Moments after the last Hatchet film ends, Hatchet 2 opens with Marybeth managing to escape from the clutches of Victor Crowley(Kane Hodder). Danielle Harris replaces Tamara Feldman as our heroine whose encounter with Crowley reveals horrible family secrets. She looks for help from Reverend Zombie(Tony Todd) and a group of local hunters to return to the swamp. They prepare to hunt a ghost that no one really believes in. What follows is a blood-soaked, balls out, gory ride through the Louisiana Bayou! Adam Green is completely unfettered by the MPAA in this film and every splatter, tear, and rip comes through without interference and in all its horrid glory.
Green manages to assemble one of the best casts in order to present his story. He pops a number of genre vets in front of the camera for various moments, looking for a cheap giggle before hitting you with a genuine laugh in well timed dialogue. He manages to deliver good gory fun throughout the film. After collecting the group of colorful characters together, Green systematically one ups himself with one violent kill after another as he eliminates the hunters and narrows in on Harris and Todd. There are hatchet deaths, the belt sander returns, the biggest chainsaw ever wielded by man, and the bodies pile up as buckets of blood are liberally splashed around in glee. I don't want to spoil anything, but everytime I thought that Green couldn't possibly top himself the man would virtually rip my jaw out and deliver another gruesome horror bit of candy for my eyes. I had high expectations for this film as the first quite literally knocked my fucking boots off, so there was no way I was going to be forgiving if this thing didn't live up to the hype. Green took my expectations and shattered my goddamn skull with the heel of his boot, laughing sadistically as I cried in a puddle of my own blood and piss.
Tony Todd manages to snatch one of the most interesting characters he has ever played, a voodoo con-man with insidious designs on the swamp of Crowley. Todd goes over the top in his presentation, a spooky drawl and fluttering hand motions dismissed as so much bullshit by the people that know him. But beneath the goofy con beats the heart of a true scumbag who uses peoples low expectations of him to trap them in a truly insidious plan from the very beginning. Tony Todd's haunting voice narrates the twist on Crowley's origin that the first film only began to touch on, a backstory that presents a death bed curse and answers the question regarding Victor's mother. Another surprising performance gives some emotional depth to the role of Crowley's father, also played by Hodder. R.A. Mihailoff (Leatherface) and Tom Holland (Director of Fright Night and Childs Play) join the cast in pivotal roles. Parry Shen also returns, brother to the first films' tour guide.
5 out of 5... and more. More more more! This film finally sated my bloodlust, the first film to do so since Dead Alive! Incredible gore and a special effects team that deserves all the praise they are likely to get. Slasher nastiness pushes the envelope and raises the bar.