It took me forever to locate this movie ever since I first heard about it. One of my Twitter friends is a horror website guy who normally has some good recommendations. He had mentioned this one back in October 2009 when it was scheduled for dvd release later that month. I had been trying to no avail to find a copy since then. It was one of the few movies Netflix didn't have. Redbox didn't have it. None of the local video stores carried it. I was becoming obsessed with seeing "Blood Night" if for nothing more than just to overcome the challenge of possessing it. That meant I had to break down and purchase it online in order to make that happen.
"Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet" allegedly stems from the real life Long Island legend of Mary Hatchet. In the movie, it begins in 1978 when a young Long Island girl named Mary Mattock (Samantha Facchi) murderers her entire family with a hatchet and is locked away for life in Long Island's King's Park Psychiatric Center. Ten years later, Mary escapes the asylum leaving a trail of bloody bodies in her wake. She is eventually gunned down by police which gives birth to the urban legend of Molly Hatchet.
Fast forward to the present and local high schoolers have adopted the anniversary of Molly's murder as an unofficial holiday known as Blood Night. They use the day as an excuse each year to party irresponsibly as well as wreaking havoc on the town. However, this year a group of teenagers find themselves face to face with the realities of the urban legend.
Despite how much effort I put into getting hold of this movie, I still had modest expectations. It's a slasher film so you already know going in that there probably won't be much of anything new that you're going to get with that genre. In fact, there's a good chance you will see some of the same cliches you find in every slasher film. "Blood Night" was no different. Although there were a few moments that I found myself getting unnecessarily aggravated with the simple-minded characters.
The biggest thing was the whole fact how these kids were basically celebrating this ax murderer by having an annual "holiday" about her. Really?? What normal kids would do something like that? I could see goth kids doing that with no problem, but not your average high school kid. I could even see how they would turn it into an urban legend that perhaps they would use as a scare tactic to "haze" underclassmen. But an unofficial holiday where stores even sold shirts with sayings like "I got laid on Blood Night"? Come on now.
Then there were the blatant flaws in logic that accompany every slasher film. In this one, it was the setting of the asylum. Of course some of the surviving kids hook up with the strange old man who's always in the know (played by Bill Moseley here). He comes up with the brilliant idea to go back to King's Park Psychiatric Center to see if they can find info on Molly Hatchett that will keep one of them from being the next victim. The asylum has been closed for years, yet they kept all of the records in the place? How convenient.
And what would any hack-fest be without the blatant disregard for reasoning that the potential victims display? There is a group of six of them wandering this asylum. That's a pretty safe number in case they should encounter a murderous maniac, right? That would just make too much sense. Instead, once the killer confronts the group, they all scatter like cockroaches. Um...hello?! There are six of you and she's one girl with a hatchet. But if there was any common sense present, we wouldn't have half the horror movies that we do.
One of the things I liked best about this joint was one of the explanations they provide for the killer's actions. Graveyard Gus gives his rationale which isn't half bad either, but it's the one they display early on that gets me. Molly was diagnosed as having menstrual dysphoric disorder. So they were basically saying that when she has that time of the month, it causes her to behave like a psychopath. If that wasn't the biggest opening for a moment of unintentional comedy then I don't know what is.
In the end, it comes down to the fact that "Blood Night" is another entry into the slasher genre. It's an art form that had fallen by the wayside as of late. Hollywood folks are either too busy trying to focus on torture films or trying to water down a scary film for a PG-13 film to make these type anymore. So yes, I did call it an art form. A movie has to get all of the elements just right in order to be an effective slasher film: the borderline cheesy acting, the gore, the irrational behavior by both victims and killer and of course a creepy, maniacal killer. "Blood Night" managed to accomplish all of that.
My rating: A -