Friday, June 21, 2013
Attack of the 15 Foot Lumberjack: Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan (2013)
starring: Joe Estevez, Dan Haggerty, Thomas Downey
Coming from the director who brought you the scifi creature feature fest Mosquito and Spiders comes a giant monster movie in the likes you never seen before! A Slasher!
Some several decades ago, in what appears to be Old Timey-Whimey Western-y 1800s, it was winter and a small group of people were enjoying an outdoor barbecue, feasting on the remains of what appears to be a huge ox. One of them left to the woods to get something, only to come back and find his friends hacked to bits; the culprit? A deformed lumberjack who then proceeds to slice him in half through a saw mill in pure, horrible CG display.
Flashforward to our modern times, a group of five petty delinquents finds out that their only alternative for jail time was to attend a special backwoods program, equivalent to a bootcamp, under the supervision of a counselor and a sergeant. Though obviously not excited about this, the group still tries their best to get along and enjoy their stay; but after desecrating an animal's grave, they unknowingly riled up a 15-foot giant mutant that is none other than Paul Bunyan himself! Angry, (and, well, lonely) Paul sets out to seek the hooligans responsible for this, with bloody vengeance in his mind.
While generally terrible, Axe Giant is really more of a horror movie trying to poke fun at itself with an outrageous story and a cheesy approach, setting an aim to be a fun film for those who can learn to switch off.
The technical department here might be a set off for some; the special effects relied a lot on CG, which is, looking at the quality of it, disappointing; one particular scene had us watching Paul lift up a woman from a cabin and you can tell how robotic the CG victim was. Same can be said on a computer generated Ox that was a part of Paul's backstory, which would have made a cheap Animal Planet Special proud.
Some cruddy computer effects are also thrown in to the kills here, gore-wise and execution; the results, however, are still as imaginative and creative with its use, enough to forgive at least some of the wreck. Besides, any movie that had a man cut down in half yet survives long enough to distract and taunt a giant (only to be killed, of course) is a bad film worthy of our attention.
Acting is really stiff for most of these no-name inexperienced casts but, as I've mentioned, with the film's direction, it fits the film's charm nonetheless. There's this one scene where we are supposed to feel bad for Bunyan since his ox buddy was killed and eaten right in front of him, but the actor's "horrified" expression, plus the editing which had us intercutting between him being shocked and them eating made me laugh so hard instead that I almost ran out of air and I had to step out of my room to get a breather. Some of the casts are decent, actually; Thomas Downey, a regular from the God-awful mockbuster-spewing DTV company Asylum, thankfully did a fair role as Sgt. Hoke, a hard-as-nails sergeant who's ready to make a living hell out of these kid's stay with them. And then there's the cooky, old doomsayer played by Joe Estevez adings up to the cheddar of the movie as a fun drunk-out hermit who knows a thing or two about Bunyan. Speaking of which, the big dude himself is played by a guy in a large, bulky, latex suit; nothing much to say on his part as all he really did is growl his way through the cast, look mean and scary, and lumber around pretending to be huge. (which works, by the way)
I can't say that this is a good film, far from it, but as an entertainingly good "bad movie" heap, there's a lot to love about Axe Giant. It never really tried to be anything but a good "bad movie", so if you can spot a glossy copy of this low-budget, creature-slasher-hybrid, be sure to try it out and meet the latex giant that is Paul Bunyan!
1 male sliced in half through logging mill
1 bear had its neck broken
1 female split down in half with axe
1 male sliced in half with axe, crushed underfoot
1 ox shot on the head (flashback)
1 male hacked on the chest with axe (flashback)
1 male decapitated with axe (flashback)
1 male hacked with axe (flashback)
1 male axed on the face (flashback)
1 male had an arm hacked off with axe, killed (flashback)
1 male gets an axe thrown to back (flashback)
1 female killed (flashback)
1 male impaled through the gut with a thrown ox's horn, killed
1 female thrown to a tree, mangled
1 male shot on the gut with shotgun
1 male decapitated with thrown axe
1 male shot to death