28 September 2013

September 28th

Hatchet III (2013) directed by BJ McDonnell
Just as you would expect and just what I want from a Hatchet movie.  Picking up exactly where part 2 left off, the film starts with a bang and has Victor Crowley still trying to kill Danielle Harris' Marybeth (even with a shotgun-destroyed head).

Over-the-top gore and playing with slasher tropes, that's the fun of these things.  I love how Parry Shen survives (maybe?) for once -- he's played a different character in all three movies -- by studiously not breaking any of the slasher rules.  Reaching for a weapon during a lull in Crowley's attack?  No way.  Constantly hiding like a wimp, not trying to run or fight?  Yes, absolutely.  I like that they've finally come up with a slasher-silly way of killing Crowley for good.  The best idea anyone has is to give him his father's ashes.  This will put his spirit to rest, or some such.  As a horror geek, I was tickled to see a Jason vs Jason fight, with classic Jason Kane Hodder offing remake Jason Derek Mears.  Nice also to see horror vets Zach Galligan, Caroline Williams, and Sean Whalen, too.  Stunt casting is fun in movies like this.  I appreciate the fact that they actually shot in the swamps of Louisiana this time.  The movie looks far better this time out compared to the crap sound stage swamps in the previous two entries.

I haven't laughed quite so much during a recent horror movie as I did during Sid Haig's surprise guest appearance.  He plays Crowley's crazy redneck cousin who own's Crowley's dad's ashes.  He's also incredibly racist, but in that goofy way old people who still use the word "colored" tend to be. When Deputy Winslow -- who's black -- stops by to grab the ashes, hilarity ensues.

Watched: blu-ray from Dark Sky.

Videodrome (1983) directed by David Cronenberg
One of the all-time unreliable narrator classics.  I was pretty sleepy when I popped this in and I can't think of better way to re-experience the film.  In that state, Max Renn's hallucinations become dreams.  The HD images on my screen truly become "the retina of the mind's eye," influencing my thoughts as I slip in and out of a dreamstate.  Fun.  So far, I've had no hallucinations afterwards, but we'll see how it goes.  My abdomen is itching a little...

A year ago, there were rumors of a Videodrome remake being planned, to be directed by Adam Berg.  His short Carousel is pretty cool.  There was the predictable gnashing of teeth over the news, but I think, for once, this remake make sense.  Videodrome should be something that is continually refreshed as technology changes.  Obviously, the Internet will replace TV in a new version.  A smart director could explore just how the New Flesh is different in the Internet age.  Brian O'Blivion's taped monologues would be replaced by YouTube videos, complete with the chaos and idiocy of the comments that go with them.  The Videodrome signal could leak out of the smartphones many carry with them everywhere they go.  Zynga apps on Facebook would cause tumors.  The possibilities are vast.  Not that I have much faith in Universal funding anything as remotely subversive as the original, but there's always a chance something good will sneak out of the studio system.

Watched: blu-ray from Criterion.


  1. I have mixed feelings about the "Hatchet" series. On one hand, I think the constant throwbacks to '80s slashers are, at the very least, diminishing for the genre. All three of the films are fairly cheap looking and are clearly, mostly in it for the gore. In a lot of ways, I think the first one is the only one that feels like a "real" movie. On the same hand, I do enjoy the creative kills, even if they sometimes get a little too ridiculous. The mythology behind Victor Crowley, unlike a lot of horror villains, actually seems to be thought out, as opposed to made up as they went along. The series is consistent too, with all of them on about the same level. I'm glad Adam Green is doing other things though, as the guy is clearly capable of more then just gory slashery.

    As for "Videodrome..." Is there a more nauseating horror movie death scene then when Convex is torn apart by giant, growing tumors? Probably, but that one's always ranked highly for me. It always stymies me when people say "Videodrome" is sci-fi and not a horror film. I've never seen a sci-fi film where a head is split in two by tumors growing out of it.

  2. Heh, I think the slasher boom of the '80s diminished the subgenre from the get-go. Slashers have always been a red-headed stepchild, even within horror. While we enjoy them, we acknowledge that they are mostly mindless fun, and tend to point to other films ("Watch Videodrome, seriously!") when selling the genre to non-fans.