The Curator of Schlock #391: Edge of the Axe

The Curator of Schlock #391 by Jeff Shuster

Edge of the Axe

Scream prototype. 

I had infiltrated a marsupial slaughtering factory under the guise of a welder. They had recently installed some factory equipment for their illegal kangaroo canning operation. I was to inspect this equipment and give it the okay.

While the security guard explained this to me, three cages housing kangaroos wheeled past me. Through the bars of the last cage, I saw Edwige, my kangaroo companion, who I’d thought I’d never see again!

To be continued.

This week’s movie is 1989’s Edge of the Axe from director José Ramón Larraz. This curiosity was a co-production between the United States and Spain. Such cosmopolitanism reminds me of Madhouse, an Italian-made slasher movie I reviewed last year. Like Madhouse, Edge of the Axe was shot in America and featured American actors. And while the movie takes place in California, Edge of the Axe follows the Canadian slasher movie model–it’s a whodunit.

Edge of the Axe begins with a woman sitting in her car as it enters a car wash only to have her window and face smashed in by, you guessed it, an axe. The killer is masked and one wonders if this movie was an influence for Scream.

When the killer where’s a mask, everyone is a suspect.

We’re introduced to Gerald Martin (Barton Faulks), a young man obsessed with computers who needs the latest technology to play those newfangled computer games. He works at a pest control business with his best friend Richard (Page Moseley). The two of them get called over to a bar to investigate an odd smell coming from the basement. First they see rats, but upon further investigation, they discover the corpse of a murdered barmaid.

With two confirmed murders, the town is in a bit of frenzy. That doesn’t stop Gerald from sweet talking Lillian Nebbs (Christina Marie Lane), the daughter of the bar owner, into going out with him. Just like Gerald, she’s into technology and he gives her his old computer so the two of them can communicate through the computer? Imagine that. Being able to communicate through a computer!

Lillian confides in Gerald about a sordid incident involving her cousin, Charlie. When she was little, she pushed her cousin a little too hard on a swing set and sent him flying head first into a brick wall and whatnot. Charlie got sent to a mental hospital to recover. Lillian suspects he may be the killer. Charlie was released from the hospital about two years ago, but Lillian never made contact with him.

 There are more murders. I have to admit that Gerald is a little too calm during all of this. Maybe he’s too busy playing Preppie! or Crush, Crumble, and Chomp (look them up). The murderer gets revealed, the axe swings, there’s a case of mistaken identity, etc. I found Edge of the Axe on Prime streaming, though there’s also an Arrow Home Video release of this one. Check it out.

Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeff Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131episode 284episode 441episode 442episode 443, episode 444episode 450, episode 477, episode 491, episode 492, episode 493, episode 495, and episode 496) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.

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