Generally by now I’d like to have a few Christmas-themed horror flicks reviewed on the site. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be the normal influx of new holiday horror being released this year. With that said, I decided to grab the next film on my to-watch pile instead. That film just happened to be Jeremy Sumrall’s Pickaxe.
More than five years after a series of brutal murders in Woodland Hills, notorious murderer Alex Black is resurrected from the dead. Now, it’s up to the remaining survivors of his past attacks and a new group of teens on their way to a concert to put an end to this supernatural killer once and for all.
I’ve seen my fair share [and everyone else’s share, too] of low-budget slasher flicks. At this point in my life, it’s pretty easy to tell what I’m getting myself into within just a few minutes of pressing play. Luckily, the first few minutes of Pickaxe show off that what it has in store is blood and boobs, and plenty of each.
Pickaxe was originally released in 2014 under the title The Pick-Axe Murders Part III: The Final Chapter. Just like another slasher flick from last few years, Dude Bro Party Massacre III, Pickaxe is actually not a sequel at all.
The film presents itself as a third ‘chapter,’ if you will, in an ongoing battle against a big brute of a killer who just won’t stay dead. He’s killed dozens of youngsters in the past and he won’t stop until everyone who crosses his path sees that same fate.
Right off the bat, it is easy to see that although Pickaxe is in fact an low-budget flick, it actually looks much better than most other indie fare. Whether it simply comes down to the camera equipment used or not, I’m unsure, but whatever the case, this  slasher presents much better quality than almost all of the other do-it-yourself slashers I’ve seen the last couple of years.
While the overall presentation is above par for this type of film, it does still suffer from some of the issues commonly found. The most notable one being the sound design. Most of the film sounds just fine, but when the teens finally make it to their concert, things sound awfully muffled. I’m sure writer/director Jeremy Sumrall did this purposefully, so that the viewers’ eardrums wouldn’t burst from the sheer noise created by the band, their screaming fans, etc. Still, it is sort of tough to make out what is being said among our main cast of characters briefly and manages to slow down what seems to be a pretty acceptable pace up until this point.
On top of this, the acting, as expected, isn’t the greatest. I honestly didn’t have a problem with most of the performances, but there were a few questionable casting decisions. I was impressed, however, by the likes of Elizabeth Redpath and Ashley-Marie Zgabay, as two of our protagonists, Jamie and Heather, respectively, and the inclusion of both Tiffany Shepis (Tales of Halloween, Abominable) and A. Michael Baldwin (Phantasm franchise) were an added bonus, as well. Hell, fellow wrestling fans will also be surprised to see Shawn Hernandez (former TNA/Impact Wrestling tag team champion) show up as some muscle, ultimately meeting his own demise at the hands of good old Alex Black.
Pickaxe at Home
After five years, Pickaxe has finally made its home release debut, and is available now from Wild Eye Releasing. This new DVD release presents the film in widescreen format and contains an English audio track and optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing.
While it would have been fun to see some behind-the-scenes magic for this one, I’m sad to report that Wild Eye’s home release is pretty bare bones. The only extras included are trailers for other films the company has put out or will be releasing in the near future.
If you are a fan of the low-budget slashers of the 80s and even early 90s, Pickaxe will provide you with a fun, turn-off-your-brain-for-a-bit experience.
The film’s 76 minutes (which is actually noted as 87 minutes on the DVD artwork and everywhere I’ve looked online) contains a large amount of boobs [of all shapes and sizes], some comedic relief, a neat looking antagonist, and plenty of kills. While a lot of the deaths happen off-screen, presumably due to budgetary limits, the gore that is shown on camera, is rather impressive.
Pick up a copy of Pickaxe for yourself today, as I give it a final rating of 3 Loxosceles reclusa out of 5.