Tag Archives: Kane Hodder

FIVE YEARS AFTER THE REVEAL OF ‘VICTOR CROWLEY’: AN INTERVIEW WITH PARRY SHEN

Parry Shen dies harder than Bruce Willis.

No one ever stated it quite as succinctly as my friend Muse when she paraphrased Ice T. On his third character in the HATCHET franchise, Shen has more than established himself to be the cinematic pain in Kane Hodder’s ass.

As VICTOR CROWLEY (2017) writer and director Adam Green often says, “Parry Shen is the final girl of Honey Island Swamp.” From Shawn and Justin in the first two HATCHET movies, to Andrew Yong in the most recent installments, Shen has proven impossible to eradicate. And no one is complaining.

With the fifth anniversary looming for the utter shock and surprise that was the unveiling of the fourth film of the series in August of 2017, we arranged a phone call with the franchise’s true MVP.

Before Shen embarked on day trip last Friday, we spoke about the secrecy that surrounded VICTOR CROWLEY, the struggle to keep a straight face acting alongside Dave Sheridan, a moment of “method acting to [Shen’s] detriment”, and whether he’d be down for a fifth flick should Green decide to resurrect the Bayou Butcher one more time

But before we dive into the interview, please note that we said “should” Adam Green decide to do another HATCHET movie.

If.

Nothing is in the works. There are no definitive plans. Again…if. Not to put a damper on things, but it had to be said.

“Now, enjoy the rest of the album!”

Parry Shen, everybody.

NIGHTMARE NOSTALGIA: So, Adam Green reaches out one day and says that he wants to make a HATCHET movie. In secret. Walk us through that conversation.

PARRY SHEN: Adam emailed me the script. It was all through email, I believe, the first time. And I was kind of astonished because I thought [HATCHET III (2013)] was it. He was pretty sure that the third one was going to be it, and I remember him on the set just kind of observing–he was writing HOLLISTON at the time and B.J. (McDonnell) was directing–and I was like “this is it, huh? He said “yeah,” but I saw a glimmer in his eye, like if there is a fourth one, the gears were running in his head, “it would have to be just…you.” (Laughs) He knew how the third one ended, because he did write it, and that came to fruition years later.

I remember thinking, because the first three took place consecutively, with revisiting and making it literally ten years after the first one, it just made sense logistically, the story made sense about how to bring Victor back in a new way and I was like, “oh wow, this is really cool.” And it was cool to be front and center for the first time in the franchise, through deathocracy you know, everyone was gone! (Laughs) It was just a really cool challenge to have more weight on my shoulders.

The whole secrecy of it, I though, was really cool. We, people who were a part of it, thought that it had ended, so the fans for sure thought that. To have them a couple of steps behind while we did it was kind of awesome.

NN: I spoke with Kane Hodder at a convention a while back and asked how y’all managed to make a movie and no one had a clue. He said “that’s a good question! I have no idea!” Do you ever stop and marvel at the fact that no one said a word for two years?

PS: Everyone was so on board with how cool that concept was that nobody wanted to mess it up. It was like, why would you do that, you know? So much had been set up in terms of the three (films), that’s the trilogy and that’s it, and after a while it became very easy because we just didn’t talk about it. When people would ask me what projects I had, I would tell them other things and just keep it pushed to the side. When it was time to release, and seeing teasers from Adam–this is going to be the trailer once the world knows–I was like, “oh wait, that’s right! I did shoot that (laughs). Because I never talked about it for a year afterwards, it was like out of sight, out of mind. Oh wow, that’s right!

NN: Speaking of Kane. Across the board, cast and crew mention how terrifying Hodder is when he emerges for a scene. Grizzled veteran of Honey Island Swamp that you are, has Kane lost any of that affect on you?

PS: No, he hasn’t lost any affect because every iteration, the makeup gets better every time, so there’s always something that’s different. And Kane always brings a level of ferocity (laughs) to the performance. So yeah, it’s never lost upon me.

NN: You’re on your third character in this franchise, but with Andrew Yong, you got your first opportunity to pick up where you left off. Is it more challenging to come in for a new role or the continued portrayal of an established one?

