Review: Hatchet III


One review of Hatcher III laments the fact that so many people die. The critic contends that allowing for more survivors would have been more satisfying. It’s difficult to see what difference that would really make in a movie featuring a massive, deformed, and seemingly indestructible backwoods killer grabs someone’s head, pulls, and viciously separates it from the rest of their body as the blood spurts every which way. It is hardly a spoiler to note that there is a ludicrously high body count here. Fans of Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder) expect nothing less.

Picking up right where Hatchet II left off, the third entry kicks off with Marybeth (Danielle Harris) blasting a shotgun into Victor’s face only to discover that he still isn’t dead. After a brief struggle he falls on the world’s biggest chainsaw, which proceeds to slice his body in half. This is less than 10 minutes in, so you know you haven’t seen the last of Crowley. 

Believing that she has killed the monster, Marybeth stumbles into what had been a quiet police station. Seeing that she is covered in blood, the authorities lock her up. They don’t believe her story about killing Victor Crowley, but they head to where she claims a massacre took place to see for themselves. Of course the unlucky officers find body parts everywhere and team up with local paramedics in an attempt to recover as many bodies as they can. One of the bodies, considerably larger than the rest, turns out to be Crowley’s.

As the recovery and cleanup is going on, Marybeth is chatting with an eager journalist, Amanda (Caroline Williams). It seems that Amanda’s career was ruined after she wrote about Crowley. Looking to clear her good name and restore her career, she convinces Marybeth to tell her what happened out in the swamp, already certain that Crowley is responsible for whatever transpired. Amanda also happens to know that Crowley will keep coming back until Marybeth delivers his father to him.

You can guess what happens next. This isn’t rocket science. Crowley, very much alive, goes on a rampage and dispatches everyone he encounters in. Sheriff Fowler (Zach Galligan), SWAT Leader Hawes (Derek Mears), and a large group of law enforcement officials attempt to stop him, but they barely slow him down. It’s up to Marybeth to end the madman’s reign of terror once and for all.

For about 77 minutes sans credits, countless people are dispatched in insanely gruesome ways. Some have their limbs torn off. Some Crowley rips in half. One unfortunate soul has their spine and skull removed after Victor punches a hole in their chest and digs around a little. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, and the story is all but meaningless. Hatchet III exists to showcase creative and over-the-top deaths, and on that front it delivers and then some. It is goofy, gory, occasionally intentionally funny, and a lot of fun, if severed limps and copious amounts of blood spray are your thing.

Hatchet III is now playing in select theaters and available on Premium VOD. 

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