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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Friday, July 28, 2017

Edge of the Axe (1988)

Still off the high of discovering a gem like The Initiation I thought I’d take a shot on a movie that I vaguely remember watching, Edge of the Axe. The description of a masked man killing people with an axe sounds like a simple idea. What are the chances they screw it up? They call this foreshadowing…

The movie starts off in a car wash where a masked man kills a woman with an axe. Then the action moves to Gerald, the bad ass computer nerd who rides a motorcycle. Thru him we are introduced to the rest of the cast, including his love interest Lilian Nebbs and many suspects. Also, we get to see many women killed by a maniac in a white mask, most of whom don’t have names or backstories until after they are killed and some dialogue gives it to them. So who is killing the women and does it have anything to do with the characters who actually have names and dialogue? I guess so?

Edge of the Axe is a Spanish movie that was shot in Mexico for television and the home video market. While it is my understanding that it was shot in English it feels like the writers didn’t speak English as a first language. The dialogue is very awkward and doesn’t have any natural flow to it. This is further complicated by a cast that isn’t good. The delivery varies between stumbling over words to wooden reciting of lines. This doesn’t help an already confusing plot that fails to engage the audience.
Jason? Michael? Neither...

We are supposed to have a mystery here. Who is the killer and why are they committing their crimes? For most of the movie there isn’t a connection between the victims. Towards the end one of the characters tosses a line in that most of them worked in a mental hospital. Though not once before that did anyone mention what the characters did or their past. Remember we were lucky to get their damn names. What about the other victims? Why where they killed? Lucky for us one of the characters explains it all, including a backstory for an unnamed body that showed up. This thing is a mess.

The gore in Edge of the Axe is tame but well executed. All the kills involve the axe being used. This is an effect that works well on screen as in most cases we get to see the axe hitting the body. Clearly it is a rubber axe, but thru clever editing and sound effects it seems real enough. A few fingers also get lobbed off along the way for fun. We get a respectable seven kills, but I must discount the only male victim as he technically dies in a car accident. Still six isn’t bad.

I’m not going to recommend Edge of the Axe. The movie is tedious with very little plot and a mystery that never gives the audience a chance to play along. If I’m going to spend my time being teased at least give me some clues to work with. One more thing. Make sure that the stuntman playing the killer is at least close to the size of the character who is supposed to be the killer. Unless of course they magically gain a foot in height and a hundred pounds of muscle. Pass on this one.

Next up in my Slasher movie marathon is Curtains

© Copyright 2017 John Shatzer

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