Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchett
Every year, local teenagers celebrate “Blood Night”, honoring the death of serial killer Mary Hatchett, by partying and visiting her grave. It’s all fun and games until “Blood Night” turns bloody.
I first discovered this film while researching an abandoned facility, the Kings Park Psychiatric Center, known to be the hangout spot of kids that went to my high school. I have a friend that considers it a second home given how much time she’s spent there. This is the film’s location. Even though very few of the details are based on anything of substance, it was still interesting to see the place I grew up shown in film. I could tell, to a degree, what the film was based off of, and what the thought process of creating it was, which almost made it worth the watch. Almost.
I couldn’t drum up much information on writer/director Frank Sabatella, but from what I can tell he’s never been to Long Island in his entire life. Or if he has, he just enjoys presenting a weird, false view of it. In Sabatella’s Long Island, the men openly catcall the women, and the women don’t just allow it to happen, they encourage it. Is this depiction far fetched? Well, no, but it’s not correct. You didn’t see a lot of open catcalling at my high school. You saw a lot of locker room comments, but not the openness of these fictional men. As far as the women are concerned, the comments did get brushed under the table, however you wouldn’t see a Long Island teenager doing a lap dance in front of a crowd of people. Given how stupid and sexual these women were, I’m sure the director just doesn’t respect women and had all of them fit into the “whore” stereotype.
To give credit to the director, however, he did unintentionally capture the mentality of the Long Island teenager. A suburb of New York City, Long Island has a large population of rich, white people. They’re oftentimes extremely entitled, as are the characters in Blood Night. Again, I’m going to say this is unintentional as they also exhibit intense stereotypes, but reality ends up not being too far off. I’m guessing this happy accident occurred because of the reality of teenagers breaking into the Kings Park Psych Center, but who knows.
Now for the actual review. As you might’ve been able to tell, this is not a good movie. This film is not “kick-ass”, as another reviewer claimed. It is instead, and I quote from one of the movie’s male characters talking with a woman about the shapes of butts, as one does, “eggplant-ass”.
Problems range from bad direction to weird cinematography. Every so once in a while, during a major action scene, there would be a flash of red light to emphasize that something terrible was going on. The first time I saw this, at around three minutes into the movie, I wanted to stop watching because of how stupid it looked. There are moments that reminded me of Creepshow, except it wasn’t meant to be campy. Most of the major plot occurs within the first ten minutes, and everything you need to know about Mary, you know, the woman in the title, the main antagonist, is revealed then. The rest of the movie is a bunch of drinking and sex scenes strung together with some slashing at the end. There are more sex scenes in this movie then in an actual adult video. Even Mary is sexualized, being shown naked throughout most of the film.
It’s impossible to tell one dumb jock from another, and there are ten of them. All the stupid, promiscuous woman blend together as well. Weird plot holes are prevalent. The unassuming drunk is viewed as a creepy guy at the movie’s end by characters who were friendly with him at the beginning. Also, the party they have is just made up of a few people. I guess it was so low budget that they couldn’t afford too many extras. The music is noticeably bad, worse than royalty free music that would cost them nothing to use. Even in bad movies, oftentimes the special effects are good despite the plot being bad. In this movie, that is unfortunately not the case. The gore looked like it was crafted from plastic and bubblegum.
This movie was based off of Kings Park Psych center with the myth of Mary Hatchet built on top of it. The actual Mary Hatchett was a codename for the meeting places of the Women’s Christian Temperance Movement. Members would take a hatchett to barrels of alcohol. Sabatella took the name, coupled it with the history of the King’s Park Psych Center, and made a story of it. The reason I’m mentioning this is that the movie’s biggest flaw is not utilizing the Psych Center enough. There have been several documentaries outlining the horrors of the place, including the lobotomies performed there and the treatment of individuals placed under their care. But instead of focusing on any of that, he instead created a mediocre storyline for this fake killer. The real Kings Park Psych Center is filled with creepy locations, like the morgue and a children’s playroom. But instead of recreating any of that, characters crept through a few mundane locations during the movie’s final few minutes.
Would making it more true-to-life make it better? It’s hard to say. It’s clear they weren’t trying to make a piece of art. All I can say is the Kings Park Psych Center creeps me out in the real world more than this movie did. And I’m a skeptic.
Ultimately, this trainwreck is the result of wasted source material and bad execution.
Hometown Horrors: Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchett
Writing - 2/102/10
Storyline - 2.5/102.5/10
Acting - 3.4/103.4/10
Music - 1/101/10
Production - 3/103/10
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