Edge of the Axe

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domino harvey
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Edge of the Axe

#1 Post by domino harvey » Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:18 pm

Image

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.

LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
  • Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative
  • English and Spanish language versions of the feature
  • Original uncompressed mono audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
  • Newly translated English subtitles for the Spanish soundtrack
  • Brand new audio commentary with actor Barton Faulks
  • Brand new audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues
  • Newly-filmed interview with actor Barton Faulks
  • The Pain in Spain – a newly-filmed interview with special effects and make-up artist Colin Arthur
  • Image Gallery
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by Justin Osbourn
  • Collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Amanda Reyes
  • Limited edition slipcase (500 units only in the US and 500 in the UK through Arrow Direct)

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domino harvey
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Re: Edge of the Axe

#2 Post by domino harvey » Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:22 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:14 am

Edge of the Axe (Joseph Braunstein 1988)
Two computer-loving teens fall in love, but the girl is worried about her cousin whom she injured as a kid and who has since grown up and escaped the mental institution. Their romance must also compete with all those pesky axe murders happening in the background. This movie admirably tries to set-up a decent twist, only the red herring is so obvious that anyone who’s ever seen a movie before will be able to figure out who really dunnit long before the “reveal.” The film gives its supporting players character motivations that don’t factor into the story at all, but as the meme goes, an attempt was made. Minor points also awarded for anticipating current text trends by having the two teens chat back and forth on their computers, with all of their conversations not so helpfully spoken out-loud by a dude imitating an automated computer voice.

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tenia
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Edge of the Axe

#3 Post by tenia » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:48 pm

Just add a slipcover, and here comes the money : the 500 copies with slipcovers and exclusive to Arrow's webstore sold out in 5 days.

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Adam X
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:04 am

Re: Edge of the Axe

#4 Post by Adam X » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:08 pm

And Diabolik sold out of theirs. I wanted to get a copy with a slipcover (with pointlessly redundant artwork), but only as it’d presumably guarantee inclusion of the booklet. Oh well.

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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: Edge of the Axe

#5 Post by zedz » Sun May 17, 2020 4:23 pm

This film is a big step up from Larraz's Deadly Manor. It's still pretty goofy, but the performances are generally competent and the absurdly overstuffed narrative is above and beyond what's required for the genre. It's one of those films where just about everybody gets to be a red herring, even if it's just because Larraz shoots them with a fish-eye lens that one time, or tracks in for an unmotivated, intense close-up of their eyes in the middle of a scene, or because they do something batshit crazy that makes no sense at all unless they're the murderer. My favourite of the latter was when the creepy priest, after being driven out of town by police to identify the victims of an axe murder in the middle of the woods, turns down the offer of a lift back to the church because he "knows a shortcut through the woods." I believe this is the last we see of the the creepy priest, but only because the film forgot about him.

Another interesting thing about the film is that it's very excited about primitive home computers, which become an incongruous plot device. The surprising thing about this is that - by some weird fluke - it actually kind of gets the future of home computing right, as they're using the technology for email, 'internet' searches, and gaming. It's the caveman version in each instance, but as insight goes, that's not too bad for 1988.

Overall, it's a silly, entertaining film. There's a conceptually weird commentary where the lead actor is interviewed by one of his students (he's now a drama teacher), which might be a commentary first. (There's also a Hysteria Continues commentary, but I only lasted ten minutes into that. Please, Arrow, stop.)

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Adam X
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:04 am

Re: Edge of the Axe

#6 Post by Adam X » Wed May 20, 2020 2:35 pm

I've been listening to their podcast for a number of years now, but I'm still yet to get around to any of their commentary tracks. Do you not like their approach/personalities, or are they just not providing anything interesting for you. I know in their podcast, they usually don't tend to go that deep into a film, so I can imagine that being an issue.

