Plot: Debbie Wilkins (Debbie Rochon) is one of the great scream queens of b movie horror cinema, but her time in sun seems to be fading of late. Her boyfriend and movie producer Peter (Matt Gulbranson) has started looking for greener pastures, splitting up with Debbie for a younger starlet, but it doesn’t end there. While Debbie could deal with a breakup, she is enraged when she learns Peter hasn’t cast her in his latest movie. This news pushes her over the brink and in a rage, she imprisons Peter and murders his new girlfriend in brutal fashion. She then heads to the movie shoot, where she tells the crew she is taking over the lead and of course, no one can reach Peter to find out the horrific truth. Will this prove to be her greatest performance ever or will her murderous rage kill the movie before it even wraps?
Entertainment Value: I like the premise of Axe to Grind, but aside from the presence of Debbie Rochon, there wasn’t much here to write home about. The story starts off with a good amount of potential, but soon slides into a predictable, formulaic slasher movie. I don’t mind that in most cases, but I think this could have been a little more and instead, it settles for the usual slasher routine. I did like the movie’s sense of humor and some of the kills are passable, but Axe to Grind just doesn’t do enough to stand out and that’s a shame. This premise could have yielded some more creative, interesting elements and that rarely happens, though again, Rochon does go for broke in the lead and she more or less carries the entire picture. The pace is good, with a decent body count and some blood splashed around, as well as minimal slow stretches. Axe to Grind winds up as a watchable, but forgettable indie slasher that shows sparks of more, but never brings it all together.
Although most of the movie is by the numbers, the one element that really works well is lead Debbie Rochon. Much like the character she plays, Rochon is a b movie queen, but she is as potent as ever and delivers a wild, over the top effort here. She is a lot of fun to watch and helps distract from how mundane other parts of Axe to Grind can be, which benefits the movie greatly, to say the least. I appreciated her enthusiasm and she is one of those performers who always shows up to do good work, no matter how small the budget or role might be. That is the case here, as she brings immense energy and runs with the b movie vibe, letting out her unhinged side at times and of course, I’m all in favor of that. The rest of the cast is more than decent, but Rochon shines the brightest and is the main draw here. The cast of Axe to Grind also includes Matt Gulbranson, Michelle Tomlinson, Dani Thompson, and Guy Torry.
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