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Axe to Grind

USA 2015
produced by
Matt Zettell, Matthew James Gulbranson, Scott C. Sanford, N.J. Jacob (executive), Larry Williams (executive), Jeff Beumer (executive), Darryl Gulbranson (executive) for Seraph Productions, Top Knot Films
directed by Matt Zettell
starring Debbie Rochon, Guy Torry, Matthew James Gulbranson, Paula Labaredas, Michelle Tomlinson, Dani Thompson, Adrian Quihuis, Tony von Halle, Rachael Robbins, Kelsey Zukowski, Tawny Amber Young, Andrew Baxter, Darryl Gulbranson, Harley McLain, Eileen Dietz, Steve Everson, Katherine King, Ric Linville, Brandon Riley, Curt Foster
written by Scott C. Sanford, J.P. Linde, music by Carl Dante, visual effects by Ryan Stevens/Post Haste FX

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Debbie (Debbie Rochon) is a B-horror veteran, icon if you will, but she's past her prime and finds it harder and harder to get good roles - especially after her long-time boyfriend and producer of her trust Peter (Matthew James Gulbranson) has thrown her out of their home and quit working with her ... but Debbie's not one to give up easily, so eventually she invades his home, drugs Peter, ties him up, slaughters his new girlfriend Tawny (Tawny Amber Young), and ...

The next day, Debbie's on set for Peter's latest production, an abandoned hospital, claiming she's filling in for Tawny - but Peter can't be reached to confirm that, while the other actresses (Paula Labaredas, Michelle Tomlinson, Dani Thompson) are less than happy about this late addition as everybody knows Debbie's a diva and a bitch, while the director (Guy Torry) feels somehow awkward because after Peter broke up with Debbie he took his side and not hers, and the P.A. feels totally overwhelmed by the whole situation. Only the creepy caretaker Norman (Adrian Quihuis) seems to be positively thrilled to see Debbie, and she's thrilled to find he's got a great collection of axes. And then members of this motley crew start to die on set, but Debbie is always quick to convince everyone they have just bolted ... but of course it was actually Debbie killing her competitors, her director, the P.A., with a variety of axes - and the creepy caretaker makes sure the bodies are stored away in the hospital's morgue and the crimescenes are left squeaky-clean. But there's much more to this story, as Debbie didn't actually kill Peter, even if she had plenty of opportunity (and apparently the knack) to ...

Kelsey Zukowski plays young Debbie, Rachael Robbins Debbie's lawyer, both in short but vital scenes.

 

Axe to Grind is nothing if not a fun movie: Carried by dependable fan fave Debbie Rochon, who seems to have the time of her life, this movie has all the elements that make B-horror so excitable: Some gruesome killings (though the movie never goes full slaughterhouse), some creepy characters, but also some sexy girls, one of whom's also a great killer, bits of nudity to keep everyone happy, plenty of dark humour, and a general not-too-serious approach to the material. And still, this is not just your formulaic slasher, it holds a few plottwists you might not expect, and especially a properly macabre ending, and it's quite a bit better written than your usual indie slasher - yet still it's a movie genre fans will definitely enjoy ... and maybe also people who are not even genre fans.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
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you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

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produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD