Edge of the Ax (1988)
Starring: Barton Faolks, Christina Marie Lane, Page Moseley, Fred Holliday, Patty Shepard, Alicia Moro,
Jack Taylor, Joy Blackburn, May Heatherly, Conrado San Martín, Elmer Modling,
Plot: A masked serial killer is murdering people in a small village with an axe. A young couple unwillingly end up in the middle of all the chaos, and eventually become the next target. Will they be able to catch the killer and reveal his/her identity or will the town population reach zero?
My Review and Thoughts:
Behold a forgotten slasher of the 80's. A true one-of-a-kind Horror film forgotten by time. This has everything with all the trademarks of an 80's horror film. This is a horror film where the bodies are piling up, hacked to death by a masked boogieman. Victims are hacked in all their wonderful retro glory for the viewer.
Women in the middle of nowhere finding themselves hunted down and hacked to death. You have your basic characters throughout. A small town. A local sheriff and the serial killer on the loose brutally and savagely killing the women with no remorse.
If you take out some of the cheesy dialogue and corny conversation then this is a memorable Horror film. A great mystery suspense slasher that is very violent at times and it does wonderful close-ups of the gory deed of murder for all you gore-whore out there.
This has one of the coolest mask, any masked killer of the 80's had.
Solid pale white haunting ghostlike mask, a very interesting imagery of a killer carrying an Ax and slaughtering women.
Directed by a very gifted filmmaker who did many cult following drive-in B-movie type films José Ramón Larraz. He graced the horror world with Vampyres (1974), Scream and Die (1974), 1982's Black Candles.
Sadly, this is an underrated horror slasher film. It has all the wonderful trademarks and yet lives above and beyond many of the slasher films out there. The killer was cool. The deaths were awesome for a horror film. The acting was somewhat okay. This film worked and the good camera work, dark lighting and tightness of the story brought this whole picture together. It's truly the forgotten 80 slasher film that needs to be rediscovered and brought out for this generation to experience the old retro horror that it is.
I must say this is truly one of the great slasher films. It’s a true shame it’s hard to come by.
Starring Barton Faulks who also was in 85's Future Kill. He plays Gerald a computer whiz lover boy who has a mysterious side to him, or does he. Also starring Christina Marie Lane as Lillian which is her first and only acting, which is shocking because she was good in this. This also stars Page Mosely who most will remember him as Dylan in the long running Santa Barbara (1984–1993) TV Series.
This is possibly one of the best late comer slasher flicks. José Ramón Larraz created a wonderful example of a slasher film. He was gifted at creating a horror film that should have been blessed with a cult following, but sadly seems to have been swept under the rug.
I think what stands out about this is the deaths themselves. They're very sophisticated at times. One victim being killed during a car wash which was ultimately interesting and very vivid and yet artistically woven into the genre of horror. Possibly I must say one of the coolest deaths in a slasher film.
All in all, I think the movie is truly one to see, to own, and to grace as one of the greats. This is considered a Spanish horror film yet it's done in English. I feel this horror slasher captures all the glory of the slasher world and can take hold of the viewer, give them what they want and what you seem to need in the horror genera. Original titled "Al Filo del hacha". I think what’s interesting about Jose Ramon Larraz is he had many talents. He started out as a comic book writer and then moved on to cinema. He crafted his style from erotic to horror giving his memorable stamp on his work. He sadly passed away in 2013. He left his mark, sadly I feel he never got what he deserved in fan base. Hopefully one day with the experience of this forgotten slasher he will be honored one day with Special Edition DVD or Blu-ray..
He was a Spanish director of blood and erotic situations. He could capture his one of a kind imagery and twist it around sensual sexual appeal, and an artistic setup at times. As I have stated the ax death during the car wash is something to stand out as being truly an amazing moment that goes up there with Michael Myers tilting of the head as he watches Bob Simms die in the classic Halloween movie. His exploitation ways and his persona in the horror world will be remembered by fans. He not only directed some memorable films but as in all hit and misses he did direct some that are god awful such as the ultra-cheesy huge b-movie itself 1987's Rest in Pieces. If you have seen it then you know what I am talking about. He also directed another good film with all the horror stereotypes, Deadly Manor in 1990.
Edge of the Ax is an ultra-cool late 80's slasher horror flick that barely got in on the coattails of the 80's slasher genera. It's that late entry that probably destroyed any lasting mark. The genera of slasher had been pounded and buried and over killed toward the late 80's and even if the slasher was good, it ended up being categorized and swept under all the over kill ones.
To me this is one that I really enjoy and tend to return to over and over. It had a story and an awesome masked killer, and was very effective kills. A late 80's winner.
I can only hope one day this will get a proper release so that all lovers of 80's horror and slasher films will be able to enjoy its beautiful horror wonder.