Paddock County is being terrorized by an axe-wielding psychopath,
who stalks the night in a black trenchcoat and white mask.
Edge of the Axe (1988)
Directed by José Ramón Larraz
Written by Joaquín Amichatis, Javier Elorrieta, José Frade
Starring Barton Faulks, Christina Marie Lane, Page Mosley,
Fred Holliday, Patty Shepard, Alice Moro
The VHS era of the 80s and 90s was a boom for genre and independent movies. Producers and Distributors didn’t have to rely solely on a strong theatrical run in order to see a return on their investment. Video rentals became part of the equation and video stores became the wild west for horror movies as shelves were flooded with films of varying quality all fighting for our attention with salacious cover art. I say all this because the art for Jose Ramon Larraz’s Edge of the Axe is a prime example of something that would’ve caught anyone’s roaming eyes as they scanned the shelves for their Friday night horror flick fix.
Gerald (Faulks) is a motorcycle riding computer genius who has rented a room in Paddock County, CA from a cantankerous old fart where he is casually going about creating the internet or something. For 1988 the writers were sort of predicting the rise of instant messaging and search engines as Gerald has the know-how to tap into the ‘central hub’ and connect two of his computers together and also have the means to find information. Oh, and there’s someone wearing a trench coat and white mask killing people…with an axe (cue 80s metal guitar riff here)! When he’s not casually going about working on the greatest invention in human history, Gerald makes extra cash with his good pal, Richard Simmons (Mosley). No, not that Richard Simmons. This guy is an exterminator, an operation funded by his rich older wife to get him out of the house, and he hires Gerald because he’s got a keen sense of smell, I’m not making this shit up. Need a sniffer for that foul odor in your bathroom? Gerald’s your man! Don’t have a corpse sniffing dog in your local police force? Not a problem, Gerald can sniff that rotting corpse in your attic in a jiffy! That last statement actually happens in the movie but I don’t want to give too much away. Along the way, our intrepid Steve Jobs with a bowl cut meets local lady, Lillian, and the two quickly fall for one another as the bodies pile up around them. Who is behind the mask? Will Gerald succeed in laying the foundations for which Google and Al Gore will take all the acclaim? You’ll just have to find out for yourself.
Edge of the Axe gets credit for featuring a drive-thru car wash murder, something we can all agree we need more of in horror. While it may have slipped through the cracks and lost for a bit, Arrow has restored and released this slasher on Blu-ray recently. You can play a drinking game with the product placement in this movie as there are brands all over the place so sit back with your friends, order some pizza, and ride to the edge…of the axe!