So since this is our first “official” movie review together, let us explain how we will rate a movie. There are five categories that are added together and then divided to come up with an overall average score. This is a five star rating system with the usual tropes, one star bad, five star good (please be sure to read that last part with the obligatory, dumbfounded Frankenstein’s Monster voice). We will usually include a brief description as to how we came up with the ratings for each category.
Cheese Factor – Pretty self-explanatory, how cheesy is the movie? This can go either way for the viewer. Either you like cheesy, or you don’t. Me personally, I prefer my nachos extra cheesy.
Blood/Gore – How violent is the film? Blood and guts isn’t necessity for me, but I do love me some good wholesome gore.
Story/Plot – Once again, pretty self-explanatory. How engaging is the plot? Is there even a plot to be found here? Is it even necessary to have a plot?
Direction – How is the acting? Is the dialogue shit? Are there ridiculously obvious flaws or mistakes in the film that make you ponder how this was not caught during and/or after production.
Entertainment – At the end of the day, did you enjoy the hell out of the movie or did you find yourself having to stab yourself in the eyeball with a fork in order to numb the overall pain of having to sit through that crap?
Alright, now that we have all of that out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff.
From cult Spanish filmmaker Jose Ramon Larraz (Vampyres, Symptoms) comes this long-neglected late 80s slasher classic, finally unleashed on Blu-ray for the first time ever!
The rural community of Paddock County is being rocked by the crazed exploits of an axe-wielding psychopath, who stalks the night in a black trenchcoat and mask. As the victims pile up, the authorities attempt to keep a lid on the situation, whilst computer whizz-kid Gerald and girlfriend, Lillian, seek to unmask the killer before the town population reaches zero.
Nominally set in Northern California but shot primarily in Madrid, giving the film an off-kilter, transatlantic atmosphere akin to the likes of Pieces, Edge of the Axe is a late entry hack-and-slash masterpiece from of the titans of Spanish horror.
Where do I even begin with this one. I am always up for watching horror movies. Trying to find one to scare the shit out of me. Well this one did not fit that but it sure gave me a good chuckle. The cheese factor in this one was priceless. Surprisingly it wasn’t as easy to predict the ending as I thought it would be.
The acting in this movie is just down right so-so. But I was totally entertained by all the stupid stuff they did in this movie. It was a blast to grab a drink, curl up with my boyfriend and pick apart all the cheese in this movie. Which is why we are here. Who doesn’t like a cheesy, 80s, slasher horror movie? Well I’m sure there are some out there who would hate this movie but if you enjoy laughing, picking apart the bad, non-realistic crap than this is just for you. I think my favorite part was the horrible death scenes. Like come on really? There is no way that blow did any damage at all. My 7 year old can hit harder than that.
So if you feel you need to watch this movie please just kick back with a drink in your hand and enjoy it for what it is.
Cheese Factor: 5 out of 5 stars
I know right? 5 stars? But for me this one has all the cheese it needed!
Blood/Gore: 2 out of 5 stars:
It was definitely lacking in the gore. They did alright on the blood part but for how it was done, the actual slashing, there wouldn’t have been as much blood as they used.
Story/Plot: 2 out of 5 stars:
This was a typical 80s slasher horror movie. Mix Jason Vorhees and Michael Myers and you got the killer in this movie. But still doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy making fun of it.
Direction: 2 out of 5 stars:
I know, I know. Low ratings yet I want you to watch this movie. It’s all about the cheese man! Everything about this movie is horrible.
Entertainment: 4 out of 5 stars:
While this movie was absolutely horrible in every way possible, I enjoyed the crap out of it! The best part was having someone next to me to make fun of it with. If it wasn’t for that I honestly don’t think I would have enjoyed this movie as much as I did.
Overall: 3 out of 5 stars
I’ll admit, 30 minutes into this movie and I wasn’t feeling it at all. I have watched and enjoyed many terrible movies in my lifetime but by this point, there were no redeeming qualities about this particular film and I was tempted to take it out and re-watch Re-Animator for the 127th time. No “so bad, it’s good” moments at all to be found here, just another bland, generic slasher movie cash grab from the late 80’s. Before long, it is quite obvious my opinion of “Edge of the Axe” is pretty well established….or is it?
The further along my girlfriend and I get into it, the more we begin to point out and make fun of some of the idiotic decisions these characters make, the silliness of the plot and just the overall cheesiness of the film. This is where this movie shines and begins to grab my attention. When you set aside your expectation of what a good slasher film is supposed to be and you become part of the entertainment by interacting with your fellow viewers by picking it apart and making fun of it, there is an overall experience you obtain from it that you don’t get from a legitimate “good” film. I cannot quite explain why I wasn’t able to notice this aspect of the movie early on but if you give it time, it will not disappoint in this department.
It’s very apparent (in my opinion) what type of viewer is going to enjoy this movie. If you’re a horror hound who enjoys getting together with a few friends, have a drink, or two, or three, and pick apart all the flaws in a movie and laugh while you’re doing it, this is the movie for you. For the serious moviegoer who’s looking for a legitimate scare, you can pass on this one.
Cheese Factor: Four out of Five Stars
Oh yes, the 80’s cheese is extra sharp with this one. High tech computer technology, a masked killer with a stupid motive and amazingly bad death scenes where it’s blatantly obvious the axe being used is not penetrating its victims flesh. Great shit!
Blood/Gore: Two and a Half out of Five Stars
A little lacking in this department. A tad bit disappointed here but I do believe by 1988, the NPAA pretty much had a strangle hold on the slasher genre and really came down hard on violent movies. How this movie is Not Rated is beyond me.
Story/Plot: Three and a Half out of Five Stars
Does a movie like this really need a plot? Not really. It’s another slasher movie released in an already overly abundant sea of generic slashers. But what gives this movie “a bit of an edge” over the rest is that it does have a fairly decent sub-plot that leads to a nice little twist at the end of the movie.
Direction: Four “Bizzarro” Stars out of Five
So I’m going to throw a curve ball at you; just about everything about this movie is crap. The dialogue is crap, the acting is crap, the writing is crap and the overall direction of the film is crap, however, that just so happens to work in its favor for me personally. Bizzaro stars come into play when things that would normally detract from a movies quality actually make it enjoyable. You’ll probably see quite a few of these pop up here and there, if I continue to do more reviews. It works for some movies and it doesn’t work for others. It just happens to work for this one.
Entertainment-Three and a Half out of Five Stars
The only reason why this isn’t getting a full four stars out of five in this category is that the first 30 minutes of the movie really does make it feel like a generic, run of the mill slasher flick. If you can make it past that, there is some pure “so bad it’s good” gold here.
Overall: Three and a Half out of Five Stars
Don’t expect anything thought provoking here. Enjoy it for what it is, nit-pick the hell out of it with a few friends and have some wonderfully unintended laughs along the way. I paid about 26 bucks for it and do intend on keeping it in my collection.
If you’ve seen this movie, please comment your opinion and thoughts on it. We would love to hear what you have to say about the film.
Edge of the Axe
Release Date: May 20, 1988
Director: Jose Ramon Larraz
Runtime: 91 Minutes
Blu-Ray released through Arrow Video (2K restoration from original camera negative)
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