I wanted my
first crappy horror movie review to be something special. A movie that
seemed to just jump off of the shelf screaming, “please, for the love of
God, don’t rent this movie! It’s so bad, it’s been classified as a
carcinogen!” Well, I found such a movie mercifully gathering dust in the
“new releases” section at the local Blockbuster. It tells the story of a
group of young filmmakers that wanted desperately to make a horror movie,
but instead wound up making the laughably bad film known as AX 'EM.
Wow. Kids, stay in school. I’d expect poor English skills to be an issue when I’m doing a rom hack, but that sort of thing rarely comes up when you’re talking about movies. I guess it is part of the overall horror. Enough about syntax and proper word usage, though; let’s hear more about the mentally ill Harry and his quest to “revenge his family deaths."
There’s our big half-witted killer now, about to sneak into a home and give its occupant some hatchet time. Specifically, this old guy is about to get it. Long before the old guy even comes onto the scene, you can hear him rambling. I couldn’t make out most of what he was saying, but he did pause in between his grumbling to say, “Who in the hell is that?” when he sees that the front door is open.
After he shuts it, he heads off without seeing Harry, who is about four steps behind him, and goes to get a gun. Again, I must point out that he is still babbling incoherently like a black Ozzy Osbourne. He may have been saying something about why he’s getting his gun, or he may have been talking about kids today and their rap music. It’s quite impossible to tell.
While the old guy is loading his gun, babbling nonstop, Harry comes around the corner. The old guy stops babbling long enough to exclaim, “awwww, shit,” before Harry pushes him into the closet and gently lowers the axe onto him. That’s right, he doesn’t even swing it; he just raises it above his head and slowly lowers it as he pushes the old guy into the closet. Even weirder than that, this is the first and last time someone will be killed with an ax, despite the movie being called Ax ‘Em. I guess the title is just short for "Ax Him". That, or the producers thought that "Machete ‘Em" wouldn’t be as good of a title.
finally get to see the title and the opening credits. You know your movie
is in trouble when your title graphic looks like a bad piece of WordArt.
Plus, a step-dancing scene is a pretty good indicator that your movie
isn’t going to snag the award for Best Picture.
through a few scenes of the characters deciding to spend the weekend at a
friend’s house in the woods, and we come to these guys. They stumble onto
the scene and start talking about seeing good old murderous Harry, all the
while going over-the-top to convey the idea that they are both very
Thankfully, though, there isn’t any dialog when a flashback that shows Mason killing his family, so nothing is lost there. Whenever he’d shoot one of them, though, their blood would always wind up on the ceiling (sometimes after a short delay) for some reason. Man, though, his kids must have narcolepsy because they slept right through each shotgun blast.
Then, with the bloody deed done, Mason sits down, puts the shotgun in his mouth, makes a quick glance to make sure the camera is on, and shoots himself in the head. Well, he lifts his head away early and lies down on the bed shortly after the shotgun sound effect, but still…
What happens next is something I just can’t explain: we see a young Mike walking with the babbling old guy from the beginning, then Mike bends down to pick something up, and when he looks up, he sees what I assume is a young Harry holding his dead brother. Well, Mike points at the pair, and then jogs off to the side where the old guy is waiting. Damn you, movie! Why didn’t anyone in editing complain about the dialog being inaudible? Why, dammit!? WHY!?
post-flashback, we come in to find this young couple engaged in a serious
discussion about the young man’s infidelity, and how the young lady is no
longer willing to endure such behavior. Then, after she leaves, he gets on
the phone and talks with another one of his bitches. Hey, you know what
they say: Hate the movie, not the player. :(
they’re out of gas! Whatever shall they do? Well, while the girl, Sarah
waits with the car, the men, Brian and… Breakfast, go to look for someone
who might let them use their phone.
young lady-killer, Rock, has made amends with his girlfriend, Tonya, and
they make out, slowly descending into the empty tub, and certain back
The two guys from earlier finally happen upon a mansion. Brian wants to investigate, but Breakfast, the quick thinker and most important meal of the day, knows that white people “always got to fuckin’ investigate” strange noises and such. Plus, he believes in the notion that the black guy always gets killed in horror movies, despite that in this instance, all the characters are black except for a handful.