PS: They’re both different. It’s probably the most challenging to create a new character from scratch. You’re doing a different back story, whether Adam gives it to you or coming up with it for yourself with the clues of the dialogue.

It’s probably easier to have an existing character because then you have something to springboard, having things to go off of for Andrew, his experiences from the third movie to roll into the fourth. But, at the same time, there’s a lot of stuff that popped up that wasn’t there that was like new information that I had to do homework on. His past history with Sabrina (Krystal Joy Brown), his ex-wife, and Adam had written the actual book I, Survivor after we had shot the film. That would have helped out a lot (laughs) in terms of providing back story. 300 pages of back story.

NN: On GENERAL HOSPITAL, you sprint through filming 100-plus pages per day, but with HATCHET flicks you’re primarily shooting at night, in the elements, and in a constant state of panic. As an actor, how arduous is that particular pivot?

PS: They’re actually fairly similar because for both we’re moving at a very quick speed for different reasons. With GENERAL HOSPITAL, it’s the sheer amount of material that we have to get through because we have a new episode that airs every day. For HATCHET, it’s a lot of material in the constrained amount of time that we have to shoot for budgetary reasons. And also because we’re fighting daylight because we’re filming at night.

Those skill sets, of being able to make choices quickly and making the most effective choice (chuckles) quickly was kind of the same. It’s not an easy thing to do because there are a lot of people who need time to ramp up, which is very understandable. But at the same time, I think one helped me with the other. My experiences on GENERAL HOSPITAL helped me to get back into the saddle with the pace of HATCHET, and my experience with HATCHET helped me get ready for the fast pace of GENERAL HOSPITAL.

NN: Was it hard to keep a straight face with Dave Sheridan?

PS: Yyyes. Yes. His improvisation is great. It kind of sucks because I have to play the straight man in all of this, where I can only contribute to the improvisation that makes sense in the frame of things.

I always say that one of my favorite scenes from the HATCHET movies is when [Sheridan’s] saying “Austin’s dead.” And [Brian] Quinn comes behind me and says “dude, I’m right here.” And [Sheridan] says “Austin’s alive!” All I can do is give a shrug like “why would you…?” But I love that because the way the camera was framed, you could get so many actors and see their expressions, and seeing Austin pop up in the back is just so well done. The timing was great from everybody.

NN: Sounds like you had a bit of a mishap filming the scene where you emerged from the water outside the plane?

PS: The only mishap was that we all felt that it would be really cool for us to emerge from head to waist like we were really coming out of the water because we were submerged instead of just exiting the water. The camera crew, I think, were taking bets like “nah, they’re not gonna do it,” because it was cold. If you haven’t been in extremely cold water before, it’s hard to describe, because you’re breath is just sucked out of your lungs. You can’t even control it, it looks like you’re doing this fake acting (laughs) of being cold, but you really can’t control your body when it’s that cold. And it was that cold. It was at night and the water was freezing, but let’s just do it real quick. “Action!” and we did it. I even took a couple gulps of water like I was having trouble swimming away from Victor. I took a big gulp when they called action and the end result was us literally just walking out of the water (laughs). We didn’t have to do any of that!

And then I found out that Kane had pissed in the water. So, I had taken a mouthful of water for no reason and swallowed his diluted urine. It was so dumb, as soon as I swallowed I was like “they’re not going to see this. It’s so dark.” It was like method acting to my detriment.

NN: This is one of our favorite questions: be it at a convention, through your website, or a random encounter on the street–what is the strangest request you’ve received from a HATCHET fan?

PS: You know, I don’t get the weird ones (laughs). Usually that’s like Kane or Danielle [Harris] who get that stuff. I’m not a violent person in the movies, so no one asks me to choke them like Kane does, So, it’s going to be very boring. I can’t think of anything that’s been weird.

NN: OK, so a little more tame.

PS: Yeah.

NN: Anything weird from the soap opera fans? Both are rabid in their own way.

PS: Sorry, this one’s gonna be a boring answer (laughs). I’ve been very fortunate to not have any weird requests. The only strange thing that’s happened was when I was in a restaurant. I had a story line (on GENERAL HOSPITAL) where there was a baby switch and I took someone else’s baby and kept him as my own, raised him as my own. Someone (at the restaurant) yelled “you give that baby back!” And I said “no, he’s mine!” (laughs).

