“Where are you, Gerald?“
I have to admit that 1988’s Edge Of The Axe slipped never hit my radar until a few days ago. I was completely unaware that the film even existed until it was recommended to me on Tubi. I was intrigued by the look of the slasher in the film and was familiar with some of the other work done by its director, Jose Ramon Larraz, so I decided to give it a shot. What I found was a really good standard slasher film that is just begging for a sequel.
The film opens with the brutal murder of a nurse in the middle of an automated car wash by an axe wielding assailant with a white mask that encompasses his head, save for two eye holes. From there we follow a young man named Gerald while he’s riding his motorcycle home in Paddock County. We get to see a ton of beautiful scenery while he’s riding along and then we are introduced to Brock, Richard, and a dead waitress named Maria. From there we are introduced to a number of other characters, many of which will end up on the business end of the killer’s axe. Of special note is Lillian Nebbs. Lillian works every summer at her father’s bar. She and Gerald become fast friends and connect with one another by chatting on computers. As the story moves along, the body count rises. The number of suspects also rises. Everybody from the local sheriff to the local priest have a turn at being a suspect in the viewer’s eyes, with a few characters blatantly tossed into the potential lineup. When we finally learn who the killer really is, it is revealed in a shocking way and the film abruptly ends with a closing shot that makes the viewer (or at least me) wish that a second film was made.
Larraz does a really great job of throwing viewers off as to the true identity of the slasher. The twist ending is also a nice touch. Larraz used a mishmash of American and Spanish actors in the film. Barton Faulks starred as Gerald Martin. Christina Marie Lane portrayed Lillian Nebbs. Patty Shepard, Jack Taylor, Conrado San Martin, Elmer Modling, and May Heatherly also appeared in the film. While the acting was nothing stellar, it wasn’t terrible, either.
The murders in the film were brutal. While a few happened off screen, most of them were shown in all of their gory glory. Viewers get to see the killer hack at victims with reckless abandon. While it’s pretty obvious that the axe isn’t actually penetrating the skin, practical effects were used to make blood spray all over the place. They did a great job with the effects considering the budget and the year. The film does have a look and feel of an early 80’s slasher film, however, and I had to double check the release date.
While it doesn’t break any new ground in the slasher genre, Edge Of The Axe is a serviceable genre flick that delivers decent thrills, brutal kills, and a pretty cool twist ending.
Thanks for checking out my post. Edge Of The Axe is currently available on Amazon Prime and Tubi. It’s also available on Blu-ray. If you haven’t seen it and love slasher movies, give this one a look.