AMC unexpectedly pulls unrated slasher sequel 'Hatchet II' from all screens: 'I'm bewildered and confused,' says director Adam Green

HATCHET-2Just a couple of days after the release of Hatchet II, the AMC theater chain has pulled the unrated slasher sequel from all of the cinemas that were showing the movie. “We woke up this morning and the movie was gone,” says director Adam Green. “I’m bewildered and confused.”

Green had earlier told EW that AMC volunteered to exhibit an unrated version of Hatchet II after the MPAA declined to give the movie an R rating. “It turns out the people who make the decisions at AMC were big fans of the original Hatchet and loved the sequel,” the director said at the time. “I think the quote was that they thought it was the best slasher sequel they’d ever seen.”

The decision by AMC to exhibit an unrated film attracted a lot of attention in the media—as did Green’s attacks on the MPAA, which included his assertion that it was an “evil” organization. Green now speculates this may have been the reason why the chain pulled his movie, which stars Kane Hodder as a swamp-dwelling homicidal maniac named Victor Crowley. “I assume it probably had something to do with the controversy online about an unrated movie playing in theaters,” says the director. “To me, the whole thing is unfortunate because this is not a movie that deserves to be unrated. It’s a very funny, silly slasher movie about a swamp ghost that’s killing people in ridiculous ways. And now it’s become, you know, ‘Banned from cinemas.’ I’ve lost 11 pounds in the last week from stress.”

A spokesperson for AMC confirmed Hatchet II had been pulled from all of the company’s screens, and issued the following written statement: “At AMC theaters, we review all films in all of our theatres every week and then make our business decisions based on their performance.” 

Green says that he is not disappointed with the performance of his film, which during its limited, truncated release grossed less than $70,000. “It’s an unrated cult movie that didn’t have commercials and all those other things,” he says. “I don’t see them pulling a movie on Sunday because it doesn’t look like the box office is going to blow people away.”

Green insists that while he has now given up hope of Hatchet II being granted any subsequent substantial life on the big screen, he remains sure that his film will still prove popular with horror fans. “The good thing is that the biggest audience for this movie—because it was for the first one—is going to with on demand and DVD,” he says. “I know that [Hatchet 2 distribution company] Dark Skies, in light of it being pulled prematurely, is going to do everything they can to get it to the fans as fast as they can. And that’s exciting. I don’t really make hardcore movies. I’m doing a kids movie next! Hopefully, this is the last time I’m ever even going to deal with something like this.”

Did you see Hatchet II before it was pulled? Would you have seen it this week?

Also: Horror fans, be sure to check back at EW.com’s PopWatch later tonight for the start of our Halloween “Psycho Killers” bracket game, where you help us crown the scariest, most fiendish movie murderer of all time.

Comments (156 total) Add your comment
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  • Stephen

    I saw it. Thought it was ridiculous fun. AMC gave in to the MPAA and opted to pull a media stunt at Green’s expense. Classless Hollywood politics. Green needs to open his own theater for unrated horror!

    • hel

      he gonna rape dat ass

      • Mehmet

        David / Amen, brother!Just today, I msyelf was ranting against the uptick in pop over ads, which greet you for first visiting a website with an ad that you have to click past first. a0Which also, by the way, is usually broken on mobile devices (you know, quickly becoming the #1 way in which someone views the internet), where you have a difficult to impossible time closing the pop over to get to the content. a0What’s the difference between these and the universally hated and blocked pop up ads? a0Nada. a0Of course, it was the marketers who invented those also, and pushed them onto unwilling internet users.So let me see, you want to make it difficult to impossible for me to get to your content, shove an ad in my face, and _also_ want to whine about your lost revenue? a0Bring on the ad blockers. a0Anyone know of any for Android???

    • JFWilder

      Why do people have to post this $hit? Is anyone really stupid enough to fall for it?

