Talking action movies

Mine’s Bigger Than Yours! The 100 Wackiest Action Movies, is a celebration of the action film genre in all its glory.

Along with caffeine and a bunch of other substances not worth a mention here, action movies run through our veins. When we are not writing or watching them, we talk about writing about them and watching them. Usually, with one another on the Really Awful Movies Podcast.

However, we recently expanded our reach by chatting with Dax, the gent behind the Facebook group Killer B Movies. He’s also author of Attack of the Killer B’s! Your Guide to the Best of the Worst Films Ever Made.

One of us from the Really Awful Movies team (Christopher) held a Skype summit recently with Dax, to discuss the wonderful world of action cinema. That means lots and lots of Cannon, exploding helicopters, elaborate Dojo montages, monosyllabic grunting, warehouse shootouts and villains holed up in island compounds, alongside a healthy portion of Philippines-lenses rip-offs and a dollop of ninja flicks.

Join us as we chat about the genesis of our book, Mine’s Bigger Than Yours! The 100 Wackiest Action Movies (foreword: Brian Trenchard Smith, director of Stuntrock and Strike of the Panther).

Edge of the Axe

As horror movie weapon subject matter experts of sorts (see our acclaimed book, Death by Umbrella) we noticed a spate of axe killers in the genre.

It’s perhaps a reflection of or a response to the pervasive references to axe-wielding maniacs on the loose in popular parlance, frequently by people who might not even be overly familiar with the horror genre.

It’s hard to say which movie was the thin edge of the wedge, as it were. You could put forward William Castle’s Strait-Jacket as the first to thrust the tool into the public’s consciousness, followed by perhaps Silent Night, Bloody Night.

Either way, a slew of axe-centric flicks followed in their bloody wakes, the likes of Madman, Silent Night, Deadly Night, The Shining all the way up to indie efforts like Axeman.

Yet another to add to the list: Edge of the Axe. This is a strange beast indie, a Spanish-American co-production that spends half its time in Big Bear, California, the other half in Madrid. And it occasionally shows. And no, that’s not a problem.

That’s because the film is unique on three fronts: 1, there is some pretty great Gothic imagery, admittedly at odds with the sunny and bucolic surroundings, 2), the age gap relationship between a male and his older missus, rather than the preponderance of bikini/killer bait that typically dots these films and 3, a nascent proto-Internet technology developed by one of the film’s protagonists, a kind of precursor to good ‘ol MSN/AOL Messenger but with a text-to-voice (!) interface.

The rest of it, however, is standard stuff: someone is out killing residents of some small California town. And if it’s not stopped, someone will have to update the burg’s Welcome to _________ sign.

It’s largely up to the software developer/gamer guy to solve matters, rather than the attending officers, who aren’t too well equipped to handle such matters.

And what we are left with is a spate of fun kills, but also cutaway deaths.

*** (out of 5)