Living on the… – Edge of the Axe (1989)

Coming right towards the end of the decade, Edge of the Axe is a slasher that has a definite been there and done that feel, yet even then, there is enough present that it ends up being fairly enjoyable, especially as one is unsure just who the killer is for a time which is always a good thing.

As with most slashers, it all begins with a murder which then cuts to Gerald Martin, a computer geek who meets a young woman named Lillian and the two bond quickly over their shared love of electronics, though not before Gerald and his friend discover another body. As they begin to get to know each other, more bodies start dropping and Gerald soon becomes a little suspicious of Lillian and her strange behaviour. Director José Ramón Larraz soon reveals all in a shocking twist and the film ends as it should, with the good guys on the losing end and the murderer free to continue on with nobody the wiser.

Though not wholly original in scope, the movie manages to entertain through a bit of solid direction, a fair amount of mystery and a bountiful bevy of murders that take place within. Barton Faulks and Christina Marie Lane who head up this production do a good job in their respective roles, the chemistry between them is believable which makes the viewer invested in what they do. Watching this today tends to make it slightly humorous due to the old technology that was cutting edge then and while it helps to move the plot forward, being a somewhat integral piece of the plot, now it is simply providing a bit of unintended mirth years after the picture’s initial release. If there was one thing that would hamper it just a little, it would be the initial pace of the film that would take its time in getting where it was going, yet once it hit the final act, it would definitely pick up and finish on a stronger note than how it originally started off.  As for the killer, while no Freddy or Michael, one has to really like the mask and costume as it is quite spooky and sure to haunt the dreams of those who would encounter said killer in the dark.

Making this somewhat original would be the fact that it was a Spanish co-production and as such, one can see some of that influence within, the movie being slightly more stylish than the average slasher. The killings would not be all that inventive but more than made up for it in quantity and were gory enough to satiate any fan of the genre. Altogether, Edge of the Axe was different from the norm which always makes for a good thing and any slasher that can break away from the mould just a little is worth a watch.

3 out of 5

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