Edge of the Axe (1988) Review

An axe wielding maniac is on the loose and he has the residents of the sleepy quiet rural community of Paddock County in his masked sights, chopping through them one by one as the police stand by and do nothing.

This is the set-up of cult Spanish filmmaker José Ramón Larraz’s Edge of the Axe a long-neglected late 80s slasher that has been brought back to life on Blu-ray by the amazing folks at Arrow Video.

Having helmed such cult horror’s as Vampyres and Symptoms José Ramón Larraz slasher is a classic genre movie adhering to all the rules and clichés you would expect and this is perhaps the problem as apart from a cool killer costume Edge of the Axe has little else to offer its audience.

The story feels somewhat segmented as the murders and idiotic police investigation play out predictably while we also get to watch the romantic drama of the main characters Gerald Martin (Barton Faulks) and Lillian Nebbs (Christina Marie Lane) unfold with both elements only intertwining near the very end.

Faulks plays computer geek Gerald seemingly channelling a 90’s era Jim Carey 10 years ahead of time with all the uncomfortable energy that implies. An outsider in the small town he falls for studious school girl Lillian even giving her one of his PC’s so they can communicate with each other in a primitive and amazingly dated looking version of texting, made all the worse by the unbelievable computer voice which reads all their messages out.

Meanwhile Gerald’s best friend playboy and pest exterminator Richard (Page Mosely) cheats on his rich old wife with a bar maid and bemoans his marriage which he only entered into for the cash. Both plot lines would feel more at home in a daytime TV romance movie and neither hold the audiences interest between bouts of bloodletting which are sadly equally uninspiring.

There are some so so effects and okay stalking scenes but in general any horror fan would have seen it all before and much better done with even the final twisted pay off proving unsatisfactory. This leads us to why Edge of the Axe has not gained the same cult status as other long lost 80’s slashers like Pieces because it doesn’t really deserve too much credit.

If you’re a slasher completest, 80’s horror obsessive or major fan of Larraz work then grab a copy of this Blu-ray now. For anyone else Edge of the Axe is sadly not as sharp or effective as it should be.

Movie Rating: ★

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ 

Trailer:

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Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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