This rusty rural revenger starts off with three thugs who put up in a seedy hotel to await the arrival of a colleague who they proceed to kill in a violent struggle. The hooligans then go on to rob a convenience store and assault the female clerk, before they finally seek shelter in a remote farmhouse far out in the sticks.
Axe is a small film. It has an obviously small budget, an admittedly small plot, a small cast and small effects; however, the atmosphere carries more girth than a Republican at the poor people's buffet.
Director Fred Friedel’s minimalist approach leaves a good many things open to interpretation and it all translates unfavorably.
The direction and pacing do feel a bit too reserved at times, but some assured photography and performances make up for it. Axe mounts the suspense in tidy little increments without ever getting too frenzied, giving it a slow simmer. Actress Leslie Lee in the lead as Lisa stands out especially; she carries a unique presence and her "damaged" portrayal is quite convincing. Something must be said for the discriminating score as well; it's strange, yet beautifully haunting, augmenting the dramatics more than the shocks which adds to the film's already unique climate.