So Brian investigates, walking around and yelling every two seconds. Sure, the abandoned house with the open door is creepy, but come on. If I was walking around in a house, and I saw that each room was lit by a different light color, I’d be with Breakfast.
Though you can hardly see it in the blue room’s light, that is a rotary phone. The only reason I know it’s a phone is because at the time, it was being dialed (or rotated, I guess). And, since every horror movie should have at least one ironic death, Harry comes in and smashes Brian in the face with the phone. I’ll bet Harry was dialing “M,” for murder. Bwahahaha! Seriously, though, the director didn’t think the face smashing needed a sound effect, so all you hear is the sound of the phone lightly brushing against the actor’s face.
Poor, poor, Brian. He just wanted to use the damn phone, and he even said so at least a dozen times so that the irony of his death wouldn’t escape anyone. He will be missed.
Breakfast knows the score, though. He’s about a mile away by the time [white guy] dials out for good. Then, after a very brief examination of the moral dilemma created by leaving his friend behind, Breakfast decides to continue fleeing, uttering the phrase in the above caption. Yes, he really said that.
Later, he finally makes it back to the car, and explains to Sarah that the reason he left Brian at the house was "something said get the fuck out." He even takes his initiative a step further by declaring that he’ll run back to Baltimore rather than wait for Brian to come back. Thus, he escapes from the terrible movie. Godspeed, Breakfast, Godspeed.
Meanwhile, back to the main plot, Tony excuses himself to use the bathroom and, after writer/director/producer Michael Mfume treats you to an unnecessarily long pissing session, Tony opens the window just in time to see Harry walk past. Well, he goes and tells Mike that he saw somebody, and they make a solemn vow to go "fuck ‘em up!"
While they’re busy doing that, Rock and Tonya sneak out to the barbeque pit. Once there, he proceeds to woo her with such romantic lines as "you so fine, I could kiss your daddy’s ass." She’s understandably swept off her feet, and the two of them wind up doing it behind the pit. Well, I suppose it’s an improvement over the bathtub.
Hours later, everyone is enjoying their dinner, when it suddenly dawns on them that Rock and Tonya are missing. They hear a scream, and everyone gets up to go investigate. Everyone except Kevin, that is, who instead remains at the table and starts playing his Gameboy for some reason. He is keeping his cool, I’ll give him that.
Luckily, Rock only receives a cut on the arm, despite having sex in the woods (which is a death sentence in most horror movies). Then suddenly, the door opens and our dead buddy Brian falls in.
Anyway, after seeing his body and declaring "this motherfucker’s dead," everyone, even Kevin with his Gameboy, goes outside. Once outside, they see Harry stooped over doing some work on one of their cars. Rock, being the most observant of the group, yells "oh, shit" and runs back into the house. Then, he’s back outside, yelling, "oh, shit" and running back inside again. If only Mike Mfume had made himself the editor as well as the writer, director, and producer. It's obvious he didn't hire one for this script.
So everyone races back inside screaming, and Tony, being the last one in, runs right up to the camera and starts yelling like he stepped on something sharp. This has to be one of the movie’s defining moments...
After a brief discussion about cars and feet being inserted into various orifices, Mike decides to go out and check to see if the deranged mechanic/murder has messed up his car as well. He even serpentines to try to avoid being killed. Now that’s thinking ahead. His car isn’t working, though, so he pops the hood and tries to fix it.
Harry gets the drop on him, but luckily, Mike punches him in the kidney and manages to get back into the house. As you can see, Harry was upset that his plan had been ruined so easily. By the way, Harry's zombie make-up is available for $1.99 at your local Party City store.
But that won’t stop him from busting in and
chopping one of them in the
arm. Ouch, that is a pretty deep cut! Ah, now Harry’s happy again. That
last bit did wonders for his self-esteem. Go Harry.
Will they survive, or will they all be
killed by Halloween Harry?
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