Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet (2009)

In the last decade and the current one, a sudden resurgence of movies trying to hearken back to the gory heyday of the slasher movie have come about. Films like "Hatchet", "Midnight Movie", "Laid to Rest" and several others have done their best to bring back the Regan era slasher film, trying to create iconic killers for a new generation of fear fans. Frank Sabatella's 2009 slasher movie "Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet" (previously released independently, now being re-released by Lionsgate) is the latest of these movies, but in the process, forgets a very important aspect to these movies-make them interesting.

The movie opens promisingly, with a young Mary Hatchet (Patricia Raven) butchering her family in gory fashion before being sentenced to a mental hospital. Once she enters the hospital, he are treated to an ugly scene where an older Mary (Samantha Facchi) being raped and impregnated by an orderly, and her miscarriage leading to another slaughter, and her being gunned down. Years later, a group of really obnoxious teens (well, twenty and thirty something year old actors playing teens) celebrate "Blood Night", which commemorates the death of Mary Hatchet. Well, this turns out to be what Will Arnett's Gob character from "Arrested Development" would call "a huge mistake", because Mary comes back, and she's pissed.

There really isn't much good about "Blood Night." The gore is plentiful, but the effects work is hit and miss, with some moments looking great, and others a bit rubbery and fake. The kills are also hit and miss, some of which are great (dig the spine and intestine removing scene) and others the same "decapitations and geysers of blood" we've seen in the past. The direction is pretty bad, with poor camera angles and obnoxiously flashy editing dominating much of the film. The characters are mostly annoying, as are most of the actors. It also doesn't help that a lot-and I mean a lot-of time is spent watching these stupid kids partying and having a good time, to the point that when the killer goes back to work, you'll be lucky to stay awake.

This leads to another problem I have with the movie: Mary Hatchet isn't really all that scary or interesting. Slasher movies of the past, and more recent ones like the aforementioned "Laid to Rest" remembered to give the audience slasher villains that were menacing and imposing, not to mention interesting. Mary Hatchet on the other hand, is just another vengeful specter who kills. She doesn't have any real personality, and apart from the fact that she's naked, there's nothing memorable about her.

I'll give the movie this much: it sure as hell doesn't skimp on the bloodshed, carnage and nudity, Danielle Harris does a good job in her role, and though his character exists only to explain the legend of the title villain, Bill Mosely does a fine job with his limited role (he's probably also glad to not be playing a psychopath for a change.) Plus, this is Sabatella's first movie. Maybe he'll learn from the mistake he makes here the next time.

Sadly, those aren't reasons to recommend this movie, which is just a drab experience to watch. You're better off watching one of the 80's slasher movies that influenced it than the movie itself.

Rating: 3/10

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