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VICTOR CROWLEY image source Dark Sky Films


[Review] ‘Victor Crowley’ is the Gory Slasher Film You’re Craving!

[Review] ‘Victor Crowley’ is the Gory Slasher Film You’re Craving!

It’s been a long time since the Bayou Butcher slugged his hatchet through the marshes of this spooky Louisiana territory, but make no mistake – this is his swamp, and if you listen real hard, you can still hear Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder) on the wind at night, crying for his daddy. What began as a prank gone wrong on the local shut-in eventually evolved into an endless bloodbath that would last for generations, long after Crowley was tormented by the neighborhood kids, and burned alive in his own home as his helpless father frantically tried to save him from the flames. Now, trapped in a supernatural loop, Crowley is cursed to forever roam the woods at night, tearing down anyone who dare cross his path, and leaving a trail of tangled bloody body parts in his wake. Only those foolish enough to not heed the warning of this legend would take it upon themselves to step onto Hatchetface’s land, or those greedy enough to try to make a buck off of his family’s misery, but no matter the reason, whoever wanders into the muddy waters of this swamp will soon live to regret their actions, for once you set sight upon the wicked mutated face of Victor Crowley, you become witness to the pain of the fury of his blade.

Ten years ago writer/director Adam Green burst onto the scene with a little independent horror movie called Hatchet, and the genre was forever changed. Finally, a worthy slasher villain had come along for the first time in years to stand proudly alongside the likes of legendary icons Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees and Leatherface, someone with a proper mythology and kill count and what would soon become a loyal fan base that cried out for more installments. A hardcore horror fan himself, Adam Green set out to create a character as timeless and the genre gems he grew up loving, and he succeeded in waves. Hatchet made the festival rounds, snatching up audience awards and winning fans over in screening after screening, even conjuring up a little following dubbed the “Hatchet Army”, all before eventually being sold to Anchor Bay Entertainment back in Hollywood, California. It all started with a boy from Massachusetts with a dream and ended with his hopes and aspirations becoming reality.

As the original story goes, a sweet little boy named Victor Crowley was born terribly disfigured, so much in fact that his father kept him hidden away from public eye for many years, as they hid out together in their little cabin in the woods. The locals came to believe that the boy was a monster, and began pulling pranks on him, like knocking on his windows, calling him names, and eventually throwing fire crackers into his house to try to get him to come outside so they could get a good look at him. Unfortunately, one of these fire crackers caught flame in Crowley’s wooden abode, and it wasn’t long before the entire place lit up and was engulfed in fire, while Victor maniacally ran back and forth inside, trying to get out. The door was stuck, so when his father arrived, he tried desperately to hack it open with his hatchet, only to accidentally hit his own son in the process, who, unbeknownst to him, was standing directly on the other side of the door. His little boy died that day, but he was soon reborn into a cycle of vengeance which would last all of eternity, as the immortal spirit of Victor Crowley hacked and slashed his way through his slimy swamp, crying out into the night for his daddy.

Through the years, a multitude of people made the mistake of wandering into Crowley’s swamp, including short-sighted fisherman Sampson Dunstan (Robert Englund), and a haunted tour group which held innocent patrons Jim and Shannon Permatteo (Richard Riehle and Patrika Darbo) and lovesick puppy Ben (Joel David Moore) and his slightly annoyed best friend Marcus (Deon Richmond). Later, wildlife hunters tried their hand at capturing the monster, including Reverend Zombie (Tony Todd), Layton (AJ Bowen), Vernon (Colton Dunn) and Bob (Tom Holland), before foolish law figures Sheriff Fowler (Zach Galligan) and Hawes (Derek Mears) tried to bring the madman down, while all the time sweet little Marybeth Dunstan (Amara Zaragoza/Danielle Harris) just tried to bring her massacred family back home – and to bury that hatchet deep into Crowley’s face, of course. But no matter who trudged through the muck and the mire of this knee high southern grass, they all wound up dismembered, ripped apart, their body parts flown with a red spattered fury against the nearest tree. All of them, that is, except for lone survivor and paramedic Andrew (Parry Shen).

Now, ten years later, in Green’s latest entry to the series, Hatchet 4 a.k.a. Victor Crowley, Andrew is back to tell his side of the story with his new book simply titled ‘I, Survivor’. The movie begins with Andrew’s humiliation as he goes on his ex-wife Sabrina’s (Krystal Joy Brown) talk show to discuss his latest literary endeavor, and, of course, eventually sees Andrew returning to the scene where it all began, as he’s promised a ton of money to do an interview in the swamp where all of those murders took place so many years ago. What Andrew doesn’t know is that he and his camera crew aren’t the only ones returning to the scene of the crime. A group of amateur filmmakers (Katie Booth, Chase Williamson, Laura Ortiz) have also made their way out to Honey Island Swamp in the hopes of making a successful mock trailer, one which will hopefully give them the funding they need to make a slasher about the real life events of this historical Louisiana tragedy. Sadly, in their attempt to capture a frame of the past, they wind up bringing the dead back to life, as the spirit of Victor Crowley is once again set loose upon the world, and the blood of the innocent are sprayed wildly once more from the cold grip of his trusty hatchet.

Is sure is nice to see Crowley back in form again. As a longtime fan of Green and the Hatchet series, I can tell anyone else who has enjoyed the franchise as much as I have that you will not be disappointed with the latest entry. Blood spews, bodies are hacked and stacked, and Victor looks taller and more menacing than ever before. This series has always been a devious little delight, one which succeeds because of its dedication to practical effects and in camera blood work, but also because these movies have always felt like they were made by a horror movie fan. There’s no Hollywood big shot here strategically trying to maneuver the best possible way to bring crowds to the theaters in droves in order to cash in on the biggest possible payday. That’s not what Green’s about. These movies are made with love – love pulled straight from the chest of a wounded victim like a still beating heart, but love nonetheless, and anyone who is a true fan of the genre can feel that love when they sit down to watch these films. Hatchet 4, a.k.a. Victor Crowley is no different. It’s just Adam Green getting back to basics – holding back on the some of the mythology as he quickly skims over the details during the opening credits (he knows by now we all know the story) and instead focusing on the gore, and turning the fourth installment into a straight slasher that feels more like the original in tone and execution. It’s a fine return to form, and anyone who has enjoyed the three previous films will undoubtedly get a kick out of this one, too.

Sure, they spend a little too much time on the plane, and it would’ve been nice to see some of the more human characters last a bit longer during the runtime (cough Chase Williamson cough), but it’s not very often that the genre is gifted with a newer franchise that feels as fun and experimental and long lasting as the Halloween  or Friday the 13th films, and in all honesty, it’s just nice to have a series in the same iconic style as the older examples that we can count on to carry us through the years of big studio films and over produced predictable cash grabs. It’s nice to have a horror icon we can trust to at least entertain us, and we’ve found that in Victor Crowley and Adam Green’s Hatchet films. This journalist is personally ready and willing for as many entries as Green is willing to spill out, and is looking forward to whatever Green and his team can conjure up next.



  • James

    Dang. This looks about as bad as the second and third were. Too bad.

    • Tor from Yucca Flats

      What the FUCK are you expecting? That is the point. They are suppose to be bad. Even the first one, they never set out to do anything serious, they were purposely B-movies with a generic throwaway camp fire tale story just to splash blood around. The fun comes from the fact it is bad. Go watch your MAN OF IRON cinema bullshit if you want ‘good’ films (LOL!)

      • Convefefe

        Ok; I’ll watch number 1 again. Maybe I wasn’t in right frame of mind. Or I’ve just watched way too many horror movies and have gotten too grumpy and intolerant over the years.

        • diapers

          The first one had me at the head jaw pulling scene. Absolutely brilliant.

      • James

        There’s a big difference between good bad and just plain bad. The first was good bad. The second was just awful.

  • Imbrie

    Skull rating!!!

    • Neto Ribeiro

      I missed it too haha

  • Christopher Nickerson

    Is anything said about MaryBeth in this one? Hatchet 3 ended implying she was cursed like Crowley

    • Rocco Paone

      I believe the last shot was meant to show she was thought to be dead and then the gasp for air was mean to be open ended whether or not she lives or dies. Not cursed.

      • Christopher Nickerson

        So I guess now we assume she died

  • BloodyDisgusted

    Is this a review?

  • Rocco Paone

    Does this tie the loose ends up from 3 with Marybeth’s timeline?

  • Jason Eugene Silvey

    I’d be way more excited about this if the previous sequels hadn’t killed my interest.

    • Rohan

      Yeah, Victor Crowley always seemed like a low rent Jason to me. Never quite understood the praise the films got.

      • Tor from Yucca Flats

        the praise is that they are using the same effects they used in the 80s movies.

