Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Don't forget to pick up your official Axe coloring book!

Axe (or Lisa Lisa, California Axe Massacre) Directed by and starring Frederick R. Friedel (1977).
The last Harry Novak film I watched was one that I'd been warned about by the Severin Films special edition DVD, it would either zonk out my eyesight or fill my brain with enough nightmare fuel that I'd never recover. That film was The Sinful Dwarf, straight from the sausage fingered charnel house. I opted for the non-hardcore insert version so I was spared some of the misery and I'll never make that mistake again (which I'll refer to as The Invitation To Ruin hot tub sex-travaganza)!

Novak had a short lived Epcot style amusement park
   Axe is nothing compared to that other Novak produced monstrosity, but it's still worth checking out. It ended up on the UK "Video Nasty" list, which gave it more notoriety and attention. Censorship always has the reverse effect on keeping it out of the clutches of the underage public and creates a serious demand. Even if it weren't on the list, the film is still a decent independent schlocky crime thriller. 

Alan "Skipper" Hale Jr. in the swinging 70's

   Three mobsters hideout in a dingy motel, one man (played by the director) looks like a 70's wolfman doll with brillo hair. They beat a gay dude named Aubrey to death with a doll, he dresses like Glen Campbell meets Tiny Tim. The three calloused hit men even put out a lit cigar on the victim's tongue to establish the unrelenting punishment they will inflict later. That never actually happens with these inept saps, though there are three deranged well dressed creeps, this is not even on the same psychological "Last House" torture level, you might assume Axe would evolve into.

I know what you're thinking, is that patchouli or wolf's bane

    The three characters resemble gangsters but it's never actually established. Lomax and the crew head over to a small town, where the people seem like they have zero backbones. Through out the film, the score is slightly reminiscent to the Colin Towns one for The Haunting Of Julia and there's a bass thud that periodically happens. 
A poor cashier at a grocery store with no security, is forced to take off her dress by gunpoint and they shoot apples off her head.  

Clean up on aisle me

  Meanwhile down at a farm a woman feeds her catatonic grandfather raw eggs from a chicken she just beheaded with a hatchet. This is the intimidating murder weapon advertised on the poster, a puny baby sized hatchet! It reminds me of that Kids In The Hall sketch, were Dave Foley goes into a suburban housewife's abode to borrow a bigger axe, here's a clip of that (LINK).

Do you really have to eat chicken for breakfast?

   Lisa (Leslie Lee), who sort of looks like Susan Dey attempts to slash her wrists with a straight razor, but is interrupted by the wolfy looking fellow who they call Billy Boy.
During a late night rape scene, loud screams are heard, but Lisa's mouth never opens (a minor production slip up). There's some loud neck sawing as she hacks through one of the gangster's trachea. Lisa erases the crime Zoe Tamerelis style by butchering the corpse in the bathtub--I mean she is a farm girl after all.

Why does your beard smell like Cumin?

   Billy the wolfman is an idiotic pushover and helps her carry the dismembered corpse in a treasure chest up the stairs as poster paint looking blood leaks all over the floor.
Everytime she murders someone, the wolf guy asks, what happened, then Lisa says "I dunno they left"! Billy must be the dumbest character in history or is subconsciously glad his pals are dead. That's the equivalent to a serial killer saying "I accidentally found them that way".

My eyeballs! everything is so drab and 70's

Axe has some of the most hideous fashions (look out, you may catch a polyester eye sore) and doesn't have to try to be entertaining, because I was immediately captivated. The camera work and shots are effective, but there's little to no carnage. I question if it should even be considered a horror movie, it's more of a psychological thriller.


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