Main cast: Danielle Harris (Marybeth Dunston), Caroline Williams (Amanda Fowler), Zach Galligan (Sheriff Fowler), Robert Diago DoQui (Deputy Winslow), Derek Mears (Hawes), Cody Blue Snider (Schneiderman), Rileah Vanderbilt (Dougherty), Parry Shen (Andrew), and Kane Hodder (Victor Crowley)
Director: BJ McDonnell
Hatchet III wins me over when, upon hearing Marybeth Dunston’s tale of the events in Hatchet II, Sheriff Fowler dismisses the whole thing as idiotic. After all, as he puts it, who is so stupid as to go back to that swamp after having endured what Marybeth went through? The script of this movie can be quite meta in that it plays along with most people’s perception that the previous movie is a putrid pile of crap and offers itself as an apology.
Marybeth has shot off Victor Crowley’s head after he fell onto a chainsaw at the end of the previous movie, or so she believes. When the movie opens, she walks in to the police station to inform the man of the massacre that took place in the swamp over the course of the last two movies. The Sheriff understandably assumes that the blood-drenched Marybeth is up to no good and locks her up while the Sheriff sends some men to the swamp to investigate. When they report the gruesomely dismembered bodies strewn all over the place, he heads out himself while leaving Deputy Winslow in charge in his absence.
Also in the scene is Amanda, Sheriff Fowler’s ex-wife. The journalist has been a laughingstock ever since she published a book which insists that Victor Crowley is real, she overhears the massacre over the police radio and deduces that Victor Crowley is back and, therefore, this is her opportunity to prove herself right to the people that ridicule her. She shows up to pester Marybeth to explain what happened in the swamp.
Over at the swamp. Andrew – who looks a lot like the Asian guys in the previous two movies, imagine that! – retrieves a body that he believes to be Victor Crowley to the coroner. Imagine his horror when the body comes back to life and starts killing everyone. Hearing the victims’ terrified cries over the Deputy’s radio, Amanda correctly guesses that Victor isn’t dead yet. She believes she knows how to put Victor to rest permanently, and she ends up getting Deputy Winslow to drive both her and Marybeth as they seek out the means to end Victor’s reign of terror. Meanwhile, the Sheriff, Andrew, and the gang are in a desperate standoff – can Amanda, Marybeth, and Deputy Winslow make it back there in time to save anyone?
Hatchet III replicates the same brand of gore that was present previously – Victor can rip apart people like they are made from tofu, and some of these scenes are laughable due to some cheesy and awful CGI. Still, there is plenty of self-knowing humor that often pokes fun at itself, often well deservedly so, and the cast this time around isn’t too bad at all. However, Caroline Williams can really ham it up to an embarrassing degree, so watch out in case she makes you feel like passing gas.
Like the first movie, there is some charm to the whole stupidity going on here. It’s a pretty decent way to pass the time, as long as it’s brainless over the top humor and gore you’re after.