Axe!, also known as Lisa, Lisa; California Axe Massacre; California Axe Murders; The Axe Murders; and The Virgin Slaughter, is a 1977 American exploitation horror film written and directed by Frederick R. Friedel, and starring Leslie Lee as Lisa.Three fugitives arrive in a small town, terrorizing the residents before finally descending on an isolated farm. There they find Lisa, age 13, living with her paralyzed grandfather. Two of the thugs brutally rape Lisa, but find they have bitten off more than they can chew when, armed with an axe and a razor, Lisa takes her bloody revenge.This film gained notoriety in 1984, when it was designated a video nasty in the United Kingdom and appeared on the public prosecution director's list of banned films. It remained unavailable to the public until 2005.
This film provides examples of:
- An Axe to Grind: And a straight razor.
- The Atoner: Billy, the youngest of the gangsters, doesn't feel right about being involved with two criminals who enjoy being evil for its own sake, and apologizes to Lisa, even begging her to help him escape his predicament. How he got involved with them in the first place is anyone's guess.
- Dead Man's Chest: Lisa stuffs the body of her first kill into a trunk. While trying to move it, Billy comes along and offers his assistance. After noticing the trail of blood, he opens the chest to discover its grisley contents. Lisa innocently tells him that "the other one" did it.
- Double Entendre: While holding a fruit, one of the thugs walks up to a grocery store clerk:Steele: Lady's sure got some nice melons, Lomax. I'll bet she's got some other nice melons, too.
- For the Evulz: The three criminals, in the beginning, appear to be taking revenge on someone who double-crossed them. Later, though, it becomes apparent that their horrible deeds are done for kicks.
- Girl with Psycho Weapon: Ergo, the title of the film.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Lomax, one of the thugs, is always smoking cigars. Just to show how evil he is, these cigars are used for everything from stuffing into a victim's mouth to holding it under the face of a man in a vegetative state to see if he reacts.
- Gorn: No doubt this was a major reason why this movie was classified as a video nasty. Among other things, there's a shot of a man's neck being sliced open with a straight razor that lingers for a rather long time.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Lisa's
firstonly kill with an axe. Blood splatters on the television and on her invalid grandfather.
- I'm A Humanitarian: Lisa makes some "tomato soup" after doing away with one of the thugs, and feeds it to her grandfather. She also offers some to Billy. Billy's soup comes with a nice ring.
- Interrupted Suicide: When the gangsters take over her country home, Lisa very nearly slashes her wrists with a straight razor. She stops when Billy, the nicer of the three, knocks on the door to get her attention.
- Nerf Arm: During the opening scene, one thug beats a man to death using a doll. Afterwards, the shot of the doll's head—fallen off, looking up from the blue-green carpet, and splattered with blood — is just plain sinister.
- Peek-a-Boo Corpse: One body flops, head first, out of the fireplace.
- Rape and Revenge
- Rape as Drama: In as much as this movie has anything that could be considered drama.
- Suicide by Cop
- Video Nasties
- We Wait: The opening scene shows the three criminals in an apartment waiting for some guy named Aubrey. They get bored.Steele: Lomax, why don't you get me a glass of water? (Beat.) Then drink it yourself, it'll give you something to do.
- William Telling: Early in the movie, two of the gangsters do this to an unfortunate clerk at a grocery store, after forcing her to remove her shirt at gunpoint. The apple won't stay on her head, but they take a shot anyway. Fortunately for the poor girl, they end up shooting a bottle of ketchup instead. Then they pour a bottle of cola over her cleavage.