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Victor Crowley (Blu-ray Review)

As we are in the wake and “awe” of the surprise Super Bowl-Netflix-The Cloverfield Paradox-Watch It After The Game event, there are probably a lot of people that don’t realize something even sneakier and more surprising occurred last year. Adam Green was hosting a would be 10th anniversary screening of his popular gory slasher love letter Hatchet, only to start it and shock everyone with the fourth film in the series, Victor Crowley. Nobody even knew this movie was being made. It was a completely shock and surprise. See, we all knew this third Cloverfield movie was coming, we just had the rug pulled out from under us in terms of how and when it was being released. Victor Crowley pulled a Phantasm: RaVager and managed to be one hell of a good kept secret. The film had itself a roadshow tour to screen it, but now you’ll be able to own it and check it out on various mediums February 6th.

Film 

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.

Adam Green returns to the film and franchise that landed him on many a horror fan’s map with the fourth film in the Hatchet series.  Green sat out directing 2013’s third entry (Though he wrote, executive produced and cameo’d in it), but doesn’t look to have missed a beat here at all. The gore, the humor, the sets, characters…everything you know and love having a Hatchet film deliver, is here in some of its finest forms.

While, yes, when you break it down, Victor Crowley is another gory trip to the Bayou with Victor Crowley. However, this one carries a much different setup to how Crowley is going to torment all his victims. Whether it was a budgetary thing to keep the cost low and the filming swifter or it was the idea all along, it works and helps this Hatchet film to stand out among the others. I rather enjoyed Crowley tormenting a bunch of people trapped inside a crashed airplane. There’s a fun angle here for a slasher hound, where you are hoping the victims can keep from and escape Crowley, yet the gore fan in you can’t wait to see what happens when busts in.

Speaking of said victims, this is quite an enjoyable body count population we have here. Unlike the previous two films, this one heads back to the territory in the first one with a smaller cast, allowing us to enjoy and get to know our victims. And this is a fun bunch. The movie aims to go for a lot of laughs, as its more patient and doesn’t just rapidly murder. Finding humor in these characters and laughing at/with them adds a layer of sympathy that leads to some suspense and despair when some of them are chased and hacked away. Green also throws in a bit with his own cameo as a pilot that had me laughing pretty good.

These films normally bring back some sort of iconic horror performer to fill out a role or two in the Hatchets. This time its Felissa Rose (“Angela” from Sleepaway Camp). Normally its just fun to see these favorites on screen and that’s it, but Rose crushes her part as Andrew’s agent/publicist. Its an odd combination of a cartoonish, but real persona making it just a joy to watch her chew scenery. Green ports Holliston actress Laura Ortiz to this film (She also had a cameo in Hatchet II). And I do miss Holliston so it was good to see her, but that’s not enough, she completely owns this movie and steals every frame she’s in with some terrific charisma and horror-action chops. The best “kill” in the movie might not even be a death, it’s a great monologue-ish scene she delivers.

If you have loved or enjoyed the Hatchet films up to this point, there’s no reason not to think you won’t have a blast with Victor Crowley. All of the films in this series have been injected with humor, but this one might be the funniest and leans on it much more than the others. Oh and the bloody, gushy, brutal kills are still here. Victor Crowley has returned, its a very exciting thing and hopefully he can continue to haunt the swamps of Louisiana every so often Adam Green can offer it.

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: It may be five years since the last Blu-ray release of a Hatchet film, but the picture quality is right up to par with the others. Details are pretty strong and the image has a nice sharp quality to it. The blood splatters are visible from any distance you want to see it and the gory details on the corpses are visible enough to figure what happened to a victim if you didn’t see the kill.

Depth:  There is a good background/foreground depth of field on display here. Movements are smooth and natural with minimal blur or jitter from rapid motions.

Black Levels: Blacks are really rich and this film can get quite dark. However, it looks good in the shadows and detail loss are minimal.

Color Reproduction: Red, of course, is the most luscious color here in view. Especially because there is a good length of this filtered in red. Greens look well too and natural colors are well saturated with a good vibrant look to them.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent start to finish in the film. Dried blood, stubble, wrinkles, Blemishes, make-up lines and more can be seen cleanly from medium and close up shots.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA

*the case lists an English 2.0 track, but it was not found on the menu or by surfing.

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: Hatchet movies are always loud and pound through your kills and chases. This new one is no different. There’s a plane crash in this movie that is quite awesome to hear rock through your system. While the mix is quite balanced, the vocals do er a little on the lower end (Though its never an issue). Sound effects are well layered and feature good depth and realism to them.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: If there’s one thing when it comes to Hatchet movies, the sound design will bounce you out of your seat. This one booms to no exception with musical stings, smashing, crashes, flare gun fire and more.

Surround Sound Presentation: This mix does not shy away from utilizing all 5 channels and giving each a unique sound. Ambiance is terrific and the sound even follows storms around quite well. Movement is quite accurate and very fun to hear wander through your five channels.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are crisp and clear. They are a tad lower in the mix, but audibility is never an issue.

Extras 

Audio Commentary

  • Cast Commentary with Writer/Director Adam Green and Actors Parry Shen, Laura Ortiz and Dave Sheridan
  • Technical Commentary with Writer/Director Adam Green, Cinematographer Jan-Michael Losada, Editor Matt Latham and Make-up FX Artist Robert Pendegraft

Fly On The Set (HD, 1:08:08) – A journey through the production via a production journal that has behind the scenes footage, Adam Green confessionals and more that starts on the first day of production and ends at the surprise Arclight screening.

Raising the Dead…Again (HD, 26:41) – Interview with Adam Green. There are some repeated talking points from the Arclight presentation in “Fly on the Set”, but Green is very personal and excited with this interview, citing George Romero as the push that got this film to exist. Green goes over the whole process he when through on making the film with his own anecdotes.

Trailer (HD, 2:07)

Teaser (HD, :44)

Summary 

Victor Crowley. Another Hatchet. Another happy Brandon. Adam Green’s latest is funny, goopy and an overall fun time for a slasher. I’ve always been excited to see Green’s name come up as a potential director with known slasher franchises…but I’m glad he’s never done one. He’s got these Hatchets, which are their own thing and I’d rather have more them. This latest features a good presentation in audio and video and some terrific extras to make this experience complete. And hell, look at that week one price…you really can’t beat that.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

2 Responses to “Victor Crowley (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Ian Currie

    I don’t get it – I hadn’t even heard of Hatchet and I see that the imdb ratings for the first 2 movies are in the 5’s with Victor Crowley getting a 6.0.

    I can only surmise that this isn’t for everyone…

  2. Brian White

    You’re right Ian, this isn’t for everyone. BUT if you’re a fan of let’s say 80’s slasher horror films and the goofiness of them all, then this IS for you! It’s a homage to that time period not an Exorcist classic.