Hatchetman (2003)

FEBRUARY 14, 2008


When you rent a film from Blockbuster, you have the option of keeping it after a week or two. The price is on the receipt, it’s usually like 19.99 or 24.99. Well, keeping Hatchetman would have set me back a whole 3.99, which was a pretty good indicator of its worth. What I mean to say is: this movie is fucking worthless.

Unlike yesterday’s goofy Backlot Murders, this movie appears to take itself seriously. This is a problem when it’s completely fucking stupid. The problems are evident from the start: a girl gives her boyfriend a tie as a one year anniversary gift, we see the most matter of fact, half-assed mugging in cinematic history (“Give me money!”, the mugger yells. “OK, fine”, the girl replies, as if he was just a rather pushy Salvation Army Santa), and the one kill scene in the first 20 minutes has no buildup or anything associated with decent filmmaking.

Even stupider, the film is about a killer that seems to be specifically stalking the dancers from a sleazy strip club in LA. Nothing wrong with that, but they all seem to live together too! And seemingly all of the other people who live in the apartment complex frequent the joint. Even this would be fine if the two places were next door to one another (nothing beats proximity!) but they appear to be not even within walking distance of each other, as getting rides to and from work/home make up more than a couple conversations. But at least those conversations have something resembling a point, at one point the resident bitchy character enters Final Girl’s apartment for no reason other than to announce she’s going to work. Let’s ignore the fact that they don’t even like each other, but who the fuck walks into someone’s home just to tell them what they are doing without them?

Also, strangely, one of the most annoying things about the movie is the amount of nudity. For the first hour, every other scene is of the women stripping and “dancing”. But the film doesn’t seem sleazy, in fact they actually go out of their way to make the film seem a bit dramatic (after all, our Final Girl is trying to get into law school, of course, and there’s many scenes revolving around whether or not her relationship with Tie Guy is going anywhere). If any of this was presented as tongue in cheek, it would be fine, but since everyone’s so serious, it just becomes dull and pointless, and fast. You hate to think gratuitous nudity actually slows a movie down, but Hatchetman manages to do just that.

And take a look at this guy. Get a good look.

If you’re ever unfortunate enough to watch this film, at least now you are prepared for the sight of the single most annoying character in horror movie history. I’m not joking. It’s rare I loathe anyone so much in a movie, but this guy made me want to literally go back in time to when the film was being shot and convince the writer to brutally kill the guy in the film’s opening scene. Naturally, he’s the very last victim in the film. Thanks a lot, assholes.

The police are the most inept in cinema history too, at one point or another they manage to accuse, arrest, or just kill every single guy in the movie EXCEPT for the one who’s the actual killer. Worse, when the killer is revealed, not only does he keep his mask on for another 10 minutes even though we know who it is, he also reveals a motive that doesn’t make any fucking sense. Apparently his mother was a stripper and he hates her and every other stripper too. Fine, but why did he go to the strip club early in the movie without any problem whatsoever? You’d think if the simple idea of it upset him to the point of murder, he’d at least be frowning when actually watching it and paying 7 bucks a beer to boot. In fact, his identity is actually revealed a bit sooner, once we learn he lives near the woods, since the film’s poster and DVD menu feature a killer standing in the middle of a forest, despite the fact that the entire film up until that point takes place in either a strip club, an apartment complex, or a standard office building subbing for the LAPD precinct.

The film also contains the worst digital blood in movie history:

It’s fucking blue for Christ’s sake!

The only thing I liked about this movie was a scene where a guy explains a cable splitter to another. As a fan of all types of AV components and adapters, I am pretty sure it was the first time I have seen an RF coaxial splitter used in a film. Nice. I also appreciate that there were no trailers for even worse films at the head of the DVD, something that’s almost standard with this type of DTV crap. Hilariously, the disc’s one extra feature is listed as “Trailers” (plural) on the main menu, and if you click on it, you just get a link for one trailer (for a movie about Boris Yeltsin, of all people). Nice work guys.

Fuck this stupid movie. 3.99? It’s still overpriced.

What say you?


  1. I like that your Amazon link has the best price listed as $0.20. I know I would hate this, but your review has me intrigued.

  2. I have heard about this movie from a couple different sites and I already hate it! The fact that it's called "Hatchetman" and he is killing strippers in the city. This film title screams "Hatchet weilding maniac killing teenagers in the woods".


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