      • Eisha

        I got My Bloody I got My Bloody Valentine Special Edition (the one with jaime king) at a garage sale for 50 cents. I was so happy to see it, the oiaignrl was the first horror movie I ever saw and I was so surprised at how good this one was. One of my friends told me it sucked but when I watched it, it didnt suck at all. I thought it was fantastic!

    • Real Jersey Jeff

      Fall for what, I tiried it, it was great!

    • [PFFT]

      Clearly, Entertainment Weekly is run by gold-digging women and gay men who love to spread their legs ’til twins pop out

    • Mojo Jojo

      Sounds like a lot of hoo haw from a director hoping to get attention for his movie. Looks like its working.

      • Nekcuta

        Adam Green was not looking to get attention. He is simply trying to get a “true” horror/slasher movie into theaters. Remakes of old horror movies are now the industry standard and frankly it’s sickening! Adam Green is a brilliant writer and director. Before you claim that he is doing this for the attention you need to watch his films, have a conversation with him and then make judgement. He is a humble man to begin with and this will make him consider not even trying for another movie. People need to lighten up a little and give true film makers a chance!

      • Ian

        Mojo Jojo makes almost sense as their screenname. Green is reacting to his movie being yanked from a chain of theaters after they agreed to show it. If he wanted to get some attention for the movie, he would have done it while it was IN theaters, rather than when it’s not viewable by anyone. Don’t be a moron, Jojo. He certainly isn’t the first person to have the balls to call the MPAA out for being morons and dirty players, and he won’t be the last as long as they remain moronic dirty players. If every theater chain would have the balls to run movies not rated by the MPAA, then the ridiculous rating system would be fixed and run with more ethics, and we’d all win.

  • Adam

    Went to see it Friday nite, but the print didn’t even arrive at the theater. It was “stuck in Louisiana.” I live in Michigan.

  • Jay

    No interest in the movie (the original was awfully lame), but AMC Theaters should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Eric

      Jay chill the hell out.

      • hel

        Dude, da moovi sucked

    • Jesse

      I don’t think he does need to “chill the hell out”. Completely agree Jay. Never even heard of this movie but the MPAA is a group of bullies that enforce “legal” censorship which shouldn’t even exist in this country and AMC should be ashamed for giving in to them.

      • Chris

        Jesse, the MPAA is not censorship. It regularly reviews it’s board of reviewers (made up of people like you and me) and gives ratings based on what the public deems in appropriate for age groups. The MPAA often returns movies unrated when the final content is not give to them therefore they cannot rate a film. As far as AMC, they are a private company that can make whatever decision they want. If you don’t like it take your millions and start your own theater business. Considering this movie only did $70,000 in it’s opening weekend I do believe it was not worth their time to deal with the controversy for such little ticket $$$.

      • Carl

        The MPAA is censorship cleverly disguised as a rating system. It is censorship of the most insidious kind, for it censors by affecting income of movies. I intentionally do not say “potential income”, because if the board does not give a rating or gives a film NC-17 then it’s the kiss of death for the film. Many R films can suffer equally if, for example, they contain 2 f-bombs while their PG-13 counterparts blow the entire world all to hell. It is de facto censorship; a self-serving evil that does nothing to promote a common good, does nothing to help a viewer decide if they want to or should be viewing a film, and does nothing to actually rate a film. The most diabolical evils are those cloaked in the guise of doing good works and the MPAA is as intellectual an evil as can be perpetrated.

