Axegrinder 666 Poster

Axegrinder 666 (2023) Review

Axegrinder 666 opens, unsurprisingly enough, in a cemetery where the black clad Zephirah (Jennie Russo, Night of Something Strange, Big Brood) is leading her internet hookup Brody (Ryan LoMedico, Three Days in the Woods 2: Killin’ Time, Romeo 3000) through the tombstones with the promise of some hot goth action.

But he’s the one who ends up getting penetrated…with her knife as she sacrifices him to bring Freddy Palmer (Shawn Uebele, Clark County Massacre, Hellbound: Adirondack Apocalypse) back from the dead, with his trusty axe in hand, no less.

Elsewhere, a trio of women who dress goth but listen to death metal, Bellatrix (Patricia c Rodriguez, Barely Coping, Family), Ember (Scotlyn Byron, My Brother Cain) and Olivia (Janine Caswell, How To Kill a Zombie, Slade Collins in and Out of Time)are taking their friend Kali (Stephanie Ward, The Man with No Pants, Brain Hunter: New Breed) to the beach.

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Why, you may ask, are goths going to the beach? To help take Kali’s mind off the discovery that her ex-boyfriend Corbin (Jameson Duross, Savage Christmas, Stone) and former best friend Sable (Cara Fay, Heartbreak Falls Part 1, The Outsider) were having an affair. By sheer coincidence, Sable and Corbin also decided to go to the beach, and this being a horror film, you know where Freddy is heading as well.

Having seen Axegrinder 2 and Axegrinder 3 I pretty much knew what to expect even without having seen the fourth and fifth instalments. Much like executive producer David S. Sterling’s other slasher franchise, Camp Blood, the films are basically stand-alone stories with only the loosest of continuity. The same could be said of the plot as well, with there being enough reason for Freddy to come back from the dead, some actresses to get naked and dead, and Freddy to be dealt with until the next film.

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Director Matthew A. Peters (Graveyard Shark, Empire State of the Dead) and Mark Joseph Peek (Half Dead, Three Days in the Woods) who wrote the script from an idea by Peters do a decent job within that framework. They give use plenty of potential victims, both actual characters and random victims like the biker who gets his junk ripped off and stuffed in his mouth in one of the film’s bloodier scenes.

For a low budget slasher, Axegrinder 666 does have quite a few bloody kills mixed in with the usual strangulation and beatings. Best of all, they feature practical effects rather than CGI. There’s also a fair amount of sex and nudity, including a tryst that’s interrupted by Freddy choking out one of the participant’s with their partner’s intestines.

We also, in one of my favourite scenes, get Zephirah quoting The Curious Dr. Hump, though most viewers will recognize it the line as a sample from Rob Zombie’s “Never Gonna Stop” as she offers herself to Freddy. And then, weirdest of all, there’s the couple with the pine cone fetish. But it’s probably better that I let you find out about that on your own.

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While there really isn’t a lot of depth to the characters this is all happening to, Peters and Peek do make sure that Axegrinder 666 has a mix of characters the viewer wants to see live and that they want to see die as well. It’s a nice change from films where everyone is an asshole that you can’t wait to see get killed. A couple of them even have a slight character arc. Again, it’s not much, but it still beats the totally undeveloped characters so many microbudget slashers have.

You really can’t ask for much more from a film like Axegrinder 666 than some blood, boobs and practical gore. And that’s just what it delivers. If you’re looking for an enjoyable bit of backwoods bloodshed, this should do the trick nicely.

Axegrinder 666, and all of the other films in the franchise, are available on Tubi. Hopefully I’ll get the others reviewed before Axegrinder 7: New Blood, which fittingly raised 666% 0f its crowdfunding target, joins them.

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