Axegrinder 3 (2022) Review
Axegrinder 3 opens with a flashback to the original Axegrinder, as we see a young boy watch as his parents are killed by a trio of clown masked intruders. One of them gives the boy his crown and his machete, telling him he’ll understand when he’s older.
From there we go to a woman (Tonjia Atomic, Smart House, Manos Returns) hosting a commercial for the high-tech security company Gold Shield Defence. The connection between the two is Sterling Memorial Hospital, where the boy we saw in the opening has been institutionalized since the night of the killings. They’re about to find out these systems don’t live up to their hype as it malfunctions, leaving all the doors unlocked and allowing several inmates including Freddy Palmer (Dale Wilson, Scarecrow County, Topless Tori’s Tomb of Terror)
After killing a couple of horny hospital employees, Freddy heads back to his childhood home, leaving a trail of random victims in his wake.
Joe Sherlock (Things 666, A Knife in the Dark) who wrote and co-directed Axegrinder 3 with Joseph Voegele has put together a fairly standard no budget slasher with plenty of potential victims. Most of them only stick around long enough to take off their clothes, or in one case watch something on TV where Mel Heflin (Camp Blood 666 Part 2: Exorcism of the Clown, Teacher Shortage) else gets naked before getting killed. Either that or they make the mistake of indulging in The Devil’s Lettuce, something for which Freddy has an extreme zero tolerance policy.
For those who haven’t seen any of Sherlock’s other films, I should note that when I say there’s plenty of skin in Axegrinder 3 there are two ways to take it. As you might think, a significant number of the cast do indeed shed their clothes. However, he likes his ladies on the larger side, so your personal taste in that regard will probably affect how much you enjoy the film, which at times resembles a plus size Skinemax offering.
That particularly applies to the Axegrinder 3’s climax, which involves Jerry (Kirk Sardonis, Strange Things Happen at the Weird House, Horrortales.666 Part 2) his wife Sally (Roxxy Mountains, Thingz, Drifter) and their third, Pam (Melody Berg, Dark Zone Thirteen Part 2, Odd Noggins). It also ends the film on an odd twist that carries over to a mid-credits scene. A twist which is seemly ignored in the next film, just as this really has nothing in common with the original or the seemingly disowned Axegrinder 2 except for Freddy.
And even he’s different from the previous films, he doesn’t don a clown mask until the final scenes, spending most of the film in a baseball cap with the brim pulled down to cover his face. And despite the title, he doesn’t make much use of an axe either. Instead, he impales people with a mop handle, garottes someone, bludgeons another victim with a hammer and uses several other bladed weapons before grabbing an axe for the final kill.
Since this is a microbudget film, the effects are daily limited, for most of the kills we just see some blood splashed around with the actual gore kept off-screen, which is par for the course in these films. It does however get points for not using CGI blood splatter. There is however a fairly obvious bit of day for night filming that’s almost as bad. That is however the only noticeable technical glitch, which is pretty good for a DIY film.
If you don’t have a problem with tiny budgets or large women, Axegrinder 3 is a cheap and cheerful way to kill some time. I do wish Joe Sherlock had the freedom to indulge in the weirdness I’ve seen in some of his other films, but for what it is, Axegrinder 3 is perfectly acceptable.
Axegrinder 3 is available on various Digital platforms via Wild Eye Releasing. It’s also available on Blu-ray via Makeflix.