Three criminals on a murder spree arrives at a farmhouse, where a girl is living with her paralyzed grandfather.





Cast overview, first billed only:
Leslie Lee ... Lisa
Jack Canon Jack Canon ... Steele
Ray Green ... Lomax
Frederick R. Friedel ... Billy
Douglas Powers ... Grandfather
Frank Jones Frank Jones ... Aubrey
Carol Miller ... Storewoman
George J. Monaghan George J. Monaghan ... Harold
Hart Smith Hart Smith ... Detective
Scott Smith Scott Smith ... Policeman
Jeff MacKay ... Radio and Television Shows (voice)
David Hayman ... Radio and Television Shows (voice)
Don Cummins ... Radio and Television Shows (voice)
Jaqueline Pyle Jaqueline Pyle ... Radio and Television Shows (voice)
Lynne Bradley 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


Total terror - you'll be scared to breathe..! See more »


Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Leslie Lee had done some modeling prior to playing her sole lead role as Lisa. Lee declined an offer to be interviewed for the release of this movie by Severin Films in both the DVD and Blu-ray formats. See more »


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

Alternate Versions

For its original UK cinema release (as "California Axe Massacre") cuts were made to a razor slashing during a rape scene, the beating of Aubrey, and heavy edits to the infamous scene where the salesgirl is shot at and splashed with ketchup, and the film later found itself on the official DPP list of video nasties in the 80s. It was eventually issued on the Exploited video label, under its cinema title, in 1999 but received 19 secs of cuts to the previous razor slashing scene. The BBFC said they would have passed it uncut but previous illegal distribution of the uncut version led to a prosecution under the obscene publications act (the same reason The House by the Cemetery and Blood Feast were slightly cut). The cuts were fully waived for the 2005 ILC release and the film reverted to its original title of "Axe". See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: I Spit on Your Grave: Part 2 (2013) See more »


Smellin' Up The Kitchen
Written and Sung by George Newman Shaw and John Willhelm
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User Reviews

Makes cinema worth the trouble
17 October 2001 | by adrian_tripodSee all my reviews

There are a few strange films out there - they don't play by the rules and oh dear perhaps they lack the forward motion most people expect from a story -... but so what -- if you catch them at the right time of night they can take you somewhere special, unlike ordinary films which take you no further than their accountant's ambition. Axe is a weird little drama, ambient nastiness with no real pay-off as such but it haunts you, from the nagging beautiful amateur synth theme tune to the nothing plot and the artistic vagueness that envelops the story. I wish these sorts of films were more celebrated because there's something different going on. It's not a narrative with anything to prove but it stays around, lingering, like a dream you almost forgot but not quite. Friedel made another oddball movie, Date with a Kidnapper, and it's another dreamy exercise in sideways storytelling. All hail an American original!

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Release Date:

December 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Virgin Slaughter See more »


Box Office


$25,000 (estimated)
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Technical Specs


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Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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