When it comes to special features, my absolute favorite thing on any given disc is the commentary; a running audio track that plays over the movie and has the director/actors/producers etc talking about their experiences on set and things of that nature. It's almost like watching the movie with the people who made it/starred in it and it's always such a nice little treat to learn things about movies that you never knew. Because I often find myself watching commentaries on the DVD's I own, I thought it'd be kinda cool to start sharing some of the little factoids I learn from them.
First up on the chopping block are two commentary tracks from one of my favorite horror films in recent years; Hatchet 2. The DVD & Blu-ray both boast two commentary tracks, one with the production crew (Adam Green, cinematographer Will Barratt & FX artist Robert Pendergraft) and the other with Green, Tony Todd and Kane Hodder, both of which I have watched in the past week. Here are some little nuggets of interesting info I acquired from each of them!
- Danielle Harris has a big ass tattoo on her leg (and I need to see it). This was discovered by the crew during her shower scene in the film. When they were looking at the footage as it was being shot, with Danielle behind the shower curtain, Green initially thought she was wearing shorts or a shadow was being cast on her, because it looked like a big dark spot was on her leg. Only then did they realize she had a tattoo that they weren't aware of. To hide it in the shot, they simply had Danielle face the opposite way in the shower.
- In the above picture that's shown in Marybeth's house, that's actually Adam Green in the middle, with Danielle Harris' face Photoshopped over his. He is wearing a shirt that reads Haddonfield, the name of his band.
- The jar of urine Jack Cracker almost gets Marybeth to drink in his cabin contained Mountain Dew, though Harris was convinced someone on the crew was going to actually piss in it to prank her.
- Adam Green never had sex with his wife Rileah Vanderbilt while she was in the young Victor Crowley makeup, though he implies he would've been up for it if she was.
- Kane Hodder stunt doubled R.A. Mihailoff as Leatherface in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3. I probably should've known that but for some reason I don't believe I did.
- The special effects artist on the film, Rob Pendergraft, worked under artist John Carl Buechler (who plays Jack Cracker) on the first Hatchet. For this one, Green wanted to give him the chance to be the man in charge. Pendergraft initially feared that he wasn't ready for it, being that he didn't even have his own company or space to work in, but then decided he could do the whole movie out of his aunt's garage. Thus, the name of the special effects company on the film is Aunt Dolly's Garage.
- In the scene where Reverend Zombie is recruiting a crew to hunt Victor Crowley, Green used mostly horror community friends of his to fill out the room. I noticed all the instantly recognizable people like Lloyd Kaufman and Dread Central's Uncle Creepy, but I never realized Marcus Dunstan (writer of Feast, Saw 4-7 and writer/director of The Collector), Ryan Shifrin (director of Abominable) and Dave Parker (director of The Hills Run Red) were in there too. Also something I didn't realize was that Nick Principe (who played Chromeskull in Laid To Rest) is shown during the compilation of kill scenes earlier in the film, where Victor Crowley is shown killing various hunters (including Joe Lynch).
- Vernon's famous song about biscuits and gravy was improvised on set by actor Colton Dunn. He was originally supposed to sing 'This Land Is Your Land' but when nobody could remember all the words, Green told him to just improvise something. Dunn came up with the song based on the things they had been eating while in Louisiana. On a related note, Green and Dunn met through playing each other online on video game Halo, before Green even knew Dunn was in the entertainment business. He just thought he was hilarious and decided to write a role for him in the film.
- Though the death of Misty (Mercedes McNab) from the first film happens offscreen, her complete death scene was filmed and, as Green hints in the cast commentary, will be seen someday, perhaps in some kind of future release.
- The audio of Victor Crowley crying out for his 'daddy' in the swamp was created by blending the voices of Kane Hodder and Hodder's real life son, to give it that childlike quality.
- Ed Ackerman, who plays Cleatus in the film, was one of the vikings in those Capital One Commercials. Knew I recognized him from somewhere!
- The repeated hatchet handle to the face kill of Chad's character was at one point going to be Jenna's death scene in the first film, due to the fact that Green wasn't sure how well the belt sander kill would work, being that gas powered belt sanders don't really exist. Once one of the members of the crew actually made a real working one, proving to him that they could exist, Jenna's death scene was kept the way it was originally written.
- The giant chainsaw Victor Crowley kills two men with in the film weighed 120 pounds and had to be held up on wires so that Kane Hodder could actually walk with it.
- There is a typo at the very end of the end credits sequence, during the 'the characters and situations are fictitious ...' blurb. It reads "any persons LIVNG or dead". Totally useless bit of information but I feel like a better fan for knowing it!
Just want to mention here before I go that both commentaries are totally worth the watch for any of you fellow card carrying Hatchet Army members out there, with one serving as a more technical look at the making of the film and the other a look at it from the actor's points of view. Some stuff does inevitably get repeated but they each offer oodles of different bits of information (much much more than I shared here) and the cast commentary in particular is noteworthy because Adam Green gets deep into the whole MPAA thing in it. So if you love the movie, I encourage you to make the time to watch them both at some point!