Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet

See, she was just innocent little girl Mary Mattock until she got her first menses, and it made her go crazy. How crazy? Like, she-scissored-her-mom-in-the-eye crazy. And-then-axed-her-mom-in-the-other-eye crazy.

Bravo, debuting writer/director/producer Frank Sabatella!  That’s a slasher premise that may not make much sense, but one I haven’t seen before.

Within the confines of King's Park Psychiatric Center in New York, Mary blossoms into a beautiful young woman (Samantha Facchi), to the point that in 1989, she is raped and subsequently knocked up by a grotesquely obese security guard. The baby is taken away from her, so Mary goes on a rampage and is shot dead. Every year since, teens in the town commemorate her “Blood Night” with all-out parties and pranks.
However, this being a horror film set on the 20th anniversary of her death, she comes back to seek her daughter. That’s what happens when no-good, selfish, spoiled-rotten rich kids mess around with a Ouija board atop your grave.

Then those kids have an intimate, sexdrugsrock’n’roll blowout in a two-story house for much of the movie, allowing Bloody Mary to pick them off one or two at a time, all stealth-like. Before they meet their respective dooms, their conversations are actually more interesting than usual for the slice-and-dice sub-genre, discussing the awesomeness of “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes,” the merits of thongs vs. boy shorts, and how Tom Jones albums stand as a terrifying reminder of catching one’s parents mid-copulation.

More often than not, “Blood Night” is as much fun to watch as its characters apparently are having (before having their heads chopped off and/or split open, that is). Like Adam Green’s “Hatchet” films, Sabatella is careful to keep the proceedings slick and sick, with a lotta gore, a little humor, and more than a little nudity (Bloody Mary may as well be named Busty Mary, as often as she's shown au naturel).

Incidentally, “Hatchet II” starlet Danielle Harris is the female lead among the party-harders here, and she acts at a level far above everyone else around her. Nate Dushku (“The Alphabet Killer,” which starred his more-famous sister, Eliza) comes close, and the great Bill Moseley (“2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams”) digs in to his small, but pivotal role as the goofy Graveyard Gus.

If only enough people hear about it, “Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet” could become perennial Halloween viewing, thanks to its strong party spirit, acknowledgment of its Michael Myers roots, and all the elements that grant it that hard-R rating. However, Mr. Sabatella, that twist was evident from the prologue. —Rod Lott


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