Welcome to Commentary Commentary, our long-running series of articles exploring the things we can learn from the most interesting filmmaker commentaries available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Adam Green pulled something of a J.J. Abrams last year and surprised fans by announcing that not only was there a fourth Hatchet film but that it had already been filmed and completed. It was something of a coup, and after touring with the film around the country it’s now come to home video.
Keep reading to see what I heard on the commentary for Victor Crowley.
Victor Crowley (2017)
Commentator: Adam Green (writer/director), Dave Sheridan (actor), Laura Ortiz (actor), Parry Shen (actor)
1. Kane Hodder couldn’t make it to this recording, but Green says he’ll definitely show up elsewhere to record one. It will most likely be for Movie Crypt, the podcast Green does with Joe Lynch.
2. Green’s recording this track after finishing his 36 (or so) city tour with the film.
3. Jonah Ray, who opens the film alongside Kelly Vrooman, is “blind without his glasses.” Sharp-eyed viewers will notice that he’s not wearing glasses during the scene, and Green says it was a struggle to ensure Ray was actually looking at Vrooman when necessary.
4. Tyler Mane — Michael Myers from Rob Zombie’s Halloween films — plays the hunter in the opening scene.
5. Green doesn’t let the cast see Victor unless they’re in an on-camera scene with him.
6. Real campers called the police during filming after hearing guttural screams echoing in the swamp.
7. The film was shot over eleven days.
8. One of the most-asked questions on the film tour was regarding whether or not they used a body double for Ortiz’s bare butt scene, and the answer is no. “To Laura’s credit,” says Green, “she was like ‘You could of showed more,’ but Laura’s like my sister and there was no way I was gonna allow that.”
9. The early scenes between Andrew (Shen) and his agent Kathleen (Felissa Rose) were shot in the production company’s parking lot and features a cameo from Green’s car.
10. The film’s production was kept secret meaning auditioning actors didn’t always know what they were auditioning for. Chase Williamson was unaware but told Green at the audition how much he loves Hatchet. He probably would have gotten the job anyway.
11. Green’s been asked before if auditions for roles requiring nudity actually require the actor get naked at the audition, and he says the “body check” can be done but it’s not an automatic given.
12. It was Shen’s idea to have the fan rest his exposed dick on his book cover, and the actor cast in the role was more than accommodating. Fans on the film tour began pretending to do the same at post-screening signings.
13. The moment that comes in most commentaries comes around the 28:42 mark, but Green takes it a step further saying “You’d be surprised how many people watch it with the commentary first and then complain that they couldn’t get into it.”
14. Ortiz is actually in Hatchet II as the same character — she’s only onscreen very briefly — and if there’s a Hatchet 5 Green says that storyline will be revisited.
15. Tony Todd cameos as one of the YouTubers saying the curse on the phone video.
16. They lost a day of shooting because the floor of their plane-set collapsed.
17. Blood doesn’t show up all that well in a red-lit set — which is what the plane interior is for most of the film — so they were continually re-dying it to make it more visible.
18. As of the recording of this track Green was fighting with the marketing department to keep the motion sensor gag and Dillon’s joke about Austin (Brian Quinn) being dead/alive out of the trailer.
19. The possibility of creating a Victor Crowley action figure is “being talked about very seriously.”
20. Williamson suffered an eye injury during his death scene — perhaps unsurprisingly as his death involves being pummeled in the eyes with a hammer — but it wasn’t the hammer that did him wrong. His screaming actually popped an eye vessel.
21. The drowning death of Casey (Tiffany Shepsis), the pregnant woman, was inspired in part by Green’s realization that he’s “missed the boat” on having kids of his own. I love that response to realizing you probably won’t ever have your own family, but regardless of its trigger the scene works as the most affecting death in the entire franchise. “That death… I just feel terrible about it.”
22. Apparently Green actually wrote an I Survivor book — like, it’s not just a cover on a fake book, he wrote an actual autobiography for Andrew (Shen).
23. Green’s deservedly proud of one aspect that sets the film apart from the earlier three — “There are some genuine moments of suspense which the other three do not have. The other three were just funny funny gore, funny funny gore. This is similar, but there are some moments where some of the audiences… would jump and be nervous.”
24. The voice on the plane’s radio that answers Dillon is actually Hodder.
25. The flight is KWAJ #331 — Kwaj is actually the nickname of the island (Kwajalein Atoll) that Hodder grew up on in the South Pacific, and 3/31 is Green’s birthday.
Best in Context-Free Commentary
“Very complicated scene to do too because of the snot.”
“Michael Myers was the last one that we needed to kill.”
“The best shot in the movie is not in the movie.”
“She had to die.”
This is a fun, informative commentary despite Ortiz not speaking nearly enough and Sheridan talking far too much. (Seriously, they should have considered cutting Sheridan’s mic.) Green shows a real passion for his cast and for the fun of filmmaking, and it’s an infectious feeling… so much so that here’s hoping Green will have another surprise in store for fans down the road.
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