Sunday, 17 October 2010

QUICK FIX: AXE (aka The Choke - 2005)

I didn't have high hopes for this film. For one thing, I picked it up with a stack of other discount DVDs that have hit the shelves around town for the Halloween rush, plus it features nobody I've ever heard of. The title on the box is AXE, but after a little research I found out it's supposed to be called The Choke, which makes a bit more sense due to the sheer number of films out there called 'Axe'. The film is a cross between a teen slasher, a rockumentary and a horror comedy, but it has some pretty decent horror scenes and some real tension.

The cast is actually pretty good considering the budget and subject matter, with Brooke Bailey turning in the best performance as moody bassist Beatrice London. A rock band is set to play a gig at a hot underground club, an event that is to be filmed by a friend of the band for a documentary. This allows for the film to slip between traditionally shoot footage and video-camera material, which actually works quite well as the technique is used sparingly.

When the band get trapped in the club after it empties, they find themselves being picked off one by one by and unseen psychopath. You get clues as to who it is, but then you're surprised when the two people you think it is are offed in quite spectacular style. Don't get me wrong, this ain't a masterpiece, but it's an enjoyable piece of schlock cinema with a decent script, a good cast and some really graphic gore shots. It has its cringeworthy moments, but it's entertaining, and as I only paid a quid for it, I think I certainly got my money's worth.

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