Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet Movie Review

Blood Night
Review by Michael Pickle

Finally! A B-movie slasher that knows what it is and knows what works. Add the brilliant casting of modern horror legends Bill Moseley and Danielle Harris and Blood Night has all the ingredients to make a quality, riotous, blood-soaked gore-fest that I personally have been hungry for in recent years. I was wondering when someone else besides Adam Green (Hatchet I&II) was going to get it right.

Newcomer Writer/Director Frank Sabatella did not let these ingredients go to waste. This young director, in his first feature film, shows great promise and is sure to be a welcome addition to the genre. Sabatella has crafted an entertaining throwback to splatter films of old while not feeling too derivative. Sure we've seen a lot of films like this, but only a choice few give you this much of what you want out of a B-movie while maintaining a fresh and modern feel.

Within the first ten minutes there is blood, teeth and heads flying everywhere. The kills may seem ridiculous, the violence senseless, the sex gratuitous and the killer may have no good reason to begin killing, but who wants to think in a film like this? Blood Night satisfies the most basic urges of slasher fans and there's not a damn thing wrong with that.

In a joyfully twisted oedipal opening sequence, 12 year old Mary savagely murders both her parents with a pair of scissors. 11 years later (thanks to great make-up work) she's somehow both hot and scary (and nude) wasting away in a mental hospital. A sweaty, perverted orderly rapes and impregnates her. She later gives birth and she's told that the baby is dead. That night she goes on a murderous rampage butchering the entire staff and stumbles out of the hospital holding the head of one of her victims. The cops arrive and open fire, shooting her dead.

20 years later, in present day, the Mary Hatchet massacre has become a thing of legend. The local young people celebrate the macabre anniversary on what they call Blood Night. A bunch of typical horny teens throw a Blood Night party and scare the crap out of each other until they find out that the terror is real. They each begin meeting their demise in many gleefully absurd and gory ways. Has Mary returned from the grave to claim more heads or has a new killer decided to carry on the Blood Night tradition Mary started years ago?

Bill Moseley and Danielle Harris turn in some commendable performances and clearly like the material. Moseley as Graveyard Gus; the graveyard caretaker and drunken friend to some of the local teens and Harris as Alissa; the friend from out of town that brings a hot, hip and capriciously clever vibe to the party and the entire film. While they added more reasons to be excited about this film; these 2 genre veterans aren't the only reason to watch Blood Night. The rather large, young cast may seem like they're there purely for body count, but each of them brings their own brand of zaniness and ultimately carry the film along admirably with their wild partying, sex and debauchery that's nothing new to splatter films, but almost never feels this genuine. I was surprised at how competent and ultimately non-distracting the acting was for a film like this.

Blood Night is not flawless, but it's a hell of a lot of fun. The reveal toward the end is good, but it didn't need to be over-explained. The final fight with the killer leaves something to be desired, but since they probably used the bulk of the budget on such magnificent effects as a guy getting stabbed in the back of the head and the entire top of his head being torn off and a girl getting her spine ripped out and twisted around a pickaxe then they can be forgiven for going a little easier on the fighting stunts.

The list of reasons why this is a great slasher is quite a bit longer than many similar films I've seen in recent years. The production value is high and it's well directed. The sex scenes are actually sexy and enhanced by some clever editing. The gory scenes are extra bloody and most of the effects are practical and done quite well. The CGI is used very sparingly to great effect and is never distracting. Plus we get to hear a nice little campfire tale from Graveyard Gus (Moseley) about the Mary Hatchet legend illustrated in a creepy and morbidly delightful little flashback. Overall this is a ludicrously boisterous splatter flick that any self respecting gore hound would enjoy.

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