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Axe (1974)

Lisa, Lisa (original title)
R | | Horror | December 1974 (USA)
1:37 | Trailer

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Three criminals on a murder spree arrives at a farmhouse, where a girl is living with her paralyzed grandfather.
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Leslie Lee ...
Jack Canon ...
Ray Green ...
Frederick R. Friedel ...
Douglas Powers ...
Frank Jones ...
Carol Miller ...
George J. Monaghan ...
Smith Hart ...
Scott Smith ...
Radio and Television Shows (voice)
Radio and Television Shows (voice)
Don Cummins ...
Radio and Television Shows (voice)
Jaqueline Pyle ...
Radio and Television Shows (voice)
Lynne Bradley ...
Radio and Television Shows (voice)


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You'll DIE To Know Her Secret ... See more »




R | See all certifications »

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Official Sites:



Release Date:

December 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Axe  »

Box Office


$25,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Banned in Britain as a "Video Nasty" in the 1980's. See more »


Lomax: Why'd he jump out the window... it's 12 floors down.
Steele: Nah... it's only 9.
See more »


Referenced in Fear, Panic & Censorship (2000) See more »


Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
American spiritual
See more »

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User Reviews

Quite interesting and disturbing, if misogynistic
26 September 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

It's quite often difficult to ascertain the reasons that many of the films on the video nasties list are there. We all just assume that they are there due to graphic violence, and explicit gore. We also largely assume that they are mostly, intrinsically rubbish. Whilst I have not seen all of the films on the list, the handful that I have, are varying in quality. It's always a surprise when the film is interesting, or has some kind of purpose, or layering of meaning. Axe, or the more ethereal original title, Lisa, Lisa, is one of the ones that at once, looks cheaply made (some sequences had the strange mise-en-scene of a H G Lewis movie), but also has an idea - simplistic but well thought-out - that gives the film a subtle gravitas.

The first part of the film follows three criminals, Steele (Jack Canon), Lomax (Ray Green), and the moral voice to the violence, Billy (played by the writer/director Frederick R. Friedel). On the journey with these characters, we are introduced to their brand of criminal activity. In a convenience store, Steele and Lomax mock and taunt the female clerk, throwing fruit at her, then forcing her to take off her blouse, humiliating her before going further. This shows overtly the misogynistic attitude of the main two. Billy, as throughout the film, is the person against the murdering, and acts as the moral arbiter to the horrific acts.

After this the trio drive up to a large house that is occupied by Lisa (Leslie Lee), who looks after her completely paralysed grandfather. Lisa is a strange, seemingly internal character, who is forced to take the criminals in for the night, and feed them etc. After one Lomax attempts to rape her, she takes it upon herself to kill him, then proceeds to act this out to the rest of the criminals.

There are some very effective scenes, and some that are genuinely disturbing. The first killing of Lomax, Lisa takes a razor blade to the back of his neck. After he has clearly lost consciousness, she continues to saw at the neck. It's making me wince writing about it. So there are some very effective kills, and this is partly where I see the reason for it's contentiousness for the DPP. But I think fundamentally the reasons for the banning was more to do with the contempt for women. This is something that even the BBFC has many issues with.

In conclusion, the film is disturbing at times, and it's moral fibre a little on the side of misogyny. However, the film is quite interesting, and certainly has more going for it in narrative terms than much of the video nasties on offer.


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Maybe one of the best independent movies ever! clemensottawa30
Why was this called 'California Axe Massacre'... sf12169
What extras are on the two disc version? streetsofla
Not great but there is something about it I like. richajtaylor
Yes, Leslie Lee is alive. PatGallegher
A Doubt luz_nuno
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