      • Chris

        Carl, I have had the luxury of knowing 2 people that sat on the MPAA board (1 is a soccer mom with 3 kids and the other is a single business man in his 30s). All the studios know the movies rating before they even submit the movie in most cases. The MPAA has a ratings guide that outlines curtain things that will automatically cause a movie to get curtain ratings. Those standards have also changed over time. What once would get an R rating in 1990 could most likely get a PG-13 and in some cases a PG rating. As I said in another post, all movies will receive a rating UNLESS they receive an incomplete film OR as in DVD Releases, the movie that is being released on DVD is not EXACTLY the same as what they reviewed for theaters. In this case it seems that the film was returned unrated because it was deemed incomplete or needed further review and the studio was unwilling to resubmit it. I had the opportunity to work on a major release film and know how difficult it can be to get a film submitted to the MPAA while at the same time trying to finish editing and getting a rating so you can put it on the posters. Everyone here wants to bash the MPAA and AMC but the simple fact is you don’t have to submit a film to the MPAA or have it shown in an AMC theater. If you want to do so then you must play by their rules. Most studios bow down because they know they need the MPAA and AMC to sell tickets and make $$$ so they are just as bad about censoring their own films. I watched a film get an R rating from the MPAA and the studio asked for a detailed review. Once the review came back they removed some of the material that granted the R rating and resubmitted it to get a PG-13 rating. As far as a I can see the studio is just as “evil” as the MPAA. They bowed to the $$$ instead of what they thought was originally their best film all so they could sell tickets. One final note, unless a film receives a NC-17 rating any adult can go see any movie and take their kid with them. And once again, AMC made the decision to drop the movie, it may have been because of the lack of rating by $70,000 in opening weekend sales means that people didn’t care enough that the film was out and so it was smart business to roll the dice and drop the film.

      • hf

        What are you, the ghost of Jack Valenti? You spread as much BS as that old nazi used to.

      • Caleb

        Anyone who thinks the MPAA is “fair” should watched the documentary, This Film Is Not Yet Rated. It shows what a joke they really are.

    • TQB

      No interest either, but AMC and the MPAA should trust the judgment of adult moviegoers. They should have the choice to go see it. I understand protecting young people but what business does the MPAA have telling me, a 35 year old adult what I am allowed to see in a theater? We need to pay a bit more attention to what this organization is doing. Very suspect.

    • ryan

      Except for the fact that they already went against the grain and did something that doesnt usually happen! You guys are complaining about something that already was more than it ever would be. Ofcourse they stepped aside to the MPAA, what movie business wouldn’t? Also on the MPPA note…. we have ratings in this country for a reason people! I know have of you kids 36 and younger think there should be no government because we could do just fine without. Oh, until everyother country in the world learns that we cannot bully them into being good anymore and they enslave us. Other than England no other country in this world would hesitate (canada as well) to eventually take control. Your a 35 yr old adult who should know better TQB.

      • TQB

        “Get off my lawn you GD hippies!!!” Put down the buckshot loaded shotgun and put a shirt on under your overalls there, Ryan.

      • abeeotch

        Yikes, you say 35 like it’s still in diapers.
        You also have poor grammer.
        You yelled that we have ratings in this country for a reason…what is the reason?

      • Molly

        @abeeotch:
        If you are going to attack someone for having poor grammar, then maybe you should spell it correctly. (Grammar)

      • Doug

        @Molly
        Actually, spelling grammar as grammer is bad spelling, not bad grammar. So the logic in telling someone they don’t have the right to attack someone over grammar when they themselves made a spelling error, doesn’t completely work. Though hey, whose talking semantics here anyways?

      • whose

        Indeed, who’s talking?

      • Marcus

        Wow, the crazy really came out for this article, huh? Nobody was rounding up toddlers and forcing them to see this flick, grandpa, so why don’t you head on back to the home? It’s past time for your heart pills.

  • Adam Green

    I’m bewildered and confused for the sake of gaining attention.

    • Anonymous Poster

      I make posts to make fun because I’m not talented enough to make anything else.

      • hel

        I’m replying to you because I’m stoned.

    • Doug

      Despite Anonymous trying to discredit you and your joke, I thought it was pretty funny.

  • bellsy

    I was pulling for this movie too.. Unfortunately, bad acting and being unrated is the problem. I was hoping it would do well for all the indy films out there and give them a bump..but sadly no…I think Adam has a great heart and awesome ideas. He went with his gut. I think he will go on to be extremely successful in other genre’s..Just don’t use the same cast again. Kudo’s to you Adam for trying putting yourself out there!

  • Mike

    I saw it opening night. I loved the first one. This one was not as good, but the kills were far better. I don’t think it deserved to be pulled though. I wonder how I Spit On Your Grave unrated will do then, or if it will even come out now

    • Caleb

      I only heard this was coming out a few days ago. The fact that its already been taken out of showing is a shame. AMC should rethink this decision and with some actually ads for the movie it could make some respecting showing for a slasher movie. By the way i love how a comment thread about a movie has far more people insulting eachother than actually talking about the movie, its kind of sad really.

  • Sean

    All you have to do is look at the Box Office Mojo per screen report. The movie made less per screen than Eat Pray Love and Lottery Ticket. But obviously, the movie was AWESOME.

    • mike

      yeah but did it beat Gigli?

      • nobody

        LOL

  • Jacob

    AMC does this all the time. Local AMC multiplex (with 24 screens!) will get an indie film (often the same weekend as one of the most highly anticipated films of the year, such as when they had Winter’s Bone the same day as Inception), and then it’ll be gone by the next weekend. Add the fact that they don’t even advertise in the newspaper, and that they were showing Devil on 4 screens after getting rid of Get Low after a week, and you get my most hated movie theater ever.

    • Niix Starkyller

      I was entertained by Get Low’s trailer more than I have been at some of the long-running, big hype flicks I’ve seen this year. I knew I should’ve went to see it when I had the chance.

  • chris

    I’ll wait for red box to release it. The first one was ok.

  • bg

    Saw it on Saturday in Emeryville CA. There were only 5 people in the theater, but it was completely unadvertised. I enjoyed it, it was just dumb fun, certainly not contraversial. Why not leave it in for its entire week?

    • Johnny

      Because there were only 5 people in the theater? What is your drop dead? When atendance drops to 3 or 4 per showing?

      • bg

        We saw Devil on Monday and we were the only 2 in the theater. It is still playing. What’s your rationale now?

  • Dan

    Well, there goes that box office miracle he was so looking forward to.
    The theatres didn’t need to waste space on a movie like this anyways.

    • Jesse

      Yeah, because their theaters are just Filled with amazing, groundbreaking films already. (That was my sarcastic voice)

    • Lloyd

      I’m sick of Avatarded douche bags, Twilight losers, and people who thought Inception was even descent. What Adam Green was doing was making a mark respected by some of the greatest horror directors and even the icons that people have grown to love. The movie was groundbreaking for what it did. It brought amazing people together to make a film that wasn’t trying to be the next big thing, but instead be a statement for indie films everywhere. The MPAA said this movie was too gory, yet less than a year prior to Hatchet 2’s unrated release a very gory and ridiculous remake came out, Inglorious Basterds. Yet, the fact that it was a bigger release wouldn’t have anything to do with it now would it?

      • Joe

        why don’t you lean how spell first, before blasting people for liking certain movies. The word is “decent,” you ingnoramous.

      • Dan

        Groundbreaking, seriously?

      • Joe The Speller

        Hey Joe, it’s leaRn. Or perhaps you didn’t leaRn how to spell either…

      • Greg

        Joe, it’s ignoramus, you ritard.

      • Hook

        Greg, it’s retard, you dumhed.

      • Pooh

        Hook, it’s dumbhead, you ingnoramous.

    • Scott

      Dan, did your parents have any children who lived? You braindead moron! You go ahead and spend the money McDonald’s pays you to clean the urinals on that Hollywood garbage that I can tell is your type of film. Meanwhile, I’ll put my money to good use supporting independent filmmakers with original ideas. I’d be willing to bet that my penis has more taste than you have in movies!

      • Dan

        Man, what a class-act you are. You are definitely one for the record books.
        “braindead moron” – oh, don’t worry, I wasn’t in the theatre watching this with you (your mistake)
        P.S. Anything, no matter how cheesy or slow or bad or whatever, is miles ahead of movies that promote graphic torture of humans as a form of entertainment. There are sick minds out there, no doubt.

      • Marco

        Defining Adam Green an original indie director is like saying that the Sun is a nice place to live. Hatchet is a mishmash of the worse part of ’80s slashers, the second even more so, and Frozen is a badly done copy of ‘Open Water’ in the mountains. I think only ‘Spiral’ is a movie of his that can be deemed a little original.

  • Mike

    This shouldn’t be that big of a shock, it did very low numbers this week, it was very cool and ballsy AMC released it in the first place. But its probably not about the movie, it all comes down to dollars and concession sales people.

    • Jesse

      If it’s about the money then that’s more than understandbale but if it’s about the bs MPAA like he says, then AMC should be ashamed.

    • Chris

      It’s always about the $$$!!!

  • James S.

    Ok, Adam, your ego pushed the original (and not that great) Hatchet to some measure of success. But one of the best slasher sequels they’d ever seen? No, Adam, I don’t think they actually said that. Seriously. Get over yourself already.

    • James S.

      By the way, enjoy the whole “banned from theaters” self-promotion. When you have to resort to tactics like that, you should probably take a look at the merits of your material. Did I already say Hatchet wasn’t that great? I did. Ok, just thought I should repeat it.

    • Scott

      James S, please see my reply to Dan. The end!

    • Scott

      And actually, yes, AMC said just that. Try to educate yourself before commenting. Or “edumacate” for people who, like yourself, are a tad bit mentally challenged.

  • Laveryone

    Um, I was actually at the midnight show of Hatchet 2 at City Walk where John from AMC’s website said “this might be one of the best slasher sequels I’ve seen” to the crowd- and the crowd more than agreed. Cheering, clapping, laughing, and the Q&A was touching and very inspirational. Don’t hate on Green because you’re jealous. He’s one of (if not THE) good guys working right now and is nothing but a sweetheart and a guy who is standing up for himself. Having seen the movie (which I loved) I can tell you that there is no way that this shouldn’t have gotten an R when films like Piranah, Hostel, and Grindhouse can. The Hatchet series is all in good goofy fun and that’s why we love it. Just because you don’t get it doesn’t mean it’s bad and if you’re a true American you should see that this is absolute bullying by the ratings folk hard at work. It’s a crime that rape and torture can slide but THIS can’t? The horror world could use a bit more hatchet and a bit less remakes and torture porn. And furthermore- why is AMC holding on to Chain Letter, Let Me In, or Case 65? Their per screen averages are atrocious and what’s their excuse? Huge studio films with studio money! This is an indie! They never even gave it a chance, they just turned tail and ran from the housewives at the MPAA because Green called them out for what they are.

    • Chris

      You just made AMCs case for them. Some movies have big studio money behind them. Therefore it may not be raking in the box office but it still makes sense to keep the big boys happy. I own my own business and have to make decision that are tough all the time. AMC is a private company that it appears had exec’s that liked the movie but at the end of the day decided it was not worth the headache this movie was causing so they dropped it. It is their right to do so. If you don’t like it then don’t do business with them but don’t blast them for exercising their right to basic business sense. A lot of movie theater companies have crashed during the economic downturn so AMC must be doing something right. And FYI, I am a big indie movie fan but I don’t expect the big chains to carry a movie that they cannot turn a profit on.

  • Ashley T.

    I saw Hatchet 2 in NYC and everyone in the audience was screaming and laughing at the o-t-t gore and fun performances. It was nothing but fun and I’d bet my life no one was offended at all. It’s the 80’s all over again.

    • Nick

      I liked the 1st one a lot…but i LOVE 80s slashers. I’ll definitely see this via Netflix when I can.

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