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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: Edge of the Axe

#7 Post by zedz » Wed May 20, 2020 4:28 pm

From the commentaries I've listened to, they're the worst kind of horror movie fanboys, with little to no curiosity about anything beyond their extremely limited area of interest. (They're even ignorant about horror cinema in general.) Instead we get encyclopedic cross-referencing of every other shitty splatter movie they've ever seen, even when it's completely irrelevant, and comparisons of the awesomeness of various 'kills.' There's no discernment and no insight. I actually feel stupider after listening to one of their commentaries.*

I'm tarring them all with the same brush, but one of them does seem to have a bit more of a balanced interest in film, although he doesn't get much opportunity to express it, and when he does bring up something outside the splatter field (even if it's a foreign language or pre-70s horror movie) he's generally met with the aural equivalent of blank stares.

Oh, and I don't give a shit when or where any of these guys first saw the crappy film du jour, especially when the answer begins with "I'm guessing it was. . ."

* This reminded me of the hilariously bad commentary on Arrow's Children of the Corn, where a self-styled "Children of the Corn Expert" was hoisted on his own petard when his softball interlocutor managed to reveal that, despite devoting his life to that terrible film, he didn't actually know anything of value about it (though he had made a pilgrimage to the town where it was shot, so much of the commentary was of the scintillating "that building actually isn't right next to other one, even though it looks like it is in the film"). My favourite bit was when the "expert" was asked about an early, different version of the script, and replied that he owned it, but had never read it. At least that commentary was entertaining in a car crash kind of a way.

ianungstad
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 9:20 pm

Re: Edge of the Axe

#8 Post by ianungstad » Wed May 20, 2020 5:08 pm

zedz wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 4:28 pm
From the commentaries I've listened to, they're the worst kind of horror movie fanboys, with little to no curiosity about anything beyond their extremely limited area of interest. (They're even ignorant about horror cinema in general.) Instead we get encyclopedic cross-referencing of every other shitty splatter movie they've ever seen, even when it's completely irrelevant, and comparisons of the awesomeness of various 'kills.' There's no discernment and no insight. I actually feel stupider after listening to one of their commentaries.*
I agree with your comments about "The Hysteria Continues". I also have the same issues with Kat Ellinger. She can contribute some solid commentaries as long as the film is in her general wheelhouse but she's often asked to contribute to films that she's very ill-suited for and the results are predictably awful. Her commentary track for Altman's Images is almost 90 minutes of her picking out bits that reminds her of certain Italian horror films that she'd much rather talk about.

Most of the spaghetti westerns also have awful commentaries by a pair of guys that run a fansite and literally just spend the entire time discussing everyone's IMDB credits.

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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: Edge of the Axe

#9 Post by zedz » Wed May 20, 2020 5:33 pm

ianungstad wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 5:08 pm
zedz wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 4:28 pm
From the commentaries I've listened to, they're the worst kind of horror movie fanboys, with little to no curiosity about anything beyond their extremely limited area of interest. (They're even ignorant about horror cinema in general.) Instead we get encyclopedic cross-referencing of every other shitty splatter movie they've ever seen, even when it's completely irrelevant, and comparisons of the awesomeness of various 'kills.' There's no discernment and no insight. I actually feel stupider after listening to one of their commentaries.*
I agree with your comments about "The Hysteria Continues". I also have the same issues with Kat Ellinger. She can contribute some solid commentaries as long as the film is in her general wheelhouse but she's often asked to contribute to films that she's very ill-suited for and the results are predictably awful. Her commentary track for Altman's Images is almost 90 minutes of her picking out bits that reminds her of certain Italian horror films that she'd much rather talk about.

Most of the spaghetti westerns also have awful commentaries by a pair of guys that run a fansite and literally just spend the entire time discussing everyone's IMDB credits.
Those guys are the ones who compulsively agree with everything the other one says. 25% of the commentaries consist of "Absolutely!" "Oh yeah!" and "Yes indeed!"

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Adam X
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:04 am

Re: Edge of the Axe

#10 Post by Adam X » Thu May 21, 2020 12:20 am

That's knda where I thought you were coming from :lol:
zedz wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 4:28 pm
I'm tarring them all with the same brush, but one of them does seem to have a bit more of a balanced interest in film, although he doesn't get much opportunity to express it, and when he does bring up something outside the splatter field (even if it's a foreign language or pre-70s horror movie) he's generally met with the aural equivalent of blank stares.
I'm guessing you'd be talking about Justin Kerswell.

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