• Slasher Hunt 2020: Edge of the Axe (Arrow Video) Blu-ray Review


    Arrow Video brings us another overlooked slasher film with Edge of the Axe. Is the film worth the treatment or does it feel like too little too late?

    Studio: Arrow Video
    Release Date: September 15th, 1989 (theatrical)
                                January 28th, 2020 (blu-ray)
    Run Time: 91 mins
    Region Code: FREE
    Picture: 1080p (1.85:1 aspect ratio)
    Sound: English LPCM Mono
                    Spanish LPCM Mono
    Subtitles: English SDH
    Slipcover: Yes (exclusive to Diabolik DVD in the U.S. and Arrow Video's website in the U.K.)
    Digital Copy: No
    Starring: Barton Faulks, Christina Marie Lane, and Page Moseley
    Written by Joaquín Amichatis, Javier Elorrieta, and José Frade
    Directed by José Ramón Larraz
    Rating: Not Rated (strong horror violence and gore and some language)

    THE FILM


    An axe murderer terrorizes a small Northern California mountain community, while two young computer-obsessed adults attempt to solve the killings.

    Edge of the Axe is a late 80s slasher film that is probably more fondly remembered for its VHS box art than it is for the film that lied within. The film is pretty standard slasher fare just with much less blood than the genre had become known for and zero nudity.

    What we get is a slasher film that focuses more on trying to outwit the audience while both making them laugh and boring them to tears for long stretches.

    The film begins with a pretty good opening kill that tries to set the mood for the rest of the film but ultimately becomes the best scene in the film. The film does have some decent setups for the remaining kills and as brutal as they may be, they can't hold a candle to even the worst slasher films.

    The film tries to make up for the little amounts of blood that appear onscreen by giving us a whodunnit. We are lead to believe that the killer is one of the two leads and thus they give us some red herrings like any good whodunit slasher film would. Instead of giving us a handful of red herrings, the film gives us a whole town of them. Almost every person who has a spoken line of dialogue can be considered a red herring. How do I know this? Because they all act weird as shit. Line delivery, body movements, and the way that all the characters are blocked in scenes is just bonkers. There is a character early on who is the landlord to one of the main characters. He is given a shirt by said main character and we see him wearing it in the next scene, only to be made fun of by the main character who gave him the shirt. Why? Because the shirt is given out at the store to those who spend a certain amount of money. This sets up that character as a red herring. Problem is: we never see him again.

    All of these characters are sprinkled throughout the film and provide us with more entertainment than the plot and main characters do.

    Then there's the twist. The twist doesn't really make too much sense in that the person could not have done the things they have done and be elsewhere at the same time. That's not the best part though. The best part is how the twist is explained to us and the other characters. I am not going to anything away but just let me tell you that I had to watch the scene a few times because I was laughing so much.

    Needless to say that I got a lot of entertainment out of Edge of the Axe even if it wasn't the intended entertainment. I can't really recommend the film as it is intended. The kills aren't that great, the acting is bizarre, and the film isn't paced very well. That being said, the film is a hoot to watch just to see what happens next. I had a lot of fun with the film and I do recommend that people watch it.

    THE PICTURE AND THE SOUND


    Presented in the film’s original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, Edge of the Axe has been given a brand new 2K restoration and the results are excellent. There are big chunks of the film that take place at night so the deepness of the black levels are crucial. I am happy to report that the black levels are deep and inky. The colors throughout are great, giving us a realistic Northern California feel even if it was shot in Spain. Skin tones are great as well and there is a nice thin layer of film grain.

    THE PACKAGING



    The disc is REGION FREE

    THE FEATURES


              Two Versions:

                        English Version
                        Spanish Version


    Gerald’s Game (11m 4s, HD) Here we have a brand new interview with actor Barton Faulks. Bringing a very joyous spirit to the interview, Faulks looks back very fondly on his role and his time on the film’s set. He starts out by talking about how he got the role and the reaction from his acting coach upon hearing the news, who told him to have fun with the role. He then talks about some of the ins and outs of the shoot including info about how the killer was always played by a different person so the audience was left guessing the real identity of said killer and how the film was shot in Spain (which blows my mind when it comes to the exterior shots.) Faulks concludes the interview by talking about his life now (he has become a teacher) and how much he wants to do a convention and hopes that this blu-ray release will open up that door for him.


    The Actor’s Grind (11m 23s, HD) Next, we have an interview with actor Page Moseley. He begins by talking about how he always wanted to be an actor and knew at a very young age. He began acting with work in commercials and theater. His work paid off when he landed a recurring role on the soap opera Santa Barbara. He loved his time on the of Edge of the Axe as he got to explore Spain and play tons of golf.


    The Pain in Spain (7m 47s, HD) Finally, we have an interview with special effects make-up artist Colin Arthur. Here, Arthur breaks down the various effects from the film.

    Image Gallery (21 images)

    Original Trailer:

    English Version (2m 46s, HD)
    Spanish Version (2m 46s, HD)

    Audio Commentary with Barton Faulks and Matt Rosenblatt

    Audio Commentary with The Hysteria Continues

    THE CONCLUSION


    THE FILM5
    THE PICTURE8
    THE SOUND6
    THE PACKAGINGNR
    THE FEATURES8

    Summary

    Edge of the Axe is an interesting late 80’s slasher film that relies way too much on character and not enough on the kills. I mean, that is why we watch slasher films in the first place. That being said, the film is worth a look. The blu-ray from Arrow Video is downright great. The two commentary tracks here are both worth a listen and the interviews are full of great information. I do wish that the film had a historian feature by Stephen Thrower or someone else as I think that smaller films like this deserve the attention. Still, this is a great blu-ray release that will make fans very happy.
    7.5
    Overall Score


    THE SCREENSHOTS
















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