“It’s not a remake. It’s not a sequel. And it’s not based on a Japanese one,” claimed the original poster for Adam Green’s 2006 horror comedy Hatchet. The movie revived the fun and gore of the best 1980s slasher films brilliantly and spawned two wildly bloody sequels. Hatchet III dropped in 2013 and since then everything in Honey Island Swamp has been quiet.
Green has created and starred in the hilarious horror TV series Holliston with Joe Lynch, Laura Ortiz, and Cori English, and directed Frozen and Digging Up The Marrow, among other things. It was announced last year that at Frightfest Film Festival 2017, Green would be screening a special tenth anniversary edition of the original Hatchet with additional footage. What attendees actually got was Victor Crowley, a shot-in-secret sequel that brought back the title villain with the legendary Kane Hodder reprising the role for the fourth time. The fact that Green and company were able to keep the film a secret in this day and age is a miracle.
The film takes place ten years later with sole survivor Andrew Yong (Parry Shen) on a book-signing tour, recounting his experiences a decade earlier with the Bayou Butcher, who many believe is Yong himself after he wrongly escaped conviction. I won’t give away anymore of the film, except to say, he winds up back in the swamp. The film stars Shen (Hatchet I-III), Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp), Laura Ortiz (Holliston, The Hills Have Eyes ’06), Dave Sheridan (The Devil’s Rejects), Krystal Joy Brown (Law and Order; SVU), David Quinn (Impractical Jokers), Chase Williamson (John Dies At The End), Katie Booth (Tell Me How I Die), and Tiffany Shepis (Tromeo and Juliet), as well as Hodder (Friday the 13th 7-X).
Victor Crowley isn’t a huge film, but it’s hilarious, gory, and shows what a talented director Green is and how he’s able to really shine with a small budget and a limited space in which to work. The special effects are practical, the soundtrack by Jason Akers and Sam Ewing is great, there’s some cool lighting that calls to mind Dario Argento. On the whole, the movie is legitimately funny. My only criticism is that it drags a bit in getting to the swamp, but it’s still worth it.
Considering how few slashers we get these days, Victor Crowley is a real gift to fans of the genre. It’s now available on Blu-ray, digital, and VOD from Dark Sky Films.