Horror Review: Victor Crowley (2018)

Ten years after the events of the original movie, Victor Crowley is mistakenly resurrected and proceeds to kill once more.

I’m a huge fan of the Hatchet franchise, I fell in love with it from my first watch and that love affair has continued ever since.

When I first heard the news that Writer & Director Adam Green had secretly filmed a new “Hatchet” film and had surprised everyone at a screening that was actually advertised as a “Hatchet 10th Anniversary Event” I was absolutely ecstatic, seriously, I literally fist pumped the air when I heard about this feature.

First of all kudos must be paid to everyone who was involved in the making of this film, there was no hint at all about this project being made and it really did take fans by surprise when it was announced. I’d love to have been there when Adam Green first shocked fans with the surprise announcement, I can only imagine the excitement in the room.

The film itself is absolutely fantastic, but in all honesty it only really works if you’re already a “Hatchet” fan and are familiar with Green’s work. It’s highly amusing and plays out like a huge thank you to the fans for all their support and I applaud the film for it because as a viewer it just becomes so damn entertaining to watch.
The practical effects are such a joy to see and I know this may sound strange but it warms your heart to see these great practical effects be a big focus instead of the CGI rubbish and even though Green is a big deal in Horror now it’s great to see he hasn’t lost his touch when it comes to the lower spectrum when it comes to budget.
“Victor Crowley” is a great way to possibly reboot the character and also bring back interest into the franchise, it’s also great fun for people who are already fans of the franchise. Just sit back and enjoy it for what it is, an unforgiving mid budget Slasher.
If you want to see the “Victor Crowley” trailer then just click on the video below:
Miscellaneous facts about the film:
This movie was unveiled as a complete surprise to a sold out theater of fans on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, at the Arclight Cinema in Hollywood, California. Billed as a “Hatchet 10th Anniversary Event”, the audience was shocked, and gave their first boisterous standing ovation of the night when Adam Green announced that they were really about to see a brand new Hatchet film that had been made in secret over the last two years. Green had done a similar surprise unveiling with his film, Digging Up the Marrow (2014), which was rumored to be “an art documentary” until first playing as a surprise during Harry Knowles’ annual Buttnumbathon festival in Austin, Texas, in December 2013. While some early reviews of this movie referenced Blair Witch (2016), (originally titled The Woods) as having done a surprise unveiling first, Green had done the stunt first with Digging Up the Marrow (2014) two years earlier.

During his heartfelt introductions at the Los Angeles and London premieres for this movie, Adam Green cited how his hero Wes Craven’s death had effected him so strongly, that it brought him back to his own franchise again, and made him realize that the Hatchet franchise is one of his own biggest contributions to the genre. While Craven’s death put the notion of returning to Hatchet in Green’s mind, it was another of his heroes, George A. Romero, specifically telling him to make more Hatchet films for the fans, that solidified his decision to make a fourth film in the franchise. Romero passed away just thirty-seven days before the surprise unveiling of this movie on August 22, 2017, and Green stated that this movie would not exist if not for Romero’s pep talk assuring him that what he did as a filmmaker mattered, and was needed for the genre. At the London premiere on August 26, 2017, a photo of the moment when Romero had told Green to make another Hatchet film was put up on the screen behind Green. An emotional Green pointed to the sky and dedicated the film to Wes Craven and George A. Romero, who inspired him to ever try and make horror films in the first place. The film itself has a dedication to both filmmakers in the end credits.

