EDGE OF THE AXE (1988)
Jim Carrey Barton Faulks, Christina Marie Lane, Page Moseley, Fred Holiday,
Patty Shepard. Directed by Jose Ramon Larraz. (91 min)
ON BLU-RAY FROM ARROW VIDEO
Review by Josey, the Sudden Cat😼
I gotta give director Jose Ramon Larraz credit for one thing...he sure had me fooled. Paddock County, the primary setting of Edge of the Axe, looks exactly like any miniscule mountain town dotting the highways of Northern California, right down to the road signs. In fact, I was briefly certain my car once broke down in this very town. But according to the interviews in the bonus features, the entire film was shot in Spain.
That’s a lot of misguided effort to make the film resemble its American contemporaries. But if Larraz had really done his homework, he’d have thrown in a lot more blood, boobs & backstory. As long as the movie has the Three B’s, do slasher fans really care where it takes place?
In the U.S., Edge of the Axe was released direct-to-video in 1989, long after the genre’s glory days were over. Though Larraz was somewhat respected in European horror circles, he brings nothing new to the table. That’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, but not only is the film highly derivative, it’s erratically-paced, illogical, poorly acted (even by slasher standards) and packed with more red herrings than a London supermarket.
|Jim Carrey visits a retirement home.|
Worst of all, it’s missing the basic ingredients to amuse even the most indiscriminate slasher fan. Considering the killer’s weapon of choice, the violence is relatively tame and not terribly convincing. The victims are mostly axe fodder, introduced just so they can die. Other minor characters show up in the story just long enough to be suspects. And sorry, guys...there isn’t a bare breast, teen party or pre-marital sex scene to be found. Instead, we get endless shots of characters driving, a laughable romantic subplot and a sheriff so dumb he makes Buford T. Justice look like Frank Serpico.
Despite featuring some of Europe’s most scenic California locations, Edge of the Axe is as generic as its title, ultimately adding nothing to an overly-crowded genre. On the plus side, the transfer is terrific and the bonus features (outlined below) are pretty entertaining, especially the second audio commentary by a podcast group called The Hysteria Continues, which is part informational, part anecdotal, part MST3K and great fun. These guys actually make the whole thing worth enduring!
"GERALD’S GAME” - Interview with actor Barton Faulks.
"THE ACTOR’S GRIND” - Interview with actor Page Moseley.
"THE PAIN IN SPAIN” - Interview with make-up artist Colin Arthur.
2 AUDIO COMMENTARIES - #1) By actor Barton Faulks & director Matt Rosenblatt (though he didn’t direct this); #2) By The Hysteria Continues.
ENGLISH & SPANISH VERSIONS
ENGLISH & SPANISH TRAILERS
SUPPLEMENTARY BOOKLET (Not Reviewed)
REVERSIBLE COVER ART (Not Reviewed)
MEH...THOUGH THE BONUS FEATURES ARE FUN.