NN: Bit of a sidebar here, but tell us about MADELINES.

PS: That was a movie I did with Brea Grant and Jason Miller, who I did a movie with called UNIDENTIFIED (2013). We just worked really well together. We have the same sensibilities. He’s my producing partner. Then he and Brea started working together and Brea wrote this script about this couple who invent a time machine, something goes wrong–the coding goes wrong–and basically she experiments on herself to go into the future.

But something goes wrong and we see the coding and realize that she is going to reappear at the same time every day for the next ten years, basically. So, 3,600 of her are coming every day for the next ten years and we have to figure out a way to get rid of them. And it gets kind of grisly. The only solution they have is to basically start killing them off one-by-one.

NN: And while we’re at it, Green’s Halloween short FAIRY TALE POLICE was so incredible. How is that not an actual series?

PS: I loved that concept and loved the shoot. I was so excited to possibly keep doing more in that universe with fairy tale characters and policing that area with Rachael Leigh Cooke. I watch it at least a few times every year. It’s so well done. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, you can find it on YouTube.

NN: Would you be down for a fifth installment if Green decides to give it another go?

PS: Yeah! I mean, it’s no secret now that he said that there should be one. He has some pieces in his head. They’re pretty ambitious, but we have to keep outdoing the last one, so with less budget and bigger ideas that he wants, does make it more challenging. It’s kind of always having the right things in place to be able to meet the expectations of what you have in mind. Your imagination (chuckles), right? Then meeting somewhere in the middle. Yeah, I’d be totally down. Ready to go.

NN: It had been 10 years since the journey began when VICTOR CROWLEY had its big reveal, and now we approach the fifth anniversary of that release. The HATCHET Army is fiercely devoted, but as a member of the inner circle, what does being a part of the HATCHET family mean to you?

PS: It’s a lot of different things. It’s obviously the fans. I went to a HorrorHound convention recently, and was able to visit with a lot of the fans over the years, and how they got introduced to the film. Some of them were stationed overseas in the military, and all they had was a few movies, and HATCHET were one of them. It helped them get through that time in their lives. Some people were bed-ridden from a sickness and it helped them get through that time. Other people are aspiring filmmakers, young students, and that sort of got them inspired to get into makeup effects and filmmaking.

And on the other hand, Adam just chooses very well the people he surrounds himself with. They’re like-minded and have become really great friends. You can see when we do the Halloween shorts, (Green) just gets everyone together and it’s just really cool when someone is indoctrinated into the HATCHET family, because we know that you’re in that club and you’ve got a good friend for life.

HODDER HAVOC: BEST KANE KILL FROM EVERY FRIDAY AND HATCHET FILM

Five years after Uber Jason and just two after he was inexplicably and shamefully denied his (and we apologize for the term) dream match-up with Robert Englund in FREDDY VS. JASON (2003), Kane Hodder was cast as another woods-roaming killer with parental issues.

In the wake of four turns as the Camp Crystal Lake marauder, Hodder didn’t sit back and feel sorry for himself, nor did he quit, he simply got back to work and redefined himself. As one dream came to a close Kane helped make another come to life, and Victor Crowley was born.

Adam Green first conjured the idea of the Bayou Butcher at the age of eight when (ironically enough) summer camp counselors warned the children to stay away from a particular cabin or “Hatchet-face” would get them. Though they never elaborated further, the idea lived in Green’s mind for the next 23 years until he and his crew took a trip to New Orleans, embarked on a swamp tour and shot a teaser trailer. The rest, as they say, is history.

With Jason so ingrained in the consciousness of the culture, some may have thought it a risk to portray a character that could be considered a ripoff of Jason Voorhees, but those concerns were quickly put to rest because Hodder doesn’t do anything half-assed, and it wasn’t long before Victor Crowley was a beloved symbol of horror greatness.

Not only did Kane claim domain over Jason after the character had been played by six other actors prior, he took the opportunity to establish a character from the ground up and transformed it into a fixture of the genre. For a man who has the word “kill” tattooed inside his bottom lip, it’s only fitting that we celebrate what Hodder does best — lay waste.