This movie received a standing ovation from the audience in London after its European premiere on August 26, 2017 at Frightfest UK. It was only the second time a film had received a standing ovation in the festival’s eighteen-year history. The only other standing ovation had been for filmmaker George A. Romero.
With each film he directs, Adam Green always takes his entire cast out to the movies together right before principal photography begins. The tradition serves as a way to get each film’s cast focused on the journey, on which they are about to embark together. The film they go to see is irrelevant, and most times not even within the same genre as the film they will be making together. The purpose of “cast movie night” is solely to have everyone sit silently in a movie theater together, and to be reminded of their collective love of cinema, and why they each do what it is they do for a career. For this film, Green took the cast to see Don’t Breathe (2016) together.
A huge fan of Impractical Jokers (2011), Adam Green was so delighted to learn that Brian Quinn was a Hatchet fan, that he specifically wrote the role of “Austin” for Quinn to play.
The song that plays during the end credits is “Hatchet (The Ballad of Victor Crowley)” by the band “Ignitor”, and has a special relevance. Adam Green’s favorite Wes Craven film is Shocker (1989), and his favorite song on the Shocker soundtrack is “Demon Bell (The Ballad of Horace Pinker)” by Dangerous Toys. Singer and songwriter Jason McMaster (Dangerous Toys and Ignitor) wrote the song as a gift for Green, who is a lifelong Dangerous Toys fan. Dangerous Toys was the first band Green saw perform live, and shortly after Wes Craven passed away, Green had flown to San Antonio to see the band perform at a reunion show, in an effort to escape his grief. McMaster noticed Green in the crowd, and the two began discussing how they are fans of each other’s work, Wes Craven’s recent death, and the enormous impact that Shocker (1989) and Dangerous Toys had made on Green during his youth. With Craven’s death playing such a pivotal role in Green returning to his Hatchet franchise, McMaster wrote and contributed a Shocker-style theme song for this movie.
To keep the title and details under wraps, the film was called “Arwen’s Fancy Dinner” during the year-long writing and pre-production process. The fake title was then changed to “Arwen’s Revenge” during principal photography, simply because a shorter title was easier to fit on the camera slate. Arwen is the name of Writer and Director Adam Green’s dog, and the mascot of Green’s weekly podcast “The Movie Crypt”. On the rare occasion when Arwen is being finicky about eating her dinner, Green takes her food out of her usual bowl and puts it on a nice dinner plate instead. This trick always works to get Arwen to finish her food. For several years now, the artists who regularly work at the ArieScope studio, have joked that Arwen is having a “fancy dinner” when they see the dinner plate out in place of Arwen’s usual “E.T.” or “Star Wars” dog dishes.
Fake scenes and sides were created for the auditioning actors and actresses to perform during the casting process. The fake scenes and sides involved characters that were trapped inside a haunted bakery called “Englisby Bakery”. Englisby is the birth surname of Adam Green’s co-star on Holliston (2012), Corri English. The actors and actresses who were ultimately cast in this film, did not know anything about the actual film, for which they were auditioning, until Green personally called each of them to offer them their roles, and tell them the real details.
This movie marks Parry Shen’s fourth time in a Hatchet film, and a continuation of “Andrew”, the character he played in Hatchet III (2013). Shen played the roles of brothers “Sean” in Hatchet (2006), and “Justin” in Hatchet II (2010), before returning as an unrelated character named “Andrew” in Hatchet III (2013). Adam Green has referred to Shen as the “true final girl” of his slasher series, and has often cited him as his “secret weapon” in making the movies, due to his incredible professionalism and work ethic, that inspires everyone on-set around him. During the Q&A after the Hollywood premiere, Kane Hodder (Victor Crowley) joked that he just can’t seem to kill Parry Shen for good, in any of the Hatchet films, no matter how hard he tries.
The moments where Kristina flashes her breasts and Linus exposes his genitals to Andrew during the bookstore signing were altered for all digital/streaming versions of the film and the shots were re-framed to not show the nudity. Director Adam Green has expressed severe disappointment over this decision as the full frontal male nudity was done as a commentary about the slasher sub genre’s trope of always having gratuitous female nudity. The theatrical cut of the film and all physical media (Blu-Ray and DVD) have the bookstore scene intact and play out as the filmmaker intended.
During their heated argument inside the airplane, Sabrina (Crystal Joy Brown) makes fun of her ex-husband Andrew’s (Parry Shen’s) band, called “Haddonfield”. Haddonfield is Adam Green’s band, that he formed in 1998.
