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Blu-ray Review: Edge of the Axe (1988)

Bizarre-ass motorcycle ridin’ computer expert Gerald (Barton Faulks), and his equally off-putting pal Richard Simmons… wait… what the fuck now?

Anyway, this Richard Simmons (Page Mosely), is an exterminator by trade… though philanderer is his main occupation, and he spends his time with Ger-bear trying to score some trim, drinking beer, playing video games, and finding corpses left in the wake of a masked lunatic on a kill spree/pig bothering sesh.

Soon ol’ Jerry hooks up with a comely video game lovin’ barmaid named Lillian (Christina Marie Lane)… but our heroine has a past; as a little squirt, she pushed her cuz off a swing set and fucked him up but good, and my dude just got sprung from the nuthouse! Before long, the chase is on to figure out the killer’s identity and end his reign of terror… and no one is quite what they seem!

Edge of the Axe is a surreal, pseudo-giallo that really delivers an off-kilter experience unlike any other. You get a reliance on computers that is amazingly cutting-edge for the time (and hilariously dated, if not downright preposterous for today’s audiences), characters that exist in some sort of weird universe just a few steps left of our own (doubtless the result of an American/Spanish cast starring in a production helmed and crewed by predominately Spanish folks), and plenty of strange dialog to entertain and baffle any horror hound in equal measure!

Along with all of the weirdness present, director José Ramón Larraz (working from a script courtesy of Joaquín Amichatis, Javier Elorrieta, and José Frade) delivers a remarkably solid slasher at it’s core; filled to the revoltin’ rafters with fun stalk n’ slay sequences, a splash of gore, and some unique twist elements that make the film one to easily recommend to fans of the genre… plus the electronic score by Javier Elorrieta is pretty fuckin’ awesome!

Edge of the Axe is lunatic entertainment for sure, but the extras on this Blu-ray release from Arrow Video may just drive you insane… with viewing pleasure? Look, I painted myself into a fucking corner, okay… cut your ol’ pal some slack, ya dig?

Anyway, first up are two brand new audio commentaries; one featuring Faulks and Matt Rosenblatt (Faulks’ student from… I don’t know, some acting class or some shit?), the other the members of The Hysteria Continues podcast. The former is a lively conversation full of anecdotes of the film’s production, and the latter is an often hilarious view of the film from the fan’s perspective.

Also included are: interviews with Faulks (who comes across as a truly likable dude… and is indeed a teacher, so there’s that mother Faulkin’ connection to Rosey Rosenblatt mentioned… in a way… up yonder), Mosely (who seems equally as friendly), and special effects/make-up artist Colin Arthur, an image gallery, and the film’s trailer in both English and Spanish (the Spanish language of the film is present on this release as well).

All of the ghoulish goodness listed above comes wrapped tightly in a case featuring original artwork by Justin Osbourn, which also contains a collector’s booklet featuring new writing by film scholar Amanda Reyes.

To some this sinister shit up for you fiends; Edge of the Axe is an obscure gem in the many faceted crown that is the cream of the crop of ’80s slasher flicks… the gruesome Golden Age for such gory greatness… and should be snapped up by aficionados post-fuckin’-haste!

 

 

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