Axegrinder came out in 2006. Now all these years later producer David Sterling has dusted it off and given the world a sequel, Axegrinder 2. And that title is about as creative as the script. Director Dustin Ferguson (Zombi VIII: Urban Decay, Stale Popcorn and Sticky Floors) and co-writer John Ward (Meathook Massacre 4) deliver what feels like a Camp Blood script retitled to try to start another franchise.
Opening with some tinted footage I’m guessing is from the original, Axegrinder 2 gives us a textual recapping of the original. And where clown mask-wearing killer Freddy Palmer (Eric Reingrover) has been for the past decade or so. We then follow Jules (Julie Anne Prescott, Rattlers 2, The Uh-Oh Show) and Bernadette (Selena D., Apex Predators) as they wander around the woods taking selfies. This all ends with them running from Freddy, Bernadette with her boobs hanging out as she runs. And two virtually bloodless axe killings.
The plot of Axegrinder 2 is supposed to be about two couples who make the mistake of camping in Freddy’s woods. But most of it is just random people walking around and getting killed, usually without any effects. For example, Jennifer Nangle (Malvolia’s Memorable Thanksgiving 2, For Jennifer) turns up just long enough to sit down and be strangled. Dawna Lee Heising (The Horrific Evil Monsters, Bad President) turns up for a minute or two in the epilogue.
If they had just written a more cohesive plot, Axegrinder 2 might have had a chance. There’s certainly plenty of talent and familiar faces in the cast. Apart from those already mentioned, there’s Shane Ryan (Choke, Amateur Porn Star Killer), Shawn C. Phillips (The Candy Witch, Faces of the Dead), Mike Ferguson (Nowhere To Run, The Devil’s Heist) and Sheri Davis (The Lightning Man, Bearry).
While it is good to see them all getting work, Axegrinder 2 wastes them with mostly walk-on and die roles. And, as I’ve said about several producers in the UK, these kinds of ultra-cheap, assembly line films may be profitable in the short term. But in the long run, they’ll just turn people off of indie horror, if not the genre as a whole. Maybe make a couple of fewer films per year. Put a little more effort into the script and money into the effects.
But I suppose as long as there’s enough folk willing to drop some cash on films like Axegrinder 2 they’ll keep being churned out. But I’m well over endless shots of nature, random people walking around and dry kills.
Trailer from Vimeo On Demand