Frank Sabetella Talks ‘Legend of Mary Hatchet’

Inside you’ll find our exclusive chat with Frank Sabatella, director of the upcoming horror film Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet, who talks about not only the high level of blood in the film, but also how difficult it was getting the film made. The story follows a group of teenagers celebrating the anniversary of the death of a local axe murderer suddenly find themselves face to face with the realities of this haunting urban legend.
Long Island resident Frank Sabetella takes on Lake Grove NY in Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet

You have all heard the local legends of your towns haunted and bloody history. Regardless of its truth, every town has them. The old man in the run down house, the crazy lady out in the woods. Every town has its history of horror and Director Frank Sabatella took that idea and turned into the indie feature; BLOOD NIGHT: THE LEGEND OF MARY HATCHET.

I took a lot from the early slasher films that were relevant, not just the FRIDAY THE 13TH, but the more obscure ones and the ones with lofi themes, and I brought them together with a more modern cinematic element,” Sabatella tells Bloody-Disgusting. “These movies aren’t really done anymore so we updated the genre with modern lighting, modern editing. BLOOD NIGHT is based on an actual Long Island legend, if you lived here as a teenager you defiantly came across the legend at some point!

But exactly how bloody is BLOOD NIGHT? Well, the body count should give you some sort of idea…

The actual body count is 29. I have two favorite kills, my favorite is the Mary Hatchet and mother kill. It’s very in your face and shocking. I don’t want to give to many details yet, but if you are a fan of gore, your going to enjoy it.

During the filming, Sabetella had some horrific problems of his own in dealing with the local Mayor of Lake Grove, Robert Scottaline. According to our sources, Scottaline decided he didn’t want his town associated with a horror film, and began the daily ritual of fining the production by way of the homeowner.

One of the locations is a residential home, so we registered for the permits under the home owners name. While it was pending Mayor Scottaline did his research about me and found that the name of the film was Blood Night “The Legend of Mary Hatchet”,” Sabatella explains. “We found early on (during the location scouting), as soon as we said the name of the film , we were almost being treated like a porno movie, people didn’t want to be associated with horror. So we changed the working title to The Legend of Mary Maddock, the characters name in the movie.

The filmmakers took it to the town board where the found out that there is no law in the books that can legally allow you to stop shooting at a private residence.

We legally started shooting, and out of spite they started fining the home owner for anything they could think of. Parking to close to the curb, blocking mailboxes, any harassing fine they could give they did over the course of a few night. We took them to court and we did reach a settlement agreement, but it was a lengthy legal battle; based on the fact that this Mayor was pissed off that we shot in his town, he went out of his way to make this difficult for us.

Requests for any comments from Mayor Scottaline went unanswered.

Sabetella is unshaken by the troubled production woes, and promises that the film is ready for the theaters.

Body count aside, we have a few distributors lined up ready to see it, and we are defiantly intending to go theatrical. I think its theater worthy, the production value is really high, so we should have a good chance!

Up next for Frank Sabatella is a secret project loosely based around a familiar carnival theme.

Todd Brownings’ FREAKS is defiantly my favorite, it’s a classic and cool revenge piece, and I am in early development on my next film, which very very much based around FREAKS. We will keep you posted as we hear more on that, In the meantime look out for BLOOD NIGHT: THE LEGEND OF MARY HATCHET to start making the rounds later this year.