21st Jan2020

‘Pickaxe’ DVD Review

by Chris Cummings

Stars: Tiffany Shepis, A. Michael Baldwin, Sal Governale, Shawn Hernandez, Jayson Champion, Perry Batson, Ashley-Marie Zgabay, Elizabeth Redpath, Ben Warner, Will Morgan, Gage Tijerina, Danielle Jones, Cory W. Ahre, Keefer Barlow, Lyndsey Case | Written and Directed by Jeremy Sumrall

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Jeremy Sumrall writes and directs this slasher flick that will see release through Wild Eye Releasing. Set in the 1980’s, a trend in horror (and other genres) that I enjoy, regardless of how overdone it’s perhaps becoming, this is a ritualistic serial-killery (is that a word?) and sexually frantic film about a resurrected murderer named Alex Black.

There is, indeed, a lot of sex here. I mean, it’s part and parcel of the slasher sub-genre, right? Teenagers doing the horizontal mambo while a maniac is on the loose? It happens a lot here, perhaps to the point of annoyance, and perhaps even to the point where most slasher fans might even say… “okay, enough sex now, let’s do something different”. That’s what this is. A bunch of horny kids running around a cabin in the woods, being stalked by a deadly villain. A villain that you will want to succeed because of how asinine and annoying these people are.

There’s a lot of negative thoughts coming out of my brain after seeing Pickaxe, yet not entirely. There are some good things too. The locations are well realised and offer a creepy factor that helps the film feel like an actual horror movie. The director doesn’t do a bad job in general, but the acting is below sub-par and the plot itself fails for most of its existence.

The dialogue is atrocious much of the time and I felt my insides cringing at many of the sequences, which is a shame. The idea of a resurrected killer hunting down teens is a tried and tested formula that can really work. It doesn’t here, and I don’t relish that. I don’t enjoy telling you that a film is just… bad. I have to hear though, because it is. It’s just not a good movie.

Low budget slasher’s can be well worth watching and full of good ideas and enjoyable splatter and gore. However Pickaxe is a mess. Dull as dishwater and packed with moments I just wish I hadn’t had to sit through. I wish it was better, because I feel like the writer/director has more ability that this. Oh well. Back to the drawing board, I reckon.

* 1/5

Filmed in 2014 under the jokey title of The Pick-Axe Murders Part III: The Final Chapter (even though this is the ONLY film is the “franchise”), Pickaxe is out now on DVD and Digital from Wild Eye Releasing.

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