{2jtab: Movie Review}

Hatchet III - Blu-ray Review


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4 stars

The no CGI mandate continues as Adam Green’s uber-bloody Hatchet series comes up with its third and freshest entry.  Directed by BJ McDonnell, Hatchet 3 begins precisely where the second one ended – with actress Danielle Harris butchering the main antagonist Victor Crowley – and includes cameos from Zach Galligan (Gremlins), Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2), and Sid Haig (Spider Baby, Creature).

The bloody fun continues and so does the search Victor Crowley (once again played by Kane Hodder) began in the original Hatchet.  Old school to the bone, Hatchet 3 deals with what happens when a blood-soaked Marybeth (Harris) wanders out of the Louisiana swamp and into a police station.  Claiming to have killed Crowley, Marybeth is properly hosed down, interrogated, and held in a jail cell while the police investigate her claims.

And then they find Crowley to be very much alive.  Whoops.

Not even the firepower of a well-armed SWAT team lead by Derek Mears can stop him.  Private matters need settling as Crowley dismembers team after team of law enforcement, ultimately, coming face to face with Harris again.  She’s got his father’s ashes and, with a sympathetic understanding of the ghost, wishes to reunite the two … by any means necessary.

Written and produced by series creator Green, Hatchet 3 feels like it’s the end of the line for the monster and these characters and, while I’ve enjoyed the ride, it feels – in spite of an interesting ending – correct to end it here. To go any further with this character feels completely unnecessary.  The producers would run the risk of, ehem, overkill.

Doubling the body count of the original and its sequel combined, Hatchet 3 gets many things right as it plays for the B-movie Slasher crowd.  The combat scenes are insane and well-choreographed for high-flying action.  The guns – including automatic weapons and (because rural police offers should have one) a rocket launcher – are heavy and serve the film well with 1980’s action-inspired destruction in mind.

All the actors know the type of gore-ific movie they are in and act accordingly.   Parry Shen returns for a third round and even stops the dramatically reflect when another character mentions how much he looks like a previous victim of the Crowley’s.

Quirky, over-the-top, funny, and filled with so much practical gore that it hurts the eyes and the sides, the Hatchet series quite possibly has saved the best slice for last.

{2jtab: Film Details}

Hatchet III - Blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: R for pervasive strong bloody horror violence, and for language.
Runtime: 81 mins.
: BJ McDonnell
Writer: Adam Green
Cast: Danielle Harris, Kane Hodder, Zach Galligan
: Horror
Hatchet III
Memorable Movie Quote: "I should have gone on the swamp tour."
Dark Sky Films
Official Site:
Release Date:
June 14, 2013
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 13, 2013

Synopsis: A search and recovery team heads into the haunted swamp to pick up the pieces and Marybeth learns the secret to ending the voodoo curse that has left Victor Crowley haunting and terrorizing Honey Island Swamp for decades.

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

Hatchet III - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

5 Stars

Blu-ray Experience
4.5 stars


Blu-ray Details:

Unrated Director's Cut Blu-ray

Available on Blu-ray - August 13, 2013
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
: English SDH, Spanish
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

Dark Sky & MPI’s 1080p MPEG-4 AVC encode isn’t a stunner by any means but it is suitable for the needs of the movie because it is a stylistic choice.  Shot digitally, the film has been processed to be grainy and worn like an old flick from the 1970s.  Black levels are solid and flesh tones are warm.  Everything is sharp, smooth and the bayou is very detailed.  There are no aliasing, banding, or compression issues noticed.  The Blu-ray release features an uncompressed 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack and the lossless multichannel soundtrack is wonderfully engaged.  Hatchets slice the air.  Bullets whiz by.  And everything travels nicely from channel to channel.



  • You get two wonderfully engaged commentary tracks.  There’s a crew track featuring writer/producer Adam Green, director BJ McDonnell, and a second cast track featuring Adam Green & BJ McDonnell as well as Kane Hodder.  Good stuff.

Special Features:

The supplemental material will certainly please fans. There are three featurettes. One covers the work of Kane returning as Crowley. Another covers shooting in, on, and around the swamp. The last one is a behind the scenes look at the filming process. A teaser and a trailer round out the collection of bonus material.

  • Hatchet III: Behind the Scenes (9 min)
  • Raising Kane (5 min)
  • Swamp Fun (9 min)
  • Trailer
  • Teaser

{2jtab: Trailer}