Rather than a top ten, we choose to shine light on the most memorable murder from each of Kane’s four turns as Voorhees and Victor, respectively. Eight films, eight finishes. But we’re not going to focus on machetes or hatchets or even gas-powered belt sanders. Nay, because as Hodder told YellMagazine in 2013, his hands are his favorite instrument of death.

“Just anything barehanded because anybody can kill with a weapon,” Hodder said. “I think it’s much more personal.”

So, let’s get to know Kane Hodder a little better, shall we?

8. “I’M KICKIN’ MY ASS! DO YA MIND?” — JASON GOES TO HELL: THE FINAL FRIDAY (1993)

Though it was tempting to go with Creighton Duke here because we feel that Steven Williams’ character was the Darth Maul of the series–one that deserved far more than it got–in the end, it was merely a bear hug and felt a bit too unceremonious. Come to think of it, the same could be said for the entire picture: a fantastic idea poorly executed.

That said, we decided to go with the film’s lasting image. True, Hodder was denied his chance to square off with Krueger, but he did get the chance to slip into the sweater and knived-glove and yank his own mask to Hades.

It’s not a kill, really, but Jason Jason was only around for about 10 minutes and Kane’s security guard was dispatched off-screen earlier in the flick, so the slam dunk of Hodder offing himself was effectively Mutombo’d. New Line took FREDDY VS. JASON off the table, we’re putting it back on.

7. THE CURB STOMP — HATCHET II (2010)

Alright, this one isn’t so much bare hands as pure boot, but it’s Kane eradicating one of Reverend Zombie’s (Tony Todd) makeshift militiamen who just happened to be Leatherface from LEATHERFACE: TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE III (1990) in the most brutally badass manner, so top that.

Sorry, R.A. Mihailoff, but as Kane exasperated at the conclusion of the “Raising Kane” behind the scenes featurette for HATCHET III (2013), “quit comin’ in the fuckin’ swamp!”

6. LITTLE MAC FOR REAL — FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VIII: JASON TAKE MANHATTAN (1989)

Look, you’re reading this on a site called Nightmare Nostalgia, which probably means you love the warm fuzzies of yesteryear as much as we do, so it stands to reason more than a handful of you will pick up what we’re about to put down.

Long before Gun Media unleashed Friday the 13th: The Game, there was the Nintendo abomination that left Friday freaks frustrated as hell because they couldn’t play as Jason. We mean, seriously, there’s dropping the ball and then there’s that. In any event, you could hurl all the knives and rocks you wanted (see what we mean about abomination?) but it hardly put a dent into old Jason. But when he wielded that machete/ax/toothbrush it didn’t take long before you were a faceless corpse.

Which brings us to another NES classic, Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!. The upstart boxer who had a dream of becoming the champ, only he was undersized so despite all the jump-jabs, it only took one good shot from Tyson for sleepy time. Sound familiar?

Yeah, two years after Punch-Out!! was all the rage, MANHATTAN gifted us with a round of live-action with Julius (Vincent Craig Dupree, as V.C. Dupree) as Little Mac and the man of the hour, Hodder playing Tyson.

Grab a Soda Popinski and have a seat ringside!

5. “IN THE END, THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE” — HATCHET III (2013)

Admittedly, I’m in the distinct minority here as someone who prefers Hodder as Victor as opposed to Voorhees, but then I’m also of the opinion that Derek Mears is the best Jason of all-time. So, when team leader Hawes (Mears) showed with his elite unit to hunt down Crowley, audiences knew his bluster and bravado would inevitably boil down to a knock-down, drag-out heavyweight tilt for the ages.

Those who knew the FRIDAY franchise, however, surely picked up on Mears’ character’s name being a JASON LIVES (1986) reference, so when the buildup of an epic showdown between two Jasons finally came to fruition, Green made it pretty clear whom he felt was the superior slasher. Bit of a twist on the end result, but she was foreshadowed to be sure. But hey, we’ve all been there. The anticipation mounts and mounts till you’re ready to erupt and when you finally crawl into bed and get that chance, erupt is exactly what you do. Quickly. Embarrassingly.

…or, maybe that’s just me. Moving on!

