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|Directed by||Adam Green|
|Written by||Adam Green|
|Narrated by||Tony Todd|
|Music by||Andy Garfield|
|Edited by||Ed Marx|
|Distributed by||Dark Sky Films|
Hatchet II is a 2010 American slasher film written and directed by Adam Green. It is the sequel to Green's film, Hatchet. Picking up right where the first film ended, Hatchet II follows Marybeth as she escapes the clutches of the deformed, swamp-dwelling killer Victor Crowley. After learning the truth about her family's connection to the hatchet-wielding madman, Marybeth returns to the Louisiana swamps along with an army of hunters to recover the bodies of her family and exact the bloodiest revenge against the bayou butcher.
The film sees the return of Kane Hodder and Tony Todd who portrayed Victor Crowley and Reverend Zombie in the 2006 film, respectively. Danielle Harris portrays Marybeth, a role originally played by Tamara Feldman. The film was originally screened at the 2010 London FrightFest Film Festival on August 26, 2010. It was released unrated in the United States on October 1, 2010.
Picking up immediately where the first film ended, Marybeth (Danielle Harris) is attacked by Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder), but manages to escape. Jack Cracker (John Carl Buechler) finds her, pulls her out of the river, and takes her back to his cabin. After finding out her last name, he forces her to leave, telling her that if she wants help, she needs to see Reverend Zombie (Tony Todd). Moments after she leaves, Jack views Shapiro's camcorder, which he found in the swamp. The footage shows Shapiro filming different topless women, including Misty and Jenna. It also further reveals Shapiro's plan to venture into the swamp. After Jack finishes watching the video, he is killed by Victor Crowley, who gouges his intestines out and strangles him with them until he decapitates him.
Marybeth returns to Reverend Zombie's shop and, after demanding to speak with him, he reluctantly lets her in. It's revealed that Rev. Zombie had a small business going on with Shawn, the tour guide who was murdered the night before, and the boat was one of his own. After learning her last name, he tells her that her father was one of the boys responsible for causing the fire that led to Victor Crowley's death. He also tells her that Thomas, Victor's father, cheated on his wife Shyann with her nurse Lena after she was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Moments before dying, Shyann placed a curse on the child conceived by Lena from the affair. Months later, Lena died after giving birth to the deformed Victor Crowley. After Thomas accidentally kills Victor whilst trying to save him, he confronts the three boys responsible for the fire, but due to his violent attitude, and the shotgun he threatens them with, they, along with their parents, deny it. Thomas becomes a shut-in and eventually dies ten years later of a broken heart. The story is then complemented by various scenes in which the undead Victor slaughters anyone who wanders into Honey Island Swamp.
Marybeth tells Reverend Zombie she wants to go back and retrieve the remains of her father and brother. He agrees, but tells her she must bring a family member with her. After she leaves, Zombie calls Justin (Parry Shen), Shawn's brother, and reveals Shawn never returned with the boat. He lies, saying they are going into the swamp to find Shawn and the boat. He tells Justin to summon a group of hunters, specifically a man named Trent Graves (R. A. Mihailoff) to go with them. Marybeth returns home, where her uncle, Bob (Tom Holland) promptly shows up. He tells her she must stay away from Reverend Zombie, but reluctantly agrees to accompany her to a recruitment meeting in Zombie's shop. Zombie tells the hunters he will pay them $500 each to retrieve his boat and $5,000 for the head of Victor Crowley. He tells Trent he will pay him double to go, and Trent agrees. The hunters proceed to venture into the swamp with Marybeth and her uncle.
As night descends, they find the boat and, as the rest leave, two of the hunters, Cletus and Chad (Ed Ackerman and David Foy) stay by the boat while the others fan out. Marybeth, Zombie, Justin, Bob and Trent look for Crowley's shed, as well as the bodies of his victims. Along the way, Zombie explains to Justin that Trent and Marybeth's father and uncle were the kids who started the fire that led to Victor's death. Zombie believes that if Crowley kills Bob and Trent, his soul will be at peace and he will finally leave the swamp. After not finding the bodies in the shed, they check the main cabin. Meanwhile, the rest of the hunting party are systematically murdered by Victor: Chad is violently hacked in the face with Victor's hatchet, and Cletus' face is mutilated by a boat propeller. While Layton (AJ Bowen) and Avery (Alexis Peters) are having make-up sex, Victor appears and decapitates Layton. Avery tries to run away, but Victor chops her between the legs and in the chest with his hatchet. Finally, John and Vernon (Rick McCallum and Colton Dunn) are simultaneously split in half from the groin up with a long chainsaw. While searching the cabin, the remaining party members hear Victor outside.
