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Sunday, October 13, 2013


In a novel twist on the slasher movie template caved in stone by the original FRIDAY THE 13th (1980), a group of first-time offenders are sent out on a police-supervised team-building disciplinary woodland outing where they get up to the usual stupid shenanigans of the sort that lure horrifying, implacable serial murderers who favor assorted edged items of destruction. In this case the transgression that sets the cinematic carnage in motion is the removal of a bovine horn from a pile of bones in the middle of the forest, with the stated purpose of converting it into a cool bong. What the would-be stoner craftsman did not realize was that in taking the horn, he was desecrating the humble grave of Babe, the big blue ox, the best (and only) friend of the legendary gigantic lumberjack of American tall tale renown, Paul Bunyan, who turns out to be all too real.

When starving turn-of-the-19th-century woodsmen make the mistake of killing the wrong ox for food, you can bet your ass that a thirty-foot lumberjack will not be pleased...

The last thing anyone in their right mind would want to do is piss off a thirty-foot-tall, simple-minded mass of solid, apparently-immortal muscle that wields a massive double-bladed axe like it was a whiffle ball bat, but that's exactly what happens here and the savage retribution is both gory as hell and very entertaining to see. (Once it gets going, that is; the film unwisely takes nearly forty minutes to get going, wasting its opening third on unnecessary attempts at character-building for characters that will only be reduced to kindling in short order anyway, so endure that crap in order to get to the good stuff.)

From what I've gathered, AXE GIANT: THE WRATH OF PAUL BUNYAN is one of the slew of cheapjack, uber-stoopid movies cranked out as fodder for the SyFy Channel, and the version I saw on DVD is replete with uncensored gore of the variety absolutely not allowed on regular TV. (I have a hard time picturing this movie bereft of its gore.) Bodies cleft in twain from scalp to crotch with one swing of Paul's ginormous axe, limbs and heads strewn all over the place, spewing arterial spray (CGI, not practical effects), and other effed-up mayhem packs the movie's last two thirds, so I unabashedly suggest that you add it to your Netflix queue. Just bear in mind that it's of the same ilk that spawned the lovably ludicrous SHARKTOPUS, which remains the acme of a dubious modern breed.

Oh, and much like Jason Voorhees, Paul Bunyan will eventually return, if the tag at the end of the film is to be believed...

Nice knowing you, officer.

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