Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet starts out strong enough for what it is. That's to say that for a retro hack-'em-and-stack-'em horror flick that recalls countless similar movies from the 1980s, Blood Night demonstrates within its first few minutes more than a little potential, setting itself up to be fun film overflowing with tawdry sex and violence. And if that is what the film delivered during its 84-minute run, we'd all be more than content. Unfortunately, the film hits a little snag along the way, and things don't quite work out as planned.
Starting out much like the original Halloween, Blood Night sets up the legend of Mary Mattock, a twelve year-old girl who snaps one night and butchers her parents. Years later, she has grown into a shapely crazy chick that sits around in her mental institution room completely naked (and played by Samantha Facchi). Although she is completely insane, she is naked, which proves to be too much temptation for a sleazebag orderly, who brutally rapes Mary. Nine months later, she gives birth to a baby girl who is taken away from her, and reported to have died at birth. This sets Mary on a bloody rampage, where she kills nearly everyone in the hospital, before being dropped by some police. Two decades later, the legend of Mary Hatchet is alive in well in her former Long Island community, and once a year local teens--who look suspiciously like actors well in their twenties--celebrate Blood Night by acting as if it were Halloween. Despite local rumors that Mary's ghost haunts the local community looking for her baby, this doesn't stop a small group of teenagers that are as stupid as they are horny from having a party. And this is where the film falls apart. For nearly a half hour, nothing happens except the teens partying. There is no witty banter. No arousing sexploitation. And more important, no moments of memorable horror. You want to see the kids get killed, but first you must wait for padded sequence after padded sequence designed to turn what could have otherwise been a short film into a feature.
There are moments in Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet that are effective. The first fifteen minutes, which includes a naked Facchi on a kill-crazy rampage is good for a cheap thrill or two. And when the annoying teens finally start getting bumped off, we are treated to some decent gratuitous violence and gore. But along with these treasured moments there is nearly thirty minutes of poorly written, poorly acted filler featuring characters that are on screen with the express purpose of being killed--but only after you've been bored out of your skull.
Director Frank Sabatella has a decent visual eye, and he is able to make Blood Night mostly work from that standpoint. But when it come to co-writing the script, neither Sabatella or his writing partner seem to be up to the challenge of turning out something that is good, compelling or even capable of remaining consistently entertaining in the most lowbrow of contexts. The script's attempts at originality are foiled by one predictable turn after another, culminating in a surprise twist that is neither a surprise, nor much of a twist. And is that isn't bad enough, actor Bill Moseley is totally wasted as Graveyard Gus, a requisite town creep that is a font of information about Mary Hatchet.
The reasons to watch Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet--some decent gore effects and Facchi traipsing around nude as she slaughters people--are not enough to recommend the movie. The movie is too slow and uninteresting for too long, with too many character who don't die quickly enough.
Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet is presented widescreen. I was given an advance screener, so I can't comment on final product.
Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet is presented in 2.0 in English. I was given an advance screener, so I can't comment on final product. I will say, however, that the audio levels on the screener were ridiculously loud. Even with the volume turned all the way down, this disc was louder than most other movies.
None on the screener.
A standard slasher flick that starts out with promise, before becoming incredibly boring in the second act. And though there's decent bloodshed at the end of the second act and into the third act, the movie never delivers on the promise it starts out with, ultimately becoming a disappointing waste of time.
David Walker is the creator of BadAzz MoFo, a nationally published film critic, and the Writer/Director of Black Santa's Revenge with Ken Foree now on DVD [Buy it now]