4. THE ULTIMATE FISTING — VICTOR CROWLEY (2017)

“Putting an arm into a vagina, out of the throat? Tricky. Tricky.”

No one could put it quite as eloquently as Hodder did with his Week 10 guest appearance on THE LAST DRIVE-IN this past August, so we’re not even going to try.

Scenes involving genitalia are old hat for Felissa Rose, but her role as Andrew Yong’s (Parry Shen) publicist Kathleen may finally be the one that rivals SLEEPAWAY CAMP’s (1983) final reveal. Look, she’s Joe Bob Briggs’ designated “Mangled Dick Expert” for a reason.

Kills don’t always have to be gory, sometimes they just need to be creative. And when Kane and Green get together, you can safely place money that you’ll lay eyes on something you’ve never seen before. The bonus? Vaginal Verizon never drops a call.

3. THE SLEEPING BAG — FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VI: THE NEW BLOOD (1988)

The perception of the character was forever altered the moment Voorhees emerged from the icy depths of Crystal Lake on May 13, 1988. From the giddiness of that initial glimpse at a hulking figure with a partially exposed spinal cord to the heaving breaths and absolute brutality that followed, it was clear that director John Carl Buechler’s push for Hodder to don the hock had changed the game, because Kane’s Jason was in all ways a Rubicon.

After six previous films that had turned Voorhees into a pop culture icon, Hodder came along and set the standard by which the character would be judged thenceforth. Anyone who needs further evidence need look no further than the fact that no other actor had (or has) fulfilled the role more than once, yet Kane would return for three more films following Part VII. While Hodder’s first turn in the franchise’s seventh chapter provided several memorable kills, nothing could top Judy (Debora Kessler) thinking that pulling the sleeping bag over her head would ward off the masked maniac like a bad dream. Kane plucked her from the tent and dragged it to the nearest tree with an enthusiastic aggression never before seen, and ensured that the Hodder era had only just begun.

While it’s true that Todd Farmer paid hilarious homage to this kill in JASON X (2001), nothing tops the OG

2. LIQUID NITROGEN FACIAL — JASON X (2001)

This movie has its detractors, but if one simply wants to turn their brain off, grab some popcorn and have a good time, you can do a lot worse than JASON X.

More proof, John Klein? In his final turn as Voorhees, Kane gifted us with his greatest Jason kill. And to bring it kinda-sorta full circle, his victim was named Adrienne (Kristi Angus), which we’re sure is a detail not lost on FRIDAY aficionados.

1, HEAVY IS THE HEAD — HATCHET (2006)

Our introduction to Victor Crowley allowed us some peeks at the bibs-wearing beast, but nothing could prepare us for the big unveiling As the group wandered about Honey Island Swamp looking for a way out, the elder couple decided to go it alone because they were done with the whole scene. Only thing was, they didn’t know just how done they actually were.

Oh, and that whole curiosity about would the character just be a rip off of Jason? That was put to bed in seconds. Hodder emerged from his shed with a roar and ran–yes, ran–toward his prey. He filleted Mr. Permatteo (Richard Riehle) in short order, then set his sights on Lumpkins.

Shannon (Patrika Darbo) tried to flee, but Victor hustled over, grabbed her by the hair and…well, we all know the not-so unfortunate end to that story: the finest Kane Kill of all-time.

So, yeah, it took mere moments for Hodder to prove that we weren’t in Crystal Lake anymore…Toto.

Eight kills in eight films that turned one actor into a two-time icon.

Such matters are always up for debate, so if your favorite kill didn’t make the cut or you take umbrage with the rankings, please weigh in using the comments section below.

Oh, and in honor of Kane’s 66th birthday on April 8, like and share this piece on Facebook and / or Twitter using the hashtag #HodderHavoc to be entered into a drawing to win this 11 x 17 VICTOR CROWLEY movie poster signed by Hodder at HorrorHound Indianapolis in 2018. The winner will be announced on Nightmare Nostalgia’s Facebook and Twitter on April 9.

Kane Hodder Finally Has His Tommy Jarvis

I don’t want to scare anyone, but I’m gonna give it to you straight about Jason. Well, one of them. Come to think of it, the path may be more meandering than straight but we’ll get there, just stick with me.

