Director: Adam Green
Cast: Parry Shen, Kane Hodder, Laura Ortiz
Release Date: February 6, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 9/10
In 2007, over forty people were brutally torn to pieces in Louisiana’s Honey Island Swamp. Over the past decade, lone survivor Andrew Yong’s claims that local legend Victor Crowley was responsible for the horrific massacre have been met with great controversy, but when a twist of fate puts him back at the scene of the tragedy, Crowley is mistakenly resurrected and Yong must face the bloodthirsty ghost from his past.
Filmmaker Adam Green (Hatchet, Frozen) welcomes you back to the bayou for another blood-soaked encounter with the legendary vengeful ghost that refuses to stay dead. The fourth installment in the ‘Hatchet’ franchise; ‘Victor Crowley’ picks up a decade after the events of the original films and joins sole-survivor Andrew (Shen) who has spent the last ten years cashing in on the gory massacre. Unable to resist the massive payday promised, Andrew hesitantly returns to the swamp for a new press opportunity only to be stranded there without aid following an unexpected plane crash. But the true terror begins when the terrifying Victor Crowley (Hodder) is accidently resurrected and begins eliminating the crash survivors and the young filmmakers intent on making a film based on the massacre one by one, and in the most gruesome ways possible. Now Andrew and his unlucky companions will have to try and fight back against the seemingly invincible Crowley if they hope to stand any chance of surviving the night.
Written and directed by talented filmmaker (and one of my personal favorites) Adam Green (Frozen (not that one), Hatchet, Spiral) who returns to the helm for the third time in the franchise (and additionally wrote all four installments) and he does as magnificent a job as ever at the helm of ‘Victor Crowley’ smoothly guiding this tremendously welcome new entry in the Hatchet franchise along its hilarious and blood-drenched course. The film also owes its share of credit to the perfectly selected cast which features many familiar faces and includes Parry Shen (Hatchet 1-3), Kane Hodder (Hatchet 1-3), Laura Ortiz (TV’s Holliston), Dave Sheridan (The Devil’s Rejects), Krystal Joy Brown (TV’s Castle), Brian Quinn (TV’s Impractical Jokers), Chase Williamson (John Dies At The End), Katie Booth (Tell Me How I Die), Tiffany Shepis (Home Sick), Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp) and more, nearly all delivering highly capable performances in each of their respective roles and contributing to the constant fun the film delivers.
‘Victor Crowley’ serves up another blood drenched great time with more laughs than ever before and some of the wildest kills to date. A tremendously worthy addition to the ‘Hatchet’ franchise, it manages to truly find that perfect horror comedy formula. While all of the ‘Hatchet’ films are horror comedies in their own right, ‘Victor Crowley’ is the first entry so thoroughly laced with jokes, solid laughs and other fun elements that it really feels like its own film in many ways and helps to avoid things ever becoming even slightly stale, as does the largely claustrophobic aura with so many folks trapped within a plane for much of the film, something drastically different from the far more open terror of the previous three films and it works remarkably well (and rest assured many characters get a chance to run screaming through the woods as well). It’s a ridiculously enjoyable ride and quite possibly the finest installment in the ‘Hatchet’ series yet, filled with plenty of little inside jokes, lines and brief references to the previous installments sprinkled throughout that you other hardcore fans of the series will surely appreciate (“Eww! Scott Barnes called me?”). Filmmaker Adam Green returns the director’s chair for the latest installment and does a wonderful job guiding his own script along and his talents are only further complimented by a wonderful cast featuring a couple returning individuals combined with plenty of new, yet familiar faces. I can’t possibly urge fellow fans of Adam Green’s work and of his beloved ‘Hatchet’ franchise in particular strongly enough to make a point of checking out ‘Victor Crowley’ when you have the opportunity. Anyone who enjoyed the previous three ‘Hatchet’ films even half as much as me will surely want to make a definite point of renting or buying a copy of ‘Victor Crowley’ at some point in the foreseeable future. It certainly won’t be for everyone, but for the fellow hardcore fans it’s an absolute must see.
Overall, ‘Victor Crowley’ is a nonstop good time and nothing short of a horror comedy gem in its own right, as well as quite likely the finest entry yet in the ‘Hatchet’ series. Delivering more fun, humor and over the top practical gore effects than you ever could have hoped for, it’s a true treat for the fans who never expected to return to Crowley’s swamp along with Green, but boy am I glad we were granted to opportunity to do so and this surprise fourth entry does not disappoint. ‘Victor Crowley’ easily earns one of my highest recommendations, particularly for fellow genre fans as well as diehard fans of Adam Green’s work in general or his ‘Hatchet’ franchise in particular, you definitely won’t want to even contemplate missing out on this magnificent and insanely fun new installment in the franchise. It should have no trouble proving more than worthy of your time and the cost of a rental at the absolute least, and fellow fans who already own the first three on Blu-ray should have no regrets whatsoever in dropping the funds on a blind purchase.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Victor Crowley’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic as a whole and offers a sharp, detailed and vibrantly colored presentation with no noticeable faults to be uncovered throughout. It holds up beautifully even during the numerous darkly lit and fast moving sequences, never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a top notch high definition video presentation that looks consistently fantastic and should easily please the fans.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack delivers a crisp, clean and often quite aggressive audio presentation throughout. It frequently takes advantage of all five available channels in order to send crash effects, nature elements, music and plenty more throughout the various speakers and never resulting in any dialogue or other audio elements that may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a wonderful 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that sounds great from start to finish and contributes some additional fun to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Victor Crowley’ includes some noteworthy extras that fellow fans of the franchise should definitely appreciate. Included on the release are ‘2 Audio Commentary’ tracks; the first a ‘Cast Commentary with Writer/Director Adam Green and Actors Parry Shen, Laura Ortiz and Dave Sheridan’, and the second a ‘Technical Commentary with Writer/Director Adam Green, Cinematographer Jan-Michael Losada, Editor Matt Latham, and Make-Up FX Artist Robert Pendergraft’. We are also treated to ‘Raising the Dead… Again: An Interview with Adam Green’ (running approximately 27 minutes in length), in addition to an in-depth behind the scenes documentary ‘Victor Crowley: Fly on the Set’ (running approximately 69 minutes) which explores the lengthy process of bringing the film to life, and concludes with Green’s heartfelt introduction at the surprise premiere in August of 2017. The ‘Trailer’ (approximately 2 minutes) and ‘Teaser’ (approximately 1 minute) for the movie are also included.