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Axe (1974)

Lisa, Lisa (original title)
1:38 | Trailer
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 ... 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 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


At last -- total terror! See more »


Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

December 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Virgin Slaughter See more »


Box Office


$25,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Two different locations were used for the farmhouse: One house was used for the exteriors and another for the interiors. See more »


Steele: Lady's sure got some nice melons, Lomax.
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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 Big Box: Jigsaw (2009) See more »


Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
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User Reviews

Why can't they just play stuff like this on IFC?
31 December 2008 | by TromafreakSee all my reviews

Wouldn't it be nice if one could turn on the TV on the Sundance channel, or the Independent Film Channel any time, and actually find something independent, like Hitchhike to Hell, or Blood Stalkers? As too few of us realize, there is a slight difference between the pseudo-independent, Hollywood pattern-following, overly-PC garbage that actually gets played regularly on television, and obscure, low-budget classic trash like California Axe Massacre, which supposedly no one cares about. Personally, I find this kind of thing to be interesting, dare I say refreshing. California Axe Massacre may not be much, but it is art, dismal, pointless art, but art, nonetheless. Unlike modern-day indies, No suits lurking around the set, controlling everything so the director can make them as much money as possible. In the 70's, there was real independence.

Did I say independence? I meant incoherence, sorry about that. Now, on with this sleep-aid of a story. Three gangsters, or some kind of bad guys are hiding out in some guy's apartment that they have beef with, awaiting his return. It's never explained what this beef is, but once the poor fellow gets home, he is taunted, intimidated, and beaten to death in a very unrealistic manner, with his boyfriend having to witness all of this, no wait, he just killed himself, .that takes care of him. The thugs decide to take it to the country, and lay low for a while. The pointless scene that follows would not be a good start...

But first, meet the bad guys.

Steele:The leader of the group. A bully with serious anger issues who prefers his fruit fresh. Played by the always unlikeable, Jack Canon. Steele sucks.

Lomax: Steele's sidekick, just a petty thug, as well as a bully. Played by the legendary Ray Green. Hobbies include eating, smoking, and rape. Lomax sucks.

Billy: Guy with chia-pet hair, who got mixed up with riff raff. Billy ain't cool with these guys being mean to people. Steele and Lomax have no patience for this guy's sensitivity. Played by Friedel. As far as being a bad guy goes, Billy sucks.

Anyway, In this unnecessary, unentertaining scene, which only re-proves that the bad guys are in fact, bad. The trio stop at a convenience store. Billy, naturally, stays in the car, but Steele and Lomax walk in like they own the joint. Lomax is mainly there for the pastries, but Mr. anger management Steele decides to throw a fit over some apples, scaring the hell out of some poor woman, Billy definitely wouldn't approve. After a little target practice with the cashier, the bad guys decide to find a random, farm house, and force their company upon some unsuspecting people for a few days, and to hopefully lay low...

Meet Lisa, a quiet, unhappy-looking girl, who lives on a remote farm. Lisa has no parents, All she has in this world is her paralyzed grandfather, who she does everything for, and she pretty much does everything around the farm. Lonely, and miserable, the poor girl is on the verge of suicide. No time for that right now, Lisa, and grandpa are about to get three visitors. Unfortunately, this doesn't help matters at all, in fact, it sucks. Now that the bad guys have found their destination, it doesn't take long for them to worm their way in, and make themselves at home, they even make Lisa cook for them. Now that Lomax has his belly full, he makes it clear that he's in the mood for a rape, Billy does not approve, and is on the verge of a tantrum, and Lisa is "this close" to slitting her wrists. Jeepers, it's gonna be a long night...

California Axe Massacre is just about the most independent film you're going to find. With the most obvious quality being a low... and I mean Low budget, let's face it, we're looking at a Z-grade here. Qualities such as incompetent directing, zero character development, and complete pointlessness makes themselves very clear, The mood of this film is parallel to that of Lisa's; hopeless and somber, nearly lifeless, but mainly tragic. Ironically, Lisa is by far, the best thing this film has to offer. Leslie Lee does a great job at portraying a lonely, disconnected, shell of a person, who hasn't experienced a great deal of happiness. Seemingly numb on the surface, yet driven insane by a complete and utter lack of joy, hence, very capable of murder. As for the 3 bad guys, well, even grandpa was more entertaining. Anyone willing to look past this films limitless flaws might recognize a fair amount of genuine horror, a quality that no longer exists. California Axe Massacre is the second and final installment of Frederick Friedel's mean-spirited, Carolinasploitation series of the 70's. That's right, you can't ever call it one of a kind. There's actually another one of these, the unintentional comedy, Kidnapped Coed, or The Kidnapper, or whatever you want to call it, I prefer House Of Terror. Although, they may be slightly fascinating, both of Friedel's disasterpieces leave a little to be desired, even for a veteran, bad movie lover. While House Of Terror has about half the dialogue, it actually turns out to be the more interesting of the two. On the other hand, California Axe Massacre actually makes a little sense, but surprisingly seems even more low-budget. Both are inept as hell, both could have benefited from a script, and both star Jack Cannon, which probably doesn't help much either, it's a lose-lose situation in Exploitation country. As incoherent and half-assed as both these films are, I totally dig them both, and would especially recommend viewing with a friend with an appreciation for trash, or even for torturing those who hate it. For anyone who prefers their B-entertainment as bad as it can possibly be, look no further than Frederick R. Friedel's Twin Bastards Of Drive-In obscurity. Now, that's independence!!

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