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It’s late July, and FANGORIA is commiserating with filmmaker Adam Green. He’s in the midst of a struggle to snip his highly anticipated HATCHET II down a few frames in order to earn a more marketable rating. “We’re in the middle [of the MPAA process] right now, and we’ve been trying and trying and trying to get to an R, and we can’t,” Green sighs.
We’re pleased to report that, several days after our exclusive interview, Green announced that he had indeed triumphed in his MPAA stalemate. He reported that “a major theater chain” had signed on, in an unprecedented, groundbreaking distribution deal, to screen Hatchet II nationwide (brace yourselves) unrated and absolutely uncut. Fango isn’t the least bit surprised at this outcome, because during the course of our chat, it becomes obvious that Green’s awareness of fright fans’ dismay at docile terror-by-focus-group tripe comes from the fact that he has been feeling exactly the same way. No music-video dilettante using our genre as a bus stop on the way to more upscale projects, Green’s horror cred is unquestionable. From the crowd-pleasing mayhem in Hatchet to the subtler chills of the psychodrama Spiral (which he co-directed with writer/star Joel David Moore) to the intense, critically acclaimed Frozen, Green is just the man to put a splatter revival back on big screens come October.
FANGORIA: Can we expect the same balance of comedy and horror in Hatchet II as we saw in the original, or were you tempted to go a little darker with this one?
ADAM GREEN: It’s funny—until I see it with an audience, I don’t really know for sure. I’d say it’s more serious. It’s darker, but it’s still HATCHET. There are funny characters and jokes, but like with the first one, as over-the-top and fun as the violence is, there’s nothing funny about Victor Crowley. We did create some amusing people to go through the movie with. One of the hardest things to do with a slasher movie is make the characters likable, because everybody knows they’re there to die. The easiest way to endear the characters to the audience is to have them make the audience laugh.
Tony Todd is essentially the whole movie this time; his part is huge. I believe it’s the best and most layered character he’s ever played. I mean, different voices, different personalities…he’s a shyster of sorts, so you don’t know exactly what he’s up to until it’s over. He is phenomenal to watch. Every time we’ve screened the movie, people just can’t get over him. I know people love Tony Todd for being Candyman, and as iconic and amazing as that role is, he really shows his entire range in HATCHET II.
FANG: Fans will be happy to see him get a little more to work with this time.
GREEN: What’s fun about the sequel is that it was all planned when we made the first Hatchet. Normally, that’s not the case with slasher sequels. Usually, if the first one does well, they struggle to figure out a way to bring the villain back. Hatchet II is totally the next part of the story. It even starts on the last shot the other one ended on—which is why that movie ended the way it did. That was a big gamble, because Hatchet was a small independent movie and we had no idea what was going to happen with it, or if we were even going to get to make a sequel. When it was important to me that Tony Todd play that role in the original, the producers were like, “Why does it have to be a guy as big as Tony Todd? He’s just answering a door,” and I had to keep telling them, “Don’t worry, he’s pivotal to the whole thing, you’ll see.” Thankfully, it all worked out and we got to do it.
For the whole story, pick up FANGORIA #297, on sale this month. Go here for full issue details, and here to subscribe to the magazine!
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