42nd Street Cinema

Axe (1977)

Getting back into the swing of blogging and making my way further through the Video Nasty list brings me, to talk about Frederick R. Friedel's Axe, also known as Lisa, Lisa, California Axe Murders, The Axe Murders and The Virgin Slaughter. Over at the film's IMDB page I read an interesting tidbit of information regarding this films shooting, apparently it was shot in 11 days and because of a low film stock amount the film was largely shot without retakes, or even the option.
Produced by Harry Novak, legendary (s)exploitation producer and distributor of numerous 60s and 70s softcore sleaze filled pictures.

The plot of Axe concerns a strange young girl named Lisa (Leslie Lee) who lives on an isolated farm along with her paralyzed grandfather (Douglas Powers). In the town nearby a group of 3 criminals are terrorizing the townsfolk, soon after leaving the town they stumble upon Lisa's house. The group look more like a duo of businessmen out for lunch with Bob Ross, who've taken a psychotic turn for the worst. Lisa allows the 3 men to stay at the house and serves them dinner. Two of the gangsters sexually assault her, she retaliates using a straight razor and an axe.



Clocking in at just over an hour, though padded by drawn-out credits, Axe is a short but sweet affair. I think if you were to stretch out the plot it would soon become intolerably boring. It's not as strong or as graphic as other films in the sub-genre, spare a few bloodied close-ups. Acting is all over the place, the soundtrack feels like it has been lifted from a H.G. Lewis picture and the abrupt ending is just plain silly.
Axe is nothing more than a cheap cash in on more successful drive-in pictures. Nothing within the plot is fully explained such as Lisa's self-destructive habits and the gangsters motives or backstory. If you want to watch all of the glorified 'Nasties' then I guess you'll have to watch this one at some point, otherwise it's probably a flick best to skip.

Here's a link to the trailer which contains one of the most unenthusiastic voice-overs I've ever heard.

1 Star

2 comments:

Sarah from Scare Sarah said...

Great idea going through the old Nasties List! This sounded great! Love the blog.

Jack Veasey said...

This flick didn't wow me, but I enjoyed it. I saw it On Demand and they gave no information about it, so I thought it was much more recent and was impressed that it achieved that "70s look," if nothing else. There goes that idea! Your review is dead on.

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