Last Friday, Bloody Disgusting sent local stringer Don Monsette to Jean Lafitte, Louisiana to witness the filming of Dark Sky Films’ hotly anticipated Hatchet 3, which stars Danielle Harris, Kane Hodder, Derek Mears, Caroline Williams, Sean Whalen, Diane Goldner, Jason Trost, Zach Galligan, Cody Blue Snider and Rileah Vanderbilt.
This time around, BJ McDonnell directs the story that “finds Harris hunting down the true secret to ending the voodoo curse that has left Crowley’s ghost terrorizing Honey Island Swamp for decades.” Mears will play a brooding, pompous SWAT team leader who is sent in to contain the carnage strewn about the haunted swamp. Williams will play a fast-talking journalist who fancies herself an expert on the legend of supernatural stalker Crowley.
Inside you’ll find Monsette’s first report with plenty more coming leading up to release. What are you guys most excited for in Hatchet 3?
A Hatchet fan since the first one came out in 2007, I was very excited to hear that Adam Green was coming back to the swamp one more time for Hatchet 3. Unlike the second movie, which was shot on soundstages in Los Angeles, this time Green (and new director BJ McDonnell) were coming back to the area that started it all.
An unassuming town hall in the small village of Jean Lafitte, Louisiana is where I ended up last Friday. Out front, the production had constructed a large red brick sign that read “Sheriff Substation”, which I was sure was real until I glanced at the back of it and saw that it was a very detailed prop. Standing outside were stars Zach Galliagn (Gremlins, Waxworks) and Robert D. Do’Qui, dressed like small town police officers. Writer/producer Adam Green was talking to director BJ McDonnell (who was the stedicam operator on the first two Hatchet movies and a ton of others).
I was told that they had been filming in the swamps not far from this location for the past two weeks. Like the previous two films, it is set mostly at night and since they were not shooting on soundstages, they had spent the past two weeks being totally nocturnal. Even though they said they had gotten used to working all night and sleeping all day, it was obvious that they were all very excited to be back on “normal” hours and enjoying the daylight.
Since the plot of this film is being kept very tightly under wraps, the press was limited to what they saw. I can say that the town hall was doubling for a police station that Zach Galligan’s character, Sheriff Fowler, is in charge of. There were very detailed emblems for the fictional “Jefferson Parish Sheriff Department” on the doors and walls, and a huge round crest on the floor when you first came in. Even though it was June, the inside was decorated for Mardi Gras, making it look just like a small town police station would.
I was very happy to sit down with Robert D. Do’Qui, who plays Sheriff Fowler’s best friend and right-hand-man, Deputy Winslow. If DoQui’s name sounds familiar, you might be thinking of his legendary father, who played the no-nonsense Sergeant Reed in Robocop and King George in the blaxploitation classic Coffey. Walking in his late father’s footsteps, Robert was very excited to be cast in Hatchet 3 and to be now working in genre movies.
He explained: “Winslow is a fun-loving, outgoing deputy who is great friends with the sheriff and his ex-wife (played in the film by Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2‘s Caroline Williams). He’s kind of haphazardly pulled into the situation because he’s friends with everyone, and he has no idea what he’s getting himself into. And then all hell breaks loose.”
The New Orleans-based actor, who has doubled for Eddie Murphy in many films over the years, started laughing when I asked him about the conditions in the swamp. “The swamp? Oh man, it was one giant mud pit… and every day, it got deeper and deeper! But somehow, even with all that mud, staying up all night and getting bitten by bugs was tons of fun. Then again, blood and guts are always fun!”
He went on to say, “My best memories overall are of the film’s cast and crew. They all just gelled so well. It was like one big family and everyone just worked in unison and helped each other out.” With filming in Louisiana wrapping in two days, he expressed that he was going to miss them a lot, but was looking forward to promoting the film.
And with that, Robert was called to the set, where, we saw through the door, a very bloody Danielle Harris had just shown up. The doors were closed and the scene was shot, but even through the wall, you could hear something major was happening in the police station.
As the scene wrapped, director BJ McDonnell was very happy. “Awesome,” he said as he watched the footage on a monitor in the next room. “This is going to be a hell of a scene.”
I can only hope that it will be a hell of a movie too. It’s not official, but the crew said that people should expect the movie out in 2013, and even though I asked everyone I saw if this was going to be the last film in a trilogy or if we could expect more Victor Crowley, they all kept quiet.
So if this is the end of Hatchet, I hope it goes out with a bang. But if we can expect more blood in the Honey Island Swamp, I’d certainly be okay with that too! -Don Monsette