Two of my favorite indie flicks from the 2000s both came from Anchor Bay Entertainment in 2006. HATCHET from writer/director Adam Green. And BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON from director Scott Glosserman and writer David Stieve.
HATCHET told the story of a group of tourists stranded in the swamps of Louisiana after their tour boat unexpectedly breaks down. The local legend states that a deformed boy named Victor Crowley died when a horrible fire broke out at his cabin and he was accidentally killed by his father (with a hatchet to the face! Ouch!) while he tried to rescue him from the blaze. Anyone that comes into his neck of the woods will awaken his evil, vengeful spirit and he’ll come racing at you, ready to tear you literally limb from limb!
BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON was part mockumentary, part narrative feature in which a documentary crew follows around Leslie Vernon, an up-and-coming serial killer that’s crafting himself to follow in the footsteps of his idols Freddy and Jason by being the next iconic movie maniac! In order to become a legend, it requires a lot of training, preparation and of course, cardio.
Now, just from the premise of BEHIND THE MASK, we know that Leslie Vernon exists in the same world as Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers. They all represent that world’s notorious serial killers.
When HATCHET II came out in 2010, fans were treated to a fun little surprise. In one scene where the legend of Victor Crowley is briefly summarized by Layton (AJ Bowen), Chad (David Foy) interjects and begins telling the tale from his home town of Glen Echo where they had a guy named Leslie Vernon that terrorized them. And with that, both Victor Crowley and Leslie Vernon became part of the same movie universe!
It was always rumored that if the BEHIND THE MASK sequel ever got off the ground, there would’ve been another fun nod/tip-of-the-hat back to the HATCHET franchise, but sadly the follow-up has yet to materialize. But it got me thinking, in the same way that Freddy and Jason managed to be under the New Line banner which paved the way for the inevitable FREDDY VS JASON, what would it be like for HATCHET’s Victor Crowley to go up against BEHIND THE MASK’s Leslie Vernon?
Victor Crowley is by far the more dangerous and deadly of the pair. He’s no doubt physically stronger, but also very erratic and unpredictable. He has access to a whole arsenal of weapons in his shed, and when he does attack, it’s usually in a frantic, crazed animal approach. The mere sight of him twitching and racing towards you at full speed with the intent to rip you to shreds is enough to make even the most seasoned of movie maniacs cringe.
But Leslie isn’t your tradition maniac. He’s meticulous and highly intelligent. He’s also trained for potential competitors and threats, and hence is fast on his feet and knows how to improvise. If he had either home field advantage or just a tiny bit of prep time, he’d definitely plot out various ways to push the fight in his favor. Never under-estimate what the party planner is able to pull off. But regardless, with his tutelage from retired masked maniac Eugene, he’d be prepared to face any adversary. And when that happens? Oh yes, things are going to get wet tonight!
Who would YOU want to see win in a battle between the two? Vote below!