all four films, but this is the first time he is playing the same character. The movie picks up ten years after the events of Hatchet III with Shen’s Andrew, who is still under a veil of suspicion for having the audacity to survive when no one else did. Andrew has written an O.J. Simpson-style “I’m Innocent” book about the experience and is on a book tour. His publicist is played by (brace yourself!) Felissa Rose, scream queen extraordinaire, famous for playing Angela in the first Sleepaway Camp film. She is royalty! I mean she did the “holy shit she has a dick” thing years before “The Crying Game.” She is a scene-stealer in Victor Crowley and contributes to the comedic flavor of the film more than any cast member, other than Jim Carrey doppelganger Dave Sheridan, who plays a likable schlub. The film has two other members of horror movie royalty: Tyler Mane, who has a brief appearance at the beginning of the film, and Kane Hodder, reprising his role as Victor Crowley.
The plot of Victor Crowley brings two groups of characters together in the infamous Honey Island Swamp in a very improbable way, but pokes fun at the “what-are-the-odds-of-this-happening” plot device in a self-aware way that makes one able to forgive how contrived it is. Like most campy slasher films, “Victor Crowley” is not scary, though it has a couple of jump scares. The emphasis is more on humor and gore.
I must mention that the title character is the ugliest slasher movie villain I’ve ever seen. He looks like the Elephant Man and the Toxic Avenger had a baby and then stomped on its head ten times.
The movie is well-paced and the editing is good for the most part, though the ending will have you thinking otherwise. All I can say is watch through the credits. Seriously, eep watching! The score is composed by Bear McCreary, best known for his work on TV show The Walking Dead. There is also a killer song by Dangerous Toys frontman Jason McMaster’s band Ignitor. that plays through the ending credits.
Victor Crowley will be released on home video tomorrow February 6th, 2018. Go get a copy!