        • diapers


        • JoeInTheBox

          Not to mention it hit at a point when people were tired of the teen meta slashers that Scream brought on. Hatchet 1, was a nice palette cleanser and a welcome return to the more brutal 80’s slashers, with generally better acting. No more and no less.

        • Rohan

          Ok, but that doesn’t make it a good slasher, or at least an original one. I could remake F13 2 and name the killer Vason Joorhees using practical effects, but does that make it good? No. It would be a good imitation maybe but not a good standalone slasher. A good example of an original concept slasher that came out the same year is Behind The Mask, a smart slasher film with a good plot and original ideas. The transition from mockumentary to all out slasher is a great one, and how the end plays out is very satisfying.

          • Tor from Yucca Flats

            its not trying to be a ‘good slasher’ its a funny gore movie. LOL

          • Tor from Yucca Flats

            It is not trying to be a ‘good slasher movie’ its a fun, comedy/horror movie with bunch of gore.

  • Necro

    Cool! Love the franchise and Adam Green’s films! Actually the only one I never watched was ‘Spiral’.

  • Bart Crowe

    Good to read this positive review. I was really bummed out by how terrible Hatchet 3 was and thought it might be a disappointing final act to what was two surprisingly good slasher films.


    • KSE1977

      Forever changed and Crowley stands beside Jason Voorhees? Hyperbole much? The series was okay, but it never really connected all that much for me, seemed kind of dumb and lifeless. Not to say then old slashers are perfect, but if you are making a slasher in the modern era, at least try and make it more interesting. I am sure some folks love the Hatchet series, but this review seems to be way too invested and comes off as a bit of a fluff job.

    • dsxy

      I know, the shit people spew out.

      The first was good, enjoyed it alot. Second was meh, 3rd was dreadful.

  • Themoviedude

    Saw it last night, fantastic start to finish! #crowleylives (not a spoiler, just a hip hashtag)

    • JoeInTheBox

      How would you rate it in the series. I really liked the first one, thought 2 was okay, and 3, I just dismiss outright.

      • Themoviedude

        Honestly, 1-4 are now my favorites. I enjoyed every second of it, like aside from being surprised, it’s awesome!!!

  • xXFacelessXx

    Now hopefully we’ll be able to start talking about Leslie Vernon this way sometime in the future.

    • Saturn

      Indeed – with some kind of cross-over event at some stage, as it seems they he and Vic exist in the same shared “universe”.

    • JoeInTheBox

      I’m hoping it’s not the case, but I feel like the comic book, killed any prospects of a proper sequel to Behind the Mask. They’ve been talking about for so long, it just seems like empty hopes at this point.

  • Agent Stargrove

    The skull rating is back, thank you!!!

    • Saturn

      Beat me to it by a minute you swine!
      Gotta agree that it’s nice to have the skulls back – am really looking forward to Victor Crowley!

    • J Jett

      same here! very happy Kalyn included the skull rating system!

  • YeerkOnTheBrain

    How many auto-play videos does this site need? Weeping creeping Christ.

    • diapers

      Enough to drive one crazy. Adblock+ helps, though.

  • diapers

    Long live Victor Crowly! Was somewhat let down with the third installment (although it had some fun parts). Bring it on!

  • J Jett

    Kalyn, THANK YOU, THANK YOU(!!) for bringing back the skull rating system dealio!! it’s very much appreciated! 🙂

  • plutohiller

    Should be hilarious to see Brian Quinn playing one of Crowley’s victims. I like how his face is show for a quick second near the end of the trailer. For anyone that doesn’t watch Impractical Jokers, you’re missing out.

    • Kev Weldon

      I’ve seen Impractical Jokers and wish I’d continued to miss out.

      • Simon Allen

        It looks awful .

        • Kev Weldon

          Cackling Dipshits: The Series.

          • Simon Allen

            I thought as much .

      • Necro


      • plutohiller

        Don’t really know what to say except sorry you have no sense of humor. Those guys are awesome.

        • Kev Weldon

          Of course anyone who doesn’t like that particular style of “comedy” must have no sense of humour at all, rather than just a different one to yours.

          I’m sure those guys are very awesome indeed. They certainly seem to think they are.

          • plutohiller

            They’re legitimately nice guys. Met them at their comedy tour. I can’t stop you from having your own opinion, but mine is that you have no sense of humor.

          • Kev Weldon

            I never said they weren’t nice. But if in your opinion liking this one specific TV show is the only measure of someone’s sense of humour even existing I’m going to give that opinion the respect it deserves.

            Thanks for letting me know you can’t stop me from having my own opinion though, I was worried for a bit there.