To many, Kane Hodder is the definitive Jason Voorhees. From his spine-tingling introduction from the icy depths of Crystal Lake to his heaving breaths to what Robert Englund described as “his bulk,” Hodder incomprehensibly set the standard for a character that had already existed for six films when he first donned the hock in FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD (1988).

Which was why Friday fans simply could not fathom that Hodder wasn’t asked to return opposite Englund for what had been the most highly anticipated film of the franchise, FREDDY VS. JASON (2003). After playing the masked maniac for 4 installments, the Kane era unceremoniously (and inexplicably) came to a close.

What’s worse, the Tommy Jarvis trilogy wrapped just before Hodder assumed the role, which meant that despite four takes, what many felt had been the finest portrayal of Jason never got to square off with his chief rival.

But that’s where a kinda-sorta Friday the 13th gift entered the fray.

Five years after JASON X (2001), an upstart filmmaker from Holliston, Massachusetts offered Hodder the role of another woods-roaming, crazed killer–and Victor Crowley was born.

While Adam Green had a trilogy in mind when production began on HATCHET (2006), he couldn’t have known that the villain he’d conjured at the age of eight (from stories about a hatchet-faced killer told by, ironically enough, camp counselors) would achieve icon status, no more than he was unaware that one of his original casting decisions would become what he has come to describe as his “secret weapon.”

Enter Parry Shen.

A consummate professional and on-set leader, Shen would go on to appear in a pair of Green’s Halloween shorts [THE TIVO (2008) and FAIRY TALE POLICE (2009)], and an episode of HOLLISTON, to say nothing of his roles in each installment of the HATCHET series, where Green has identified Shen as the true final girl of Honey Island Swamp.

Like Hodder in the Friday franchise, Shen has appeared in four HATCHET flicks, though it’s been more Shemping-but-not-really, because I, Survivor has played three different characters: Shawn, the hustling faux-boat tour guide in the original, his brother Justin in the sequel, and finally Andrew Yong, the paramedic turned wanna-be author in HATCHET III (2013) and VICTORY CROWLEY (2017), respectively.

Nestled betwixt the gore and the giggles, however, is the gift. See, with three characters over four films Shen is not the final girl of the series, but rather its Tommy Jarvis.

Let’s break it down. Hodder never got to square off with Jason’s nemesis, so Green gave him one. Just because the intent didn’t necessarily exist doesn’t make it any less true. In fact, on numerous occasions, Kane has commented that Shen is someone he just can’t kill off for good. Why does that sound familiar? To steal one from ROUNDERS’ Teddy KGB, “kid’s got alligator blood. Can’t get rid of him.” I mean, Louisiana. Swamps. Gators. It works, just let it be.

Look, three different actors played Jason’s frequent foe, so who cares if one actor has played three characters that Crowley just can’t dispose of?

I get it, Jarvis never died. But he did suffer a couple of wounds in A NEW BEGINNING (1985), and Jason did kinda-sorta drown him in JASON LIVES (1986), So, while Shen’s Shawn and Justin were both, shall we say, dispatched in the first two HATCHET pictures, with Yong, Shen now has a character who has narrowly escaped (twice) and like Jarvis been overwhelmed with trauma and fear.

It wouldn’t be surprising for Yong to be approaching Thom Mathews levels of vengeful should we get a fifth chapter of HATCHET because at some point you just have to assume that he believes Crowley belongs in hell and wants to see that he gets there. But then there’s that whole issue with Shen’s character being a bit of frightened bunny coupled with the mid-end credits glimpse of Marybeth Dustan (Danielle Harris) waiting in the wings.

Yong wasn’t the one who resurrected Crowley, but he was dragged back to the swamp against his will, so Jarvis-like similarities aren’t really a reach. Perhaps we’ll see a pair of final girls team to take down the Bayou Butcher, but the Honey Island version of Mathews and Jennifer Cooke just sounds better, doesn’t it?

Regardless, it’s sure to be a hell of a ride.

Ted White had Corey Feldman, Tom Morga was blessed with John Shepherd, and C.J. Graham battled Mathews, but Hodder never got his shot.

Until he wandered from a lake to a swamp. And found Parry Shen.