Thursday, March 22, 2018

Axe to Grind, From Scream Queen to Slasher

Ah, the evolution of a scream queen.  Nude, vulnerable, afraid, and on the run...the scream queen has served the slasher genre so well. Often times they are axed, torn in half, tortured, humiliated, knifed, stripped of their clothes, burned, decapitated, impregnated by monsters, gutted, etc. Many times they are the lone survivor and quite capable of offing a monstrous killer. The actresses who portray them have served horror films with honor and good humor. Debbie Rochon is one such actress.  Beautiful and quite capable of being the victim or the final girl. As the years have gone by, Ms. Rochon is beautiful as ever, and now takes her turn...not as a victim...but as the fiendish slasher. Today we look at 2015's "Axe to Grind."
Debbie (Rochon) was a hot commodity in B (...or C) horror films. She hitched on with a producer, Peter (Matt Gulbranson) who fed her roles and fame. Debbie got a little older, and before she knew it Peter threw her out. Peter's preferences are 20 year old skank actresses. Wanting to rekindle her glory days Debbie returns to see Peter. After axing his new GF (Tawny Amber Young) to pieces, she enacts an evil plan. With Peter bound and gagged, Debbie hijacks his newest slasher film, "The Bayou Butcher." By the way, I'm not even mentioning the blood soaked and taboo backstory attached to this plot...but it is so good.
Debbie arrives at the abandoned insane asylum and meets the cast. Convinced that the three young actresses have bedded her man, Debbie intends to chop them to little pieces.  The voices in Debbie's head then guide her to bloody carnage.  The very sultry actresses will start dying horribly. Nikki (the very lovely Dani Thompson) will engage in a gratuitous cat-fight with Debbie and it will not end favorably for the full figured actress. More  gratuitous cat-fights will occur, but Debbie brings an axe to the fingernail and hair pulling contest. Debbie doesn't just want to kill these beauties, she wants to torture them and make them scream. Uh oh...Debbie might have help.  The voices in her head are quite persuasive, but is there another force inside the asylum eating up all this axe carnage? Delilah (Paula Labaredas) seems to be Peter's current skank...and it looks like Debbie has something special planned for her.
Will any of our scream queens survive Debbie's wrath? Will the silicon implants fly as freely as limbs and heads? Has Debbie ruined her chances of rekindling romance with Peter? Everything about this film is gratuitous and we can classify it as horror sexploitation. Yep, "Axe to Grind" would have been right at home in Italy in the 1970s. You know those films, the more beautiful, the gorier the death type film. Kudos to all the actresses, they will meet tortuous and horrible fates here, but they all play their parts to perfection.  Directed by Matt Zettell, "Axe to Grind" is a lot of fun.


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