Last night marked the LA Premiere of director BJ McDonnell‘s Hatchet III at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. I headed down there to check out the film (as gory as the first two with a little more action, Crowley fans will certainly be satisfied) and chat with those involved on the red carpet. I briefly caught up with McDonnell and creator Adam Green along with stars Zach Galligan (Gremlins), Danielle Harris (Among Friends) Derek Mears (Friday the 13th 2009), Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) and of course Kane Hodder (F13 Parts 6-10).
In limited theaters and VOD on June 14th (this week!) from MPI/Dark Sky Films,”The film continues the tale of the now-iconic villain Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder). As a search and recovery team heads into the haunted swamp to pick up the pieces and carnage left behind from the first two films, Marybeth (Danielle Harris) hunts down the true secret to ending the voodoo curse that has left the ghost of Victor Crowley haunting and terrorizing Honey Island Swamp for decades.”
First up I spoke with Rileah Vanderbilt, who appeared in the first two films under a ton of makeup but looks much better in a more prominent role in the third installment. “In this one I’m not covered in makeup, it’s nice.” And how’s Team Unicorn going? “We’ve been doing stuff on the web, but now we just got a show with Adult Swim! We’re producing a pilot with them now.”
Next up I spoke with Robert Pendergraft, who has done make-up effects for all three Hatchet films and is currently working on Green’s upcoming Digging Up The Marrow. How many gallons of blood did they use on the sequel? “There’s no official tally but somewhere around 200 gallons of blood. Definitely a lot more onscreen kills. ‘Hatchet 2’ had around 17 and this one I think has around 26.”
Coming down the line is Zach Galligan who took a few days off from his teaching job at NYU to fly down for the premiere. “When I got the offer it was shocking, but then I read the script and liked it and saw the first one and everything turned out great. I play a southern Sheriff, so I’ll be talking a bit like “W”, a Houston boy.”
Then, of course, we got a moment with Derek Mears, who is not in makeup in this film. “I’m a SWAT Team commander, kind of a douchebag pompous bullheaded guy. I’m happy about coming to play.” You may have read some quotes from this interview last night when we posted the story about Platinum Dunes doing the F13 remake, I won’t retread the whole thing, but you can read it here.
After Mears departs I grab a quick word with Jason Trost (MacGruber), “I play Deputy Hamilton, I’m fresh on the scene and am trying to figure out what the hell is going on.” What was the hardest part about the shoot? “The amount of bugs. I had three layers of clothes on and was still getting bit. So a lot of the carnage was looking at yourself in the hotel mirror every night, just going ‘holy sh*t’“.
Then, the man of the hour, director BJ McDonnell, who claimed to be nervous but seemed to be keeping it together well enough. “I can’t wait for you to see it.” What was it like making his way from camera operator to director? “I worked on the first and second ones, and then Adam asked me if I wanted to direct this one. I got in, and here I am. I’m really happy with it, it came out cool. I definitely tried to up the kill ante.”
Fans of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 will no doubt recognize Caroline Williams in this film as a driven, and down on her luck, reporter, “For me it is Stretch revisited. At long last the fans get to find out what happened to Stretch once she stopped playing head banging music and started doing something real. Adam tailored it specifically to me, I had more fun than I’d had in the movies in years. It was a gift.” You can look forward to seeing her in Eric England’s upcoming third film, Contracted.
How does Danielle Harris feel about her second go around with the character? “It’s bloody, it’s horrifying, it’s really fun.” Does the new one pick up… “Exactly where the last one left off, yeah. I just blew his head up and chopped him into pieces. I go through even more hell in this one.”
A swamped Adam Green reminisced about finishing the first Hatchet almost exactly 8 years ago. “I prayed and I hoped, and it’s really surreal. This is this first premiere I’m enjoying though, because there’s nothing to be nervous about now. This is the end. At least for now.”
And how does Kane Hodder feel about getting into Victor Crowley’s overalls for a third time? “I love the character and it’s fantastic working with Adam again. Even though he didn’t direct, he’s always there. I love his writing, he’s the only guy that writes violence so well that I don’t have to add anything to it. He’s just as sick in the head as I am. This film has double the body count as the first one.” And is he signed on for a Hatchet 4 just in case they decide to bring Crowley back? “Of course I would love to do it, but who knows what will happen? I would for sure.”