When talking about successful modern-day slasher films, it’s impossible not to mention 2006’s Hatchet. Introducing us to the Louisiana legend of Victor Crowley, writer/director Adam Green seamlessly blended grotesque practical effects work, schlocky 80s style slasher camp, and a darkly comedic tone, which is leading many to deem Victor Crowley a horror icon of our time.
Spawning a sequel in 2010’s Hatchet II, Green returned to Honey Island Swamp with bigger kills, bigger laughs, and and a drive to keep his franchise afloat – which he did with this year’s Hatchet III. While Adam decided to pass directorial duties off to camera operator BJ McDonnell this time around, Mr. Green still wrote the script and stayed on as a producer so he could still be heavily involved in production.
I’ve been a fan of the Hatchet franchise ever since watching the first one in my Hofstra dorm, seeing one of the characters break down crying because she felt guilty for lying to everyone, and then hearing her say the line “I didn’t really go to NYU. It was my first choice, but I didn’t get in. So I went to Hofstra.” Of course my roommate and I jumped on Green’s IMDB page immediately to find out he was a Hofstra alumni himself, so Green has been on my interview radar for quite some time now.
Rewind to last week and Adam was kind enough to give us an exclusive Skype interview while promoting his upcoming project Hatchet III, which was an absolute blast to talk about. While we mainly talked about the Hatchet world, and specifically Hatchet III, we were also able to talk about a few of his upcoming projects (Holliston/Killer Pizza/Digging Up The Marrow), along with general horror discussions. Hope you enjoy the interview!
We Got This Covered: So you’ve obviously been a major part of Hatchet and Hatchet II, and I’m curious to know what the emotions were like when everyone reunited for Hatchet III? I know fans can expect to see a few familiar faces on screen, Kane Hodder of course reprised his role as Victor Crowley…
Adam Green: It’s always exciting because this was always supposed to be these three movies. [The franchise] is one big story, and the fact that we’ve gotten to do that is just unbelievable – and that’s all because of the fans. It’s always exciting and slightly emotional, specifically when we wrap, especially with this one because it’s intended to be the end of this story. That doesn’t mean that there might not be more Hatchet movies, but this was the story that I set out to do. It’s exciting and sort of surreal every time we rebuild the Crowley house and Kane’s in the makeup again – it’s just awesome.
We Got This Covered: Talking about Kane in the Victor Crowley costume, what’s he like around set? Does he try to stay covered up so people are surprised? Is Victor Crowley terrorizing the cast and crew in between takes?
Adam Green: In the first movie we always kept him covered and nobody saw him until they were on camera with him, but now everybody knows what Victor Crowley looks like. Also, the stunts in the movies have gotten more and more complicated, with Hatchet II and III especially, so because he’s also the stunt coordinator, we really didn’t have time to be playing games like keeping him hidden and having him jump out and scare people because he just had so much work to do.
After the first one, we really didn’t keep him hidden, but he still stays away from [the cast] so that they don’t get used to it. It’s not like he’s joking around with them in makeup. When he’s in the makeup, he’s pretty much in character unless he has to coordinate a stunt.
We Got This Covered: Can you touch upon the challenges you faced by bringing Danielle Harris in as the lead character Marybeth for Hatchet II, and subsequently Hatchet III? Were you ever worried about continuity?
Adam Green: Originally with Hatchet it was between Danielle and Tamara [Feldman]. The reason why we went with Tamara was because that was the last part we cast, and we already had so many horror icons that it was almost becoming a joke, so we went with the unknown. Then when it wasn’t going to work to bring Tamara back, it was like, “Well, do we just throw out the whole storyline we set out to do? Or do we keep going.” Thankfully we were in the position where we could replace the existing character with the biggest “Scream Queen” of our generation. Normally, if it had been anyone else, I probably would have either just not done the movie or changed the whole direction of it – which would have sucked. Because we were able to “level-up,” I think the fans very quickly got over that and were even more exited that it was Danielle.
The challenges were that normally in a movie like this, when you’re the main actress or any of the characters, you get to start at one point and usually be normal, and then work your way up to the screaming and crying. With Hatchet II though, Danielle had to start at absolute insanity in the water – he’s got her, she’s screaming, everybody is dead, her family is dead – so for her, I know it was really hard because she didn’t get that momentum to build up. She had to be crying and screaming through the whole movie. Then with the third film, her character takes a little bit of a turn because she’s much more stoic, and she’s got a little bit more of that biting wit that she exhibited in the first film. The second one was really, really, hard for her though.