Fans of graphic dismemberment will have a field day with “Hatchet.” Old-fashioned ultra-gorefest allows a half-hour of crass humor and amateur-porn titillation to go by before a motley crew of idiot Louisiana tourists start getting picked off by an ax murderer, one by one — and not a moment too soon. Pic was re-edited for an R rating after the MPAA slapped it with an NC-17, though the uncensored version should find plenty of twisted takers on homevid.
Shot on location in New Orleans, pic rounds up a group of Mardi Gras revelers who have no idea what awaits them on a nocturnal tour of the nearby “haunted swamp” — namely, the ghost of the deformed, deranged Victor Crowley, who hardly needs his eponymous weapon when he can reduce a person’s face to meatloaf with his bare hands. Joel David Moore leads a cast full of token minorities and bickering bimbos, whom writer-helmer Adam Green dispatches with knowing glee and an obvious love for genre conventions that almost overcomes the derivative scripting. Draggy stretches in the first few reels could easily have been pruned from an already tight 83-minute running time.