Hollywood Gothique
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Hatchet will be hacked to avoid NC-17

E-Splatter points us to this disturbing news: the theatrical release of Adam Greenberg’s excellent ode to ’80s slasher films, HATCHET, will likely be cut after an appeal failed to overturn the MPAA’s restrictive NC-17 rating. As sad as the news is, it is not complete surprising: Greenberg himself said he expected as much when he introduced a screenign of the film at last year’s Screamfest festival.

The cast of HATCHET reacts to news that the
gung-ho gore film will be cut to get an R-rating.

What the MPAA missed is that, despite the unrestrained gore, the film is seldom really disturbing; it is, as Greenberg indicates, scary in a fun way, like telling stories round a campfire:

  • “We have a movie with a swamp monster chasing comedians with a gas-powered belt sander and they gave us an NC-17,” laments Green, who suggests the ratings board may have missed the pic’s twisted feel-good factor. “With ‘Hatchet,’ we’ve had audiences literally stand up and cheer at some of the gore, and everybody walks out smiling. I’m trying to go back to when it was fun.”

All I can say is it’s a damn shame that general audiences will not be able to see the version of the film that played so well at festival screenings. I’m not even a particularly big fan of the sub-genre to which HATCHET pays homage, and yet I was completely won over by its approach, and I think most horror fans would get a kick out of it in its unexpurgated form.

Oh well, I guess there’s always the director’s cut DVD to look foward to…