On a cold winter night, in 1990, Mr. Mason, a mean and cruel Towns man, left his job for Home. After arriving home, He took a shotgun And killed his wife and Kids. Then is mean man Killed himself. Ax 'Em
When the police arrived they only Found the bodies of his wife, Daughter, and younger son. His mentally Ill son Harry Was not ever found.
Legend has it, he will return in 13 years to revenge his family deaths.
— The opening scroll
(originally titled The Weekend It Lives
) is a horror film directed, written and produced by Michael Mfume, made in the '90s
and distributed in 2002.
The film follows a group of teenagers who attend Morgan State University, and make plans to head up north for a party at an isolated cabin. Unbeknownst to them, the mentally-ill son of a man who executed himself and most of his family has been wandering the woods looking for revenge, and soon comes to massacre the teenagers. What follows is a race as the teens try to survive and look for a way out before Harry kills them all.
The film was the first (and only) film produced and directed by Mfume, the son of former senator (and president of the NAACP) Kwesei Mfume. It was heavily panned during its initial release, and languished in obscurity for years until its release on DVD a decade later.
Ax 'Em provides examples of the following tropes:
- An Axe to Grind: An axe does appear once.
- Ax-Crazy: Harry, although he uses a machete to dispatch his victims instead of an axe.
- Blatant Lies: Despite the title, no character is killed with an axe during the film.
- Dull Surprise: The grandfather in the pre-credits sequence, when faced with Harry stalking towards him, matter-of-factly says, "Oh, shit."
- Excuse Plot: A group of high-school students go up north for the weekend, crack jokes about sex and pop culture, then get stalked by the only witness to a grisly suicide-murder.
- Fade to Black: Used constantly during scene transitions.
- Faking the Dead: One of the teenagers, when trapped in the house with Harry pursuing him, sits in a chair, throws a sheet over himself and pretends to be a corpse. The ruse works, and Harry doesn't discover him.
- The "step show/insult contest" sequence takes up a good 7-8 minutes of screentime, and has nothing to do with the rest of the plot.
- There is an extended sequence where the group is talking and eating. Granted, it's split with other scenes such as Brian's death, Rock trying to screw a female, and Tony taking a pee break, but it's still infuriating because the movie stops dead for a bit.
- For the Evulz: The supposed motivation of Harry, who is attacking people who stay near him because of what happened to his father and family (an event caused completely by the senior Mason and no one else) a decade-and-a-half prior.
- Hillbilly Horrors: The majority of the film takes place in an isolated, wooded area where the students have no access to phones or communication with the outside world.
- Hollywood Silencer: During the flashback, the "mean Towns man" kills his family. Note how they don't wake up when they are shot.
- Jump Cut: Used right before characters die.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Good luck trying to catch their names.
- Machete Mayhem
- Make Sure He's Dead: After the other teenagers leave, Michael goes back, picks up a revolver, and fires several more shots into Harry. Subverted - it doesn't work, and he gets back up again some time after Michael leaves.
- The Nineties: The film was made in 1992, and it shows with the now out-of-date styles (a Mickey Mouse shirt a character wears).
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Subverted. Despite saying that he would "revenge his family deaths," Harry doesn't even do that.
- Rouge Angles of Satin / Wanton Cruelty to the Common Comma: The Opening Scroll.
- The Stinger: As the surviving students escape, Harry (who was shot and presumably killed) walks out of the forest and growls.
- Stock Footage: In the scene where Harry discovers the teens trying to fix the car, the group shouts, "Oh, shit!" And then they replay it backwards. Also, the scene where Nikki flees and screams is played at least twice.
- Too Dumb to Live: At one point, the surviving characters find a car. Rather then just getting in and driving away, they start hooping and hollering in celebration. This gives Harry enough time to find and chase them away from it.
- The Unintelligible: Literally everyone. Their dialogue, such as it is, is barely audible.
- Unintentional Period Piece: Aside from the fact that the dialogue is heavily prevalent on Totally Radical lingo and conversations, there are numerous references to pop culture works like Inspector Gadget and RoboCop.
- Unreadably Fast Text: The opening text is on-screen for only 3 seconds before moving on.
- What Happened to the Mouse?:
- What happened to the white girl who trips every time?
- Two homeless men stumble out of the forest, make a reference to kicking Harry's ass, then run off and aren't seen again.
- Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Averted - the characters fire several shots into him when they flee from the car. It takes several more shots (and a pitchfork) to put him down at the end of the film.
- Your Mom: Used repeatedly by the emcee during the opening credits.