As they hide, Justin tells Marybeth of Zombie's plot to get her uncle and Trent killed after Marybeth tells Justin that Shawn is dead. As she runs to warn Bob, Justin jams the door shut with a chair, but Victor appears behind him and kills him by wearing half his head away with a belt sander. Bob, in an attempt to save Justin, accidentally releases Victor. Marybeth attempts to attack him, but is tossed against the wall. Victor then spears Trent against the wall and the two stumble into the kitchen where an epic battle ensues. Despite Victor's strength, Trent uses the nearby surroundings to his advantage, temporarily pinning Crowley against a support. He beats Victor with tables and chairs, but Victor finally breaks Trent's leg, then severs the top half of his head by kicking it against a table. Meanwhile, Zombie grabs Marybeth and drags her out of the house, trapping Bob inside with Victor. Zombie restrains Marybeth while she screams as she hears Bob being murdered by Victor inside. She falls to the ground in tears, and Zombie declares, "That's it. All over," and claims Victor Crowley is dead.
Marybeth tells Zombie that she will report his crimes to the police, but Zombie responds by preparing to shoot her. Only now does Marybeth reveal that Bob was not her real uncle; her father's brother had died of leukemia when she was twelve, and Bob was her father's best friend. Zombie turns to see Victor breaking through the wall of the cabin, now realizing his plan to kill Victor Crowley has failed. Zombie advances towards Victor and attempts to choke him, but Victor kills him by severing him in half before ripping out his severed spine, effectively skinning him alive. Just after Victor tosses Zombie's skinned upper body into the woods, Marybeth strikes him in the forehead with his own hatchet, knocking him to the ground. She then hysterically beats his head into a bloody pulp. She eventually stops and walks off, just as Victor's hand twitches. She then returns with Zombie's shotgun and fires the gun into the remains of his head, seemingly killing him.
- Kane Hodder as Victor Crowley and Thomas Crowley
- Danielle Harris as Marybeth Dunston
- Tony Todd as Rev. Zombie
- Parry Shen as Justin
- Tom Holland as Uncle Bob
- Alexis Peters as Avery
- R.A. Mihailoff as Trent Graves
- AJ Bowen as Layton
- Ed Ackerman as Cleatus
- David Foy as Chad
- Colton Dunn as Vernon
- Rick McCallum as John
- Erika Hamilton as Lena
- John Carl Buechler as Jack Cracker
- Kathryn Fiore as Shyann Crowley
- Rileah Vanderbilt as Young Victor Crowley
Joel Murray, Mercedes McNab and Joleigh Fioravanti reprise their roles from the first film in minor cameos as Shapiro, Misty and Jenna respectively. Shawn Ashmore and Emma Bell also cameo, with Bell reprising her role as Parker O'Neal from Green's previous film Frozen in a scene taking place after the events of that film. Also making uncredited cameos were directors Adam Green, Joe Lynch, Marcus Dunstan, Lloyd Kaufman and Ryan Schifrin.
Hatchet II was announced in November 2008 when Anchor Bay Entertainment released a teaser poster for the film. Adam Green stated that he would be writing and directing, depending on how long the other projects he was working on took. He also stated that if the projects took too long, he would pass writing and directing duties on to someone else. On November 24, 2009, it was officially announced that Adam Green would return to write and direct. The final draft of the script was completed on December 7, 2009. In order to keep details under wraps, even the crew did not receive copies of the script and the majority of cast only received select pages. Fake scripts, fake endings, and fake story lines were circulated around the industry and no visitors or guests were allowed near the set. The cast gathered for their first table reading on December 15, 2009.
On November 24, 2009, along with the announcement that Adam Green would return to write and direct, it was announced that Kane Hodder would reprise the role of Victor Crowley. On November 25, it was announced that Tony Todd would be returning. On December 3, 2009 scream queen Danielle Harris announced on her official Twitter account that she would be taking over the role of Marybeth, which was originally played by Tamara Feldman. On December 8, 2009 AJ Bowen and director Tom Holland joined the cast. The rest of the cast was announced on December 28, 2009, R.A. Mihailoff, Kathryn Fiore, Parry Shen, Rileah Vanderbilt, Ed Ackerman, Rick McCallum, Colton Dunn and David Foy.
To accommodate his promotional duties for the film Frozen shooting had to be split into two parts. The first portion began shooting on January 7, 2010 and ended on January 23. The second portion began January 15, 2010 and shooting for Hatchet II wrapped on February 24.
