Hatchet II picks up exactly where the last movie ended (read our review here) with Marybeth (now played by Danielle Harris) seemingly killing Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder) & escaping. She is picked up by the swamp drunk, Jack Cracker who takes her back to his cabin. While talking, Marybeth reveals her last name which angers Jack who kicks her out & tells her to go find Reverend Zombie (Tony Todd).
She leaves & moments later Jack is killed by a very much alive Victor Crowley in gruesomely hilarious fashion.
Marybeth goes to Rev. Zombie & he reluctantly tells her that Shawn, the tour guide from the first film, worked for him & the boat that sunk was his. He reveals to her that her father was one of the boys who threw fireworks at the young Victor causing the fire that would see his father, Thomas Crowley accidentally kill his own son.
The kids, when confronted, lied about their involvement thus got away with it. Thomas died many years later of a broken heart. Now an undead Victor Crowley haunts the swamp looking for his father & killing anyone who comes his way. That’s the story that was told in the first. It made Thomas a sympathetic character but instead of leaving it at that Hatchet II decides to go further with it & it’s not good.
It turns out Thomas wasn’t a good guy at all. His wife got stomach cancer & was in a great deal of pain so they hired a nurse. Considering they lived in a shack in the woods how they could afford it is never answered. Anyway, as his wife got sicker, Thomas began an affair with her nurse. They kept it hidden until she eventually died.
In hilarious bad decision making, the duo decide to share a passionate kiss while standing over the recently dead body of Thomas’ wife. When I say recently, I mean she died ten seconds previously. Unsurprisingly she sits up & in her final breath curses the child that the nurse carries, conceived from the affair. Then she dies.
How deeply emotional. *sigh*
Months later, Victor Crowley is born a deformed freak, killing his mother in the process of being born. Thomas is heart-broken, thus he & Victor become shut-ins leading to the events of the fire.
Once Rev. Zombie has recanted the tale Marybeth tells him that she wants to go back in to get the bodies of her father & brother. Rev. Zombie agrees but only if she brings along her uncle. It’s an odd request but makes sense later in the film. She leaves & the Rev tells his assistant Justin, the twin brother of Shawn played again by Parry Shen, to get a group of hunters together.
With the hunters gathered they are talked into going into the swamp on the promise of money then Marybeth returns with her uncle Bob (Tom Holland) so they all set off!
What follows is basically the exact same thing as the first but with increased blood & gore, a few more interesting characters & a plot twist that is as predictable as it is uninspired. This twist is the movies ‘out’ to ensure the human characters have some kind of chance against the undead monster. It works perfectly fine, it just seems a little too easy.
Danielle Harris is far more interesting as an actor & she injects some much needed personality into Marybeth. Her, alongside Tony Todd, who really gets to shine, and a reserved Tom Holland makes for an exciting watch.
…but that’s not why we’re watching Hatchet II. No, we’re here for the gore. A decent story & good acting is just a bonus to the utter madness of blood spattering that takes place here. Topping the first was always going to be a big ask but thanks to the biggest chainsaw you’ll ever see Hatchet does it with ease.
Decapitations, boat propellers to the face, being split in half with a chainsaw, belt-sanders to the head, skinned alive & a good old fashioned hatchet to the face, body & groin. Hatchet II does not mess around at all & it’s gleefully wicked fun to watch.
Hatchet II ends in almost the exact same way as the first, setting up one more film to come. The worst of the bunch unfortunately. Regarding this movie though…provided you don’t take it seriously at all you’ll have a lot of fun watching an uber gory & uber silly slasher flick that definitely has its heart in the right place…Victor Crowley’s hands.