In this movie, “Andrew” is promoting his autobiography, “I, Survivor”, which he says was co-written with a ghost writer named “Joe Knetter”. Joe Knetter is one of Adam Green’s friends, and the author of several outlandish horror novels and short story collections. In real-life, Green and Joe Knetter wrote “I, Survivor”, and will be releasing the book in conjunction with this movie’s eventual DVD and Blu-ray release, so that fans can read “Andrew’s” autobiography, of which is seen and spoken, in the film.
In the film, Chloe (Katie Booth), Alex (Chase Williamson), and Rose (Laura Ortiz) are in New Orleans to film a mock trailer, that they hope will help raise the financing they need to make a horror film about Victor Crowley. That is what franchise producers Adam Green, Sarah Elbert, and Will Barratt did back in 2004, to help raise the financing they needed to make Hatchet (2006).
This movie marks the fourth time that Kane Hodder played Victor Crowley. He is also famous for playing Jason Voorhees four times in the “Friday the 13th/Jason” film franchise.
This movie is not only the first Hatchet film to not have Director of Photography Will Barratt as its Cinematographer, it is also the first project that Adam Green has ever done in his career without Barratt as his Director of Photography. The two started ArieScope Pictures together in 1998, and have made over three hundred commercials, one hundred short films and web series, nine feature films, two seasons of a sitcom, and many more projects together over the past twenty years. When last minute scheduling conflicts left Barratt unable to shoot this movie, Green immediately tapped Director of Photography Jan-Michael Losada to serve as Cinematographer. Though Barratt still remained on as a producer of the film, there is a “MISSING” poster seen outside of the swamp tour hut with Barratt’s face on it.
The pilots are played by director Adam Green and his real life best friend, Holliston co-star, Movie Crypt podcast co-host, and fellow director Joe Lynch.
Adam Green wrote the role of “Rose” specifically for his Holliston (2012) co-star, and real-life best friend, Laura Ortiz. Though Green has called Ortiz his muse and favorite comedic actress, for whom to write in Holliston (2012), in this movie, she played against type. She portrayed an extremely tough and fearless character as “Rose”, as opposed to the cute, wise cracking “Laura”, for whom she is known, in Holliston (2012). “Rose” appeared briefly in Hatchet II (2010) as an underage fourteen-year old girl that pornographer Shapiro (Joel Murray) was unsuccessfully trying to get to lift up her shirt for his video camera.
The film received two standing ovations at its world premiere on August 22, 2017 in Hollywood, California. The first came during Adam Green’s introduction, when he announced that the audience was really about to see a new Hatchet film that had been made in secret over the past two years. The second came at the end of the film.
In the hidden scene in the film’s end credits, it is shown that the airplane is KWAJ airlines flight 331. The word “Kwaj” is seen or spoken in every film that Adam Green does with Kane Hodder, who grew up on the island of Kwajalein, and Green’s birthday is on March 31, thus “KWAJ flight 331”.
It is actually Kane Hodder’s voice that answers Dillon when he is calling for help from the cockpit. As Dillon continues to try different frequencies seeking emergency assistance.
Victor Crowley’s voice for all of the Hatchet films is primarily a blend of actor Kane Hodder and director Adam Green’s voices mixed together and pitched down. Animal sounds including sea lions, bears, and lions are also mixed in to create Victor’s voice at times. When Victor Crowley’s signature “Daddy” cry was created for the first film, Adam Green added the voice of Kane’s son Jace (who was still a very young child at the time) into the mix. This made the iconic character’s ghostly voice extra chilling as if you listen closely in all of the Hatchet films you can hear an innocent child’s voice echoing in all of Victor’s off-screen mournful cries for his father.
The moment where the co-pilot keeps making loudspeaker announcements that drone on and on before take-off was an ad-lib by director/actor Adam Green. The cast was unaware that Green was going to start making cabin announcements from behind the camera but played along with his joke during the take.
The movie was shot in mostly chronological order, according to the audio commentary.
When Rose (Laura Ortiz) looks through her make-up kit in the hotel room, a “Holliston” sweatshirt is seen on the ground next to it. This is a reference to Holliston (2012), the television sitcom, in which Ortiz and Adam Green appeared.
Austin (Brian Quinn) and Casey (Tiffany Shepis) are named after Adam Green’s assistants, Austin Bosley and Casey Hempel, who worked on the film.
The little girl’s voice explaining the legend of Victor Crowley in the opening of the film is actually actress Felissa Rose’s daughter Lola.

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