          • plutohiller

            You should be worried, because most liberals nowadays don’t want to allow opinions other than their own, so I just wanted you to know that I’m not one of those snowflakes. Frankly, I don’t think you have a sense of humor because of how antagonistic your first reply was, and you don’t see the humor in my saying you have none for not liking the show. I just suggested that people should check it out because I actually haven’t met anyone that didn’t think the show was great. If you had just said you didn’t like the show, that would be fine, but you were just baiting a response by mocking my comment. I could care less about the respect of an internet troll.

          • Kev Weldon

            Way to awkwardly bring politics into it, that’s not at all tedious. However I do feel I know a bit more about your sense of humour now, since you think telling someone they have no sense of humour in an inherently funny statement and use the term “snowflake” unironically.

            I can definitely see why you dig that show! Such wonderful colours and noises! Sometimes they say “ass”!

            Fascinating to discover you could care less about trolls. Personally I couldn’t. We’re such an Odd Couple!

          • plutohiller

            Ha, Odd Couple. You are so right. I was wrong. You do have a sense of humor.

  • TheDarkShape

    “Ten years ago writer/director Adam Green burst onto the scene with a little independent horror movie called Hatchet, and the genre was forever changed.”

    Haha, what?

    • Weresmurf

      I know right? I love Hatchet but thats a gross overstatement.

    • Flu-Like Symptoms

      Double that. I dig the movies but they changed nothing in the genre. Would love to ask the writer how she came to that conclusion.

    • diapers

      I agree, Hatchet was not a game changer. To its credit it re-focused on the older school slasher formula a good deal.

  • Intan Bunda Kansa

    The Punisher New Season
    See now here : FELIXFLIX365.BLOGSPOT.COM

    Frank Castle is haunted and hunted after the murder of his family and becomes a vigilante known in the criminal underworld as “the Punisher”, who aims to fight crime by any means necessary.

  • chuck

    Man I am so excited by this news! I hope I can catch this roadshow, as a huge fan of Green’s it would be great to see this in a theater with other like minded fans!

  • Simon Allen

    Its funny that everyone seems to like the first one so much….after all the hype around it when it first came out , I was really disappointed when I finally saw it because, man did it ever drag its ass and take time to get going .
    The second one wasn’t a whole lot better and i’m sorry but Danielle Harris’s performance gave new meaning to the word awful (did the director hate her ? was she having a bad time ? )
    Which brings me to the third, which everyone seems too hate and I think is a whole lot of fun ,
    The pacing is much better than the others . The direction is flashy and the performances including Miss Harris, (who gets it SO right in this one ) and Caroline Williams are great .
    I await the new one with interest .

    • Necro

      I hear ya! My rating is 1 3 2. Part 2 I don’t know!

    • bastardjackyll

      I was starting to think I was the only one who thought H3 was the only one in the series with competent writing, directing, and acting. It’s definitely the only one that I wasn’t tempted to turn off after 20 minutes.

      • Simon Allen

        Right ! It’s the only one i can do multiple viewings of .

  • Flu-Like Symptoms

    Definitely looking forward to the new splatter-fest. I hope they keep cranking them out.

  • Darkknight2149

    Victor Crowley is one of the rare modern horror villains that can be considered an icon, alongside the Blair Witch, Martin and Doctor Heiter from Human Centipede, and Jigsaw (John Kramer) from the Saw movies. Of course, we’ll absolutely know for sure in another decade or so.

  • Judge Satchmo

    Well written review, also I apologize if I’m late to the party, but this is the first review I’ve read on this site in a while and I’m thrilled to death to see the skull ratings back!

    I love you skull ratings. Don’t ever leave us again.

    • John Squires

      Back by popular demand!

  • I’m not craving for any gory slashers, especially not when that douchebag Green is involved. Nothing is more overrated than the Hatchet movies.

    • Randy Adams

      The only douchebag here is you. Nobody cares about your shitty opinions.

  • “and the genre was forever changed.” ARE U FUCKING KIDDING ME??? NOTHING WAS CHANGED, you moron.

  • Bloodspatta

    So much gushing…over this! Meh. These films are nothing special and this is going to be more of the same. Pass.

  • Every single post on the header of BD is about this movie, is it really this good?

    Edit: Just read up on the whole filmed in secret thing so it makes more sense now

  • Knut Lilium Redfield

    I liked the first one and the second one. I wish the killer wasn’t a ghost and just a monster you couldn’t kill. Well, not really. But something as very hard to kill.

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