Hatchet II premiered in Europe on August 26, 2010 as part of London's Frightfest. The film was released unrated in 68 theaters across the United States by AMC Theatres as part of their AMC Independent program on October 1, 2010. The film was scheduled to be released in Toronto and Montreal theaters in Canada on the same day, but it was pulled because it was not rated by the cities' provincial rating agencies. The film was also pulled from U.S. theaters on October 4. Hatchet II was released on DVD and Blu-ray February 1, 2011.
Controversy with the MPAA
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Adam Green had already had a problem with the MPAA over the original Hatchet. "With the first Hatchet, I had an epic battle with the ratings board," he says. "They kept giving the movie an NC-17. There is absolutely no way that movie should have gotten an NC-17. All the gore in it is so ridiculous and over-the-top that you can't take it seriously. It was a terrible, terrible loss when Hatchet came out in theaters. None of the fun stuff that people had been reading about for two years was in the movie anymore. But the MPAA is notoriously hard on independent movies. It's a money thing with them. The studios pay the salaries, so they're willing to let things slide for studio movies. One of the examples I use is The Hills Have Eyes remake [which was distributed by Fox Searchlight]. I'm not slamming these movies — I like them. But The Hills Have Eyes got an R-rating, and Victor Crowley chasing somebody with a belt sander got an NC-17. How is that possibly fair? It's a sham. The whole thing is a sham." However, with this sequel, Dark Sky films made a deal with AMC Theatres to organize an unrated release in 68 theatres across the US and Canada. This was the widest release of an unrated horror film since 1978 with Dawn of the Dead. However within hours, the movie started vanishing from various theatres. Within a couple of days, it was gone altogether. Green called foul and claims AMC had given in to the MPAA, who were supposedly pressuring them. One of the reasons to back up his claim was the fact that Hatchet II, the very first film pulled in such a short space of time, happened to be the widest theatrically-released unrated horror film in 25 years, while other films that were performing much worse financially, such as Chain-Letter, were allowed to stay. Green also expressed his concerns that he is now "a marked man", in terms of his relationship with the MPAA. "It's bad," says the director. "I know they're going to be out for blood with me. And the ratings board, I'm sure, is very certain that we're not going to do any business and then they're going to say to everybody, 'You see what happens when you don't play by our rules?'".
When the DVD was released, the R-Rated cut had over 2 minutes of gore removed, including entire death scenes. However, the film was also released unrated.
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Hatchet II has received negative reviews from critics. Based on 33 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an overall 36% approval rating from critics, with the consensus stating "Funnier and more gleefully gory than most slasher sequels, Hatchet II aims for so-bad-it's-good territory, but can't quite hack it." By comparison, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 49, based on 11 reviews. Adam Green has personally said that this entry in the series is his favourite.
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Director Adam Green originally stated that two more sequels would follow and is interested in a 3D sequel. In 2011, Dark Sky gave the green light for Hatchet III. Green declined to helm the sequel himself, but he hand picked the director. Hatchet and Hatchet II cameraman BJ McDonnell takes over for Adam Green on the third film.
Hatchet III will continue the horrific saga of Victor Crowley, known as the Bayou Butcher, and pick up where Hatchet II left off, with Marybeth Dunston seeking revenge against Victor who killed her friends and her father and brother.
On March 22, 2012 he stated on Twitter, a social networking website: "Starts shooting in about a month. Release date to be decided but likely early next year." According to Kane Hodder, who portrays Victor Crowley and his father Thomas Crowley, the redesigned makeup for Victor Crowley looks more "evil and scary" to him.
Around late October to early November 2012, four new photos of the film were released. Derek Mears, who portrayed Jason Voorhees (a role in which Hodder himself is famous for portraying before) in the Friday the 13th (2009), will star as a detective seen in two new photos.
In 2013, two new clips of Hatchet III have leaked onto the internet, along with newly released photos and a trailer. Hatchet III was first shown at Adam Green's fundraiser dedicated to the victims of the 2013 Boston bombings and the film will be released in theaters and Video On Demand on June 14, 2013 and will be released on home media sometime in Summer 2013.
In August 2017, it was announced that a fourth Hatchet film had been secretly filmed and completed and would be released in October as Victor Crowley. Directed by Adam Green, the film takes place ten years after the events of the first three films with Kane Hodder reprising his role as Victor Crowley and Perry Shan reprising his role as Hatchet III survivor Andrew Yong. The film will be shown in select U.S. theaters as part of Dark Sky Films' "Victor Crowley Road Show" event in celebration of the first film's ten-year anniversary as well as international film festivals. A teaser trailer was released the day after the film was announced.
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