Hatchet, a modern horror franchise from director Adam Green, introduced audiences to Victor Crowley, who is unmistakably the best slasher villain in a decade.
Green’s Hatchet released in 2006 and was produced on a micro budget of $1.5 million, a big chunk of which likely went into the film’s copious amounts of blood, guts, viscera, and other practical effects. The film, which was incredibly successful with horror fans, festivals, and audiences got mixed reviews from other major critics. Even so, it spawned three sequels: Hatchet II, Hatchet III, and Victor Crowley. Not only is it a clear homage to blood-soaked 80s slashers, but it featured horror icons Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th), Tony Todd (Candyman), and Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street). The film’s practical effects were done by the legendary John Carl Buechler.
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Green’s love of the genre was apparent from the start, especially given his propensity for doing things the old-school way, which he made clear when he decided no CGI was to be used in the film, with the only exception being made for removing wires and other equipment from shots. Because of this dedication, Green managed to create a villain that can stand with the likes of Leatherface, Michael Myers, Freddy Kruger, and Jason Voorhees.
Victor Crowley Is A Legendary Swamp Monster
According to the rich lore surrounding the base of the Hatchet franchise, Victor Crowley was born in the swamplands of New Orleans, cursed from his first breath. His father, Thomas, had a wife, Shyanne, who was ill with stomach cancer. The couple hired a nurse, Leena, to care for her. Thomas ended up falling in love with Leena while his wife wasted away and the two ended up conceiving a child, unbeknownst to Shyanne until she day she died. She passed moments after seeing the two of them kiss. Enraged by Thomas’ betrayal, Shyanne put a curse on their unborn baby. Victor, who was born with major deformities and tumors, caused his mother to die of shock when she first laid eyes on him. All alone with his son, Thomas vowed to care for the boy – who was sweet and gentle – as part of the burden he must bear, not willing to blame Victor for his own failures. His origin as a monster came one fateful night, on Halloween.
Trick or treaters ventured out to the Crowley house to get a good look at Victor, who Thomas hid from the world, and threw lit sparklers at their cabin. One managed to catch the cabin on fire, and Victor ended up trapped inside. Thomas heard his son’s cries and emerged from where he was cutting wood in the forest and tried to break the door down with a hatchet, not realizing Victor was pressed against the door out of fear. He accidentally killed his own son with a hatchet blow to the face. Victor’s restless spirit stayed behind due to the traumatic nature of his death and he wanders the woods in search of his father, who committed suicide after his death, and has a gruesome fate waiting for anyone who dares cross him. It is also said Victor’s spirit seeks vengeance on the families of the boys involved with the prank that took his life.
Hatchet Gave Horror Icon Kane Hodder A New Weapon
Where Kane Hodder, who plays both Victor and Thomas Crowley in the Hatchet franchise, is known for his work with a machete and a hockey mask, Adam Green gave him a hatchet and allowed him to rack up a very impressive 64 victim body count over four films. Victor Crowley isn’t bound to one weapon; he deploys numerous methods of ultra-violent deaths for the unfortunate people who end up in the Honey Island swamplands. Crowley’s mannerisms are similar to Hodder’s Jason, but his wild-eyed ferocity – which is more apparent, as Crowley doesn’t wear a mask – adds an unparalleled level of savagery to the character. Green was inspired by Voorhees’ character and created his initial version of Victor Crowley when he was only eight years old. Modern horror fans seem to love gore in excess, which Crowley delivers along with a rich story and masterful portrayal from a living legend.
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