Hatchet III will be released next year and we had a chance to talk with director BJ McDonnell about the making of the movie. Continue reading to learn how he ended up taking over for Adam Green on the sequel, the challenges he encountered filming in New Orleans, and what kind of kills we can expect from Victor Crowley this time around:
What made you decide to take over directorial duties for Hatchet III?
BJ McDonnell: What made me want to come and be a part of Hatchet III was that I was involved with all of the other Hatchet movies. The funny thing was that Adam [Green] and I were talking about who was going to do Hatchet III.
Adam said he didn’t think he was going to direct Hatchet III, so I said that if he wasn’t going to direct it, then I was not going to do it with some other director. The only thing that made the Hatchet movies fun was him, Will, and the family. Later on, we were playing putt putt at Cape Cod and he told me he wanted to do it, and that there was nobody else. That’s how it all came about.
Did you beat Adam at putt putt?
BJ McDonnell: You bet your ass I did, but I bought him a ice cream later so it was ok.
The fans are going to want to know: Is the body count higher than number two?
BJ McDonnell: You know what’s funny? That is a question Adam and I keep asking each other. I think it is a lot higher because there is just a lot more going on. But, there was a lot going on in part two as well with the flashbacks and things like that. I would have to watch part 2 again and count how many people died, but Jesus Christ man, in part 3 we went through some people. We went through them good!
Will there be flashbacks like there was in part two where you showed characters from the first film?
BJ McDonnell: Nope, all new people except for Danielle Harris and Kane. Everyone else is pretty much dead.
What were some of the challenges you encountered while directing this movie?
BJ McDonnell: Going to New Orleans and the time of the year that we had to shoot was a challenge. We wanted to have 12 hour nights to shoot, but because of the time of year we only had 8 hours of darkness. So once the sun went down, we had to haul ass to try to make our days because, before you knew it, the sun was already starting to come up and your night of shooting was over.
Another challenge was shooting in a real swamp with bugs, mud, and the rain. There were times where it seemed like everything didn’t want us to shoot part three. We would get into a big huge setup and then there would be lightning. In New Orleans, if you have lightning, you have to shut the generators down, turn off all the lights and sit there until the storm passes.
With bugs, people got bit by spiders and people got DEET poisoning (for those that don’t know, DEET is what is in bug spray and if you use too much you can have hallucinations and other side effects). One girl had to leave because she had DEET poisoning and I was bummed because she was a great crew member.
This year, it seemed like everyone was filming in New Orleans. Thank god, we ended up finding a crew, they stuck through the shoot and didn’t bail on us. I know a lot of crew members who would have said “this is terrible…let’s go!”, but they stuck through.
What can you tell our readers about the new death scenes?
BJ McDonnell: They are out of control. There are a lot of fast stuff that happens and then there are some kills that are just kind of mean. I mean killing anyone is mean, but Crowley is worse in this with some of his kills. There is a side of him in this that is very dark and it makes you go “Wow, that is messed up…”
Out of the first two would you say you have a favorite death?
BJ McDonnell: First one is the Miss Permatteo death with the head rip. For me, it was shot on the steady cam and that was a challenging shot, but it was a lot of fun. From the second movie, I’d say I loved Tony Todd’s death. I thought it was fantastic and a nice way to go out. Skinning someone alive, hanging them upside down, and throwing them into the bushes was pretty awesome.
If you could ever direct a remake and had complete control, what would you direct?
BJ McDonnell: I would like to do The Blob. I loved the 80’s version and it was really gnarly. The effects in that were awesome. I thought the scene was amazing where the guy is reaching out and through the blob you see his face melting. Watching that as a young kid, I thought that was scary. Seeing the guy get pulled up from the theater and it had tentacles, I mean damn, it was pretty amazing. If I had to do a remake, it would have to be The Blob.
If you could any superhero movie what would you do?
BJ McDonnell: Did you ever see SuperFuzz? This guy sees red and loses his powers and blows a giant bubble out of bubble gum. It had Ernest Borgnine and it’s just really strange. It was kind of a funny movie, so I would want to make something nobody would expect. Actually, if I could, I would do a Spawn remake. I grew up loving Spawn and I had all of the action figures. Don’t get me wrong, I think the costume in the original and Violator was great, but I would love to do that.
What can everybody expect from Hatchet III?
BJ McDonnell: People can expect the same feeling from the earlier Hatchet movies. There is comedy going on there, the 80’s style vibe, and makeup FX from the previous Hatchet films. It has the same vibe, but its ramped up a little bit more. I think the fans will like the fact the story gets moving fast and shit starts hitting the fan very quickly. From there, it keeps going until the end. It is going to move really fast and Crowley is brutal in it. I think people will really dig it.
Keep an eye out for more Hatchet III coverage when the film gets closer to release. Until then, take a look at the teaser poster, synopsis, and cast list below:
Hatchet III opens on the ultraviolent final shot of Hatchet II and continues the tale of the now iconic slasher villain Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder). As a search and recovery team heads into the haunted swamp to pick up the pieces and carnage left behind from the first two films, Marybeth (Danielle Harris) hunts down the true secret to ending the voodoo curse that has left the ghost of Victor Crowley haunting and terrorizing Honey Island Swamp for decades.
The cast includes the return of Danielle Harris and Kane Hodder, along with new cast members Derek Mears (Friday the 13th), Caroline Williams (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2), Sean Whalen (Laid to Rest), Zach Galligan (Gremlins), Diane Goldner (The Collector), and Jason Trost (The FP).