Axeman

(2013)

 

Directed By: Joston Theney

Written By: Joston Theney & Christopher Otiko

 

Principal Cast:

Tiffany Shepis--Denise

Brinke Stevens--Sheriff Charlene Wopuzer

Elissa Dowling--Stacy

Arielle Brachfeld--Deputy Darlene Whitfield

Scot Pollard--The Axeman

Chantelle Albers--Cassidy

Stephen Eith--Brian

Dyan Hobbs--Doug

Jamie Bernadette--Tammy

Erin Marie Hogan--Liz

Eliza Kiss--Vivian

Nihilist Gelo--Randy

Joston Theney--Darren

 

          Featuring a cast of beautiful people, in virtually all of the stereotypical "slasher film" roles, journeyman actor/director Joston Theney's "Axeman" looks like, at first glance, just another run-of-the-mill, post-"Scream" slasher flick. But when you delve a little deeper, you discover this is actually a really well written, emotionally wrought, and superbly acted film.

          Sure, there's the well tread "co-eds at the isolated cabin, stalked by a local legend" plot device working here, but where "Axeman" really shines is in it's attention to detail. When these kids get dead--you care!!

          Between the marquee draw appearances of Shepis and Stevens, and the sometimes inventive kills by the preternaturally strong, homeless looking "axeman" (Pollard, in a performance that's a great nod to Kane Hodder), you get actual character development and believable sub-plots!

          You've got the love triangle between rich kid Brian (Eith), Cassidy (Albers), and Stacy (the absolutely breath-taking Dowling), as well as a "lesbian couple in transition" with Tammy & Liz (the surprisingly talented duo of Bernadette and Hogan in very emotionally charged roles), and a star-crossed hook-up that features possibly the grossest make out scene in cinematic history between Theney and Kiss (who challenges the above mentioned Ms. Shepis as having the best ass in horror). These are believable characters who, despite some dialogue miss-steps and constantly drinking straight from bottles of liquor, the viewer actually cares about by the time the film really starts to cook. Consequently, this makes the "horror" aspect of "Axeman" more effective, the scares make an impact on a deeper level, and how long has it been since you've been able to say THAT?

          "Axeman", even with the gimmicky "scream queen cameos", is a very well written and directed fright flick with an excellent, talented cast. More than just a parade of "cookie cutter" beautiful women & pretty boys being mercilessly hacked to pieces, it delivers the goods by mixing an original take on a well worn path with visceral scares and characters that are anything but "throw away". "Axeman" is a sexy, bloody, fucked up and inspired film that just may restore your faith in indie "chop 'em up" features!

 

8.5/10

 

Scream King Tom