Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Movie Review: Edge of the Axe

Edge of the Axe is a 1988 cult classic horror movie I never heard of, but I was intrigued by the artwork and the trailer so I figured I’d give it a go. To my surprise, it was a much more nuanced story than I expected. This, along with solid acting and character development, made for a highly enjoyable movie.

Arrow Video description for Edge of the Axe:

From cult Spanish filmmaker José Ramón Larraz (Vampyres, Symptoms) comes this long-neglected late 80s slasher classic, finally unleashed on Blu-ray for the first time ever!

The rural community of Paddock County is being rocked by the crazed exploits of an axe-wielding psychopath, who stalks the night in a black trenchcoat and mask. As the victims pile up, the authorities attempt to keep a lid on the situation, whilst computer whizz-kid Gerald and girlfriend Lillian seek to unmask the killer before the town population reaches zero.

Nominally set in Northern California but shot primarily in Madrid, giving the film an off-kilter, American/European atmosphere akin to the likes of Pieces, Edge of the Axe is a late entry hack-and-slash masterpiece from one of the titans of Spanish terror.

Edge of the Axe is available on Blu-ray from Arrow Video, and it’s also on the ARROW streaming service. Regardless of how you choose to experience it, you’ll be treated to a brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative, as well as the original uncompressed mono audio. This makes for a movie that both looks and sounds great.

I found Edge of the Axe to be a compelling movie. Its lengthy character development scenes were a nice break from the nonstop body count that was commonplace amongst its contemporaries at the time. This resulted in me being more invested in the characters on screen, as opposed to not caring whether they live or die. I appreciate this unique approach, along with the plot that kept me guessing, wondering who was the killer. The ending is one that I didn’t see coming and, overall, it left me satisfied. With this in mind, I recommend that horror fans check out Edge of the Axe, as it’s a well crafted and entertaining piece of 1980s horror cinema.

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