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A group of three criminals on the run from the law, go about terrorizing the local townsfolk of a small community, before descending on an isolated farm which is home to a young girl named Lisa and her paralyzed grandfather. After being sexually assaulted by two of the gangsters, she retaliates using an axe and a razor blade. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
I guess we have institutions like The Daily Mail to thank for this film; not for the making of it, but rather for the fact that it still has audience when it should have been forgotten along with most of the rest of the Last House on the Left rip-off's almost thirty years ago. Yes, 'Axe' is a member of the infamous video nasty list, and that's the only real reason to see it. The film is exploitation in the tradition of Wes Craven's infamous shocker, only instead of being fun and memorable, it's just dull. The film is kind of like Left House-lite, in that it's the same basic premise, but there's less of it. Axe is just over an hour long, which is definitely a good thing as I'd have hated to have wasted any more time on it. Basically, a trio of criminals on the run decide to stop off at an old country house, where they are introduced to Lisa and her old paralysed grandfather. It's not long before the men have raped her, and in true seventies exploitation style; she's getting her bloody revenge against them, using things like razorblades and axes.
The film fails to generate any kind of sympathy for it's characters, and even though the acts being committed are horrifying and sick, it's hard to care...which just makes it boring. Also, the fact that you know what sort of movie it is and when it was made ensures that it's always obvious what's going to happen, thus meaning that you're sitting there waiting for it. The atmosphere tries to be sleazy and foreboding, but only ever succeeds in ensuring that the film feels very cheap and obviously made for a quick buck. Axe tries to make it's central female the star of the show, and seeing a small child brutally murder three grown men is quite shocking; but again, it all comes back down to the fact that it's hard to really care; and that makes the whole idea style heavy and without substance. It's easy to say that it's only a cheap seventies exploitation movie and not worth taking seriously, and that's fair enough. It's also fair to say that this film is merely a dull reworking of better and more successful films that came before it, and if you want to see some sick seventies blood and guts; you could do a lot better than this. Axe is a video nasty best left hidden!
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