Has anyone experienced the birth of a horror icon via a film festival?
Adam Green has stated that the legend of Hatchet started at FrightFest a decade ago.
Other favourite horror legends like Michael, Jason, Leatherface and Freddy were nurtured and grown through word-of-mouth and limited independent release during their early years, but Victor Crowley, immortalised by the legendary Kane Hodder (who featured in the documentary To Hell And Back and an on-stage interview during this year’s event) got its first proper horror audience during an earlier festival.
Essentially a reaction to a lot of the ‘PG-13’ horror films like The Fog and When A Stranger Calls remakes by Green, Crowley was a freakish, uncompromising swamp assassin who terrorised the likes of Danielle Harris and Caroline Williams in the sequels, but delighted horror fans with some excellent kills that would have done the likes of the Voorhees family proud.
Announced as a 10th Anniversary Special Event in the programme ahead of screening, it wasn’t until we were in the midst of the weekend that we found out that it wasn’t a brand-new Director’s Cut of Hatchet, but a fourth film, titled Victor Crowley. Green did well to keep it under wraps and it certainly was a great moment to see. Even more touching was his pre-screening chat about how George A. Romero had pointed out the appreciation of the fans at a recent event before his sad passing this year and how important it was to continue to bring the character out.
Victor Crowley tells of one of the survivors, who has now become a best selling author, who is talked into going back to the site of his ordeal by a couple of aspiring filmmakers who want to shoot a trailer for a proposed horror film based on the book. Along with his PR, they charter a plane which then crashes into the area, where Crowley awaits to do his business….
You can guess how south this is going to go and Victor Crowley will not disappoint if you enjoy all those Halloween and Friday The 13th sequels in the same spirit as this film. Hatchet films and FrightFest are bound at the hip (or is that gut?) and Kane Hodder makes a welcome return as our villain, out to cause as much damage to his victims as possible.
Robert Pendergraft’s make-up effects are excellently done and the plane crash simulation is too (Green stated in a post screening Q and A that he wanted to see the plane crash from an interior point of view and it is up there with the likes of United 93 and Final Destination in terms of energy and effect).
Whilst some studios try and get some more mileage out of the classic horror icons, Crowley is a welcome original and we certainly will look forward to Hatchet 5 with bated breath.
VICTOR CROWLEY / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: ADAM GREEN / STARRING: KANE HODDER, DAVE SHERIDAN, BRIAN QUINN / RELEASE DATE: UK RELEASE TBA