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By Emily Booth, Monday 24th March 2014 The Slasher film is arguably the most popular, resistant and reinventive horror genre out there. We just keep on coming back to it, whether it’s to relish in the clichés, stereotypes and cheap thrills that gave birth to the whole ‘Rules of horror’ in the first place, or to explore and play with it in the post modern Slashers as defined by Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer and even the comedy horror franchise Scary Movie.
The reason the Slasher will always work (if done well!) is because it is a formula that taps into very basic core and primal fears. If you want to, you can get deeply psychological with the Slasher film and explore human fears of sex, death, gender, voyeurism - you name it. There are countless books that make ‘academic’ our simple love of watching teens getting hacked and slashed! Carol Clover's Men Women and Chainsaws is a brilliant example of a feminist film theorists take on the genre and I believe she even coined the now de rigueur term Final Girl. I thoroughly recommend a read if you want to dig your claws deep into the slasher film and why it makes for such compelling viewing.
But in a film industry saturated with big breasted blondes, stupid jocks and druggies getting slashed up by a masked killer just where can the Slasher go now? Can we still laugh, jump and grimace in all the right places when we know what’s coming anyway?!
Well strangely yes! The genre is going full circle and while we loved how Saw arguably took the slasher into a new and refreshing direction (for a coupla years at least!) one man decided not to be clever or post modern or rewrite the rules but instead to relish in them and push them even further into levels of gross out bad taste! Enter stage left Adam Green the charismatic and passionate writer/director of the Hatchet series.
To celebrate our brilliant network premiere of Hatchet 2 on Friday 28th March at 10.50pm let me tell you a little bit about this fun ‘popcorn’ Slasher that has so many fans and critics frothing at the mouth with pleasure.
With the tagline “Old School American Horror”, Hatchet splatted onto our screens back in '06 and fans lapped it up! Ain’t It Cool News even cited the Hatchet killer Victor Crowley as the next icon of horror and they were right with two more Hatchet movies on the way. The original movie is set in New Orleans and follows a tourist boat through the ‘haunted’ swamps of Louisianna but when their boat sinks the ‘soon to be victims’ find themselves trapped in the stomping ground of burnt deformed hillbillie psychopath – Victor Crowley. What sets these films apart however is Green’s talent for superbly sharp dialogue, and the kind of outrageous kills that get audiences cheering for more. Hatchet 2 was originally just something Green wanted to make for the fans for fun, but not to go theatrical due to the nightmare problems they had with the MPAA rating with Hatchet 1. So he purposely upped the ante even more! But the movie was so good - even better than the first according to Green, so they went theatrical anyway catapulting the Hatchet movies into international stardom.
Horror icons Tony Todd and Kane Hodder are back for another dose with the final girl now played by horror favourite Danielle Harris. Hatchet 2 takes place immediately after the original ended and is not a mere rehashing of the original but a planned continuation of the story, yet can still be enjoyed on its own merit. This is the movie that reveals a lot more about Victor Crowley's back story – why is he deformed, who was his mother, and why is he back from the dead?! You’ll find all this out in Hatchet 2 whilst also enjoying jaw dropping gore and violence largely due to Green's anger at the MPAA over the rating of the first movie! So in this Green does not merely bash you in the face once, he bashes you repeatedly in the mouth crushing all of your teeth 17 times until your head is one bloody pulp. Enjoy it.
Oh yes the Slasher is back in a big way – you’ll need the mates and the bevys in for this one. Don’t miss the Network Premiere of Hatchet 2 Friday 28th March at 10.50pm only on Horror!
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