Horror icons A.Michael Baldwin (Phantasm) and Tiffany Shepis (Strange Nature) star in director Jeremy Sumrall's ode to '80s horror, "Pickaxe". The film costars Cory W. Ahre, Keefer Barlow. Perry Batson. Kerry Beyer. Drew Brown. Kelly Byrns. Lyndsey Case.
The survivors of a series of brutal killings in a small town are forced to face the killer once again when a ritual resurrects him from the grave.
The story keeps with a classic theme of a supernatural slasher. It is straightforward, methodic and light-hearted. Jeremy Sumrall celebrates those VHS horror tropes from 80's horror with fun enthusiasm. Although the film does have flaws, it is still a commendable ode. It keeps with a simple slice-n-dice format, there is a formidable killer, and plenty of flesh and blood.
With a couple recognizable indie names attached, "Pickaxe" receives some cred. Tiffany Shepis is a indie horror staple. Baldwin does a great job as the sheriff. The rest of the cast don't quite equal these two's performances, but they do well enough to move the story. There is some dialog issues and a few moments that feel contrived. I also found a few of the asthenic scenes tacky, set in a way that takes away from the moment than the intended effect.
The horror elements of the film are really notable, commendable aspects of the film. It is low budget affair, but the practice choices