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Al Filo del Hacha

Edge of the Axe

Spain / USA 1988
produced by
José Frade for Calepas International, José Frade Producciones Cinematográficas
directed by José Ramón Larraz
starring Barton Faulks, Christina Marie Lane, Page Mosely, Fred Holliday, Patty Shepard, Alicia Moro, Jack Taylor, Conrado San Martín, Joy Blackburn, May Heatherly, Elmer Modlin, Javier Elorrieta, José Frade, Christina Lane
written by Joaquín Amichatis, Javier Elorrieta, José Frade, Pablo de Aldebarán, music by Javier Elorrieta

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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There's nothing ever happening in Paddock County, a rural community with little to distinguish it from other rural communities of its ilk - until a woman of the night (Alicia Moro) turns up, hacked to pieces. And when more women turn up killed in a similar fashion, it becomes clear that Paddock County has its own serial killer, a mask wearing maniac carrying an axe. The case leaves Sheriff McIntosh (Fred Holliday) baffled, only young Lillian (Christina Marie Lane) thinks she has an idea what's going on. It all has to do with Charlie, a boy she pushed so hard on the swings that he fell off and got his brain damaged. That was several years back, and he is said to have been institutionalized ever since, but Lillian thinks he has now gotten out. So with the help of her new boyfriend Gerald (Barton Faulks), a computer expert, she gets into the files of the sanitarium he was kept at and finds out all the murdered women were linked to the case. Gerald though is sceptical about her findings. This almost discourages her, but then she finds a scar on the back of Gerald's head, just where Charlie bumped his head back when ...

 

Now apart from a great resolution that probably nobody has seen coming until late in the film, Edge of the Axe isn't exactly a genre classic but rather a routine slasher that serves more as a document of its time than stand out as anything special. And indeed, the film's mixture of brutal killings, then current pop culture references, and soap opera-like subplots really feels like pure 1980s (yet without employing too many bad clichés). On the plus side, the film has its suspense bits and jump scares in all the right places, is fittingly gruesome, and especially the finale is extremely tense.

So no, no masterpiece, but good genre entertainment at least, and an even nicer trip down memory lane.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
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to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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out now on DVD