You can’t pole dance without hands


2 Stars  2003/15/93m

“He’s got an axe to grind…with you!”

Director/Writer: Robert Tiffi / Writer: Steven Jones / Cast: Cheryl Burns, Jon Briddell, Mia Zottoli, Nina Tapanin, Chris Moir, Darren Keefe Reiher, Racquel Richard, Elizabeth Ryan, Fonta Sawyer.

Body Count: 7

Dire-logue: “Mommy taking her clothes off isn’t as bad as hurting people!”

It’s curtains for the working girls at an LA strip joint – because there’s a masked maniac on the streets with a rather funky looking axe who wants to chop off their hands!

This seen-it-all-before boobs n’ blades fest is certainly handsomely pieced together and has an appealing heroine in Courteney Cox-a-like Burns, but practically re-runs sequences from every other cop vs serial killer and slasher flick ever made. Most obvious is the killer-in-the-backseat motif ripped from Urban Legend.

Naturally, the cop on the psycho’s tail happens to be dating the final girl and imparts crappy advice about security while all her colleagues (who all live in the same apartment complex, which is also plagued by a pervert who breaks in and tries on their underwear!) drop dead around her. Furthermore, he places just ONE cop to sit outside and watch over the shrinking group of strippers.

The pantie-perv and a paroled ex-boyfriend of the first vic are transparent red herrings, while the real killer can only therefore be one of the other ancillary cast members.

Annoyingly, most of the irritating male characters avoid the killer’s blade while the voluptuous girls fall by the wayside and the director fleshes out proceedings with plenty of flesh indeed.

Hatchetman is a schlocky number with the nerve to take itself seriously for the kind of schlocky men who are likely to frequent the clubs seen in it. There’s a hilariously last second motive glued on and a final ‘twist’ delivered as passing dialogue: “Do you think they’ll ever catch him?”

Roll credits and roll eyes.

Blurbs-of-interest: Jon Briddell was also in Midnight Movie; Darren Keefe Reiher was also in Slaughter Studios.


  • Wow — did that DVD cover predate The Roommate, or vice versa?

  • I’m not sure; the UK artwork is/was different but I couldn’t find a good enough pictorial.

  • …how funny looking was the axe?

  • I think two stars is generous for this one. Watched it for free via Amazon’s Prime streaming service and I still feel ripped off.

    Hatchetman is bottom of the barrel material. Technically it’s a mess, looks bad, sounds bad, filled with embarrassingly cheap effects. But that’s not enough. It’s also horribly written, and acted. And not in an “oh my god this is so horrible it’s amazing” way. Just…in a dull, depressing, “why the hell am I still watching this” sort of way.

  • I watched this one many years ago when I was less cynical about everything; the dire-logue alone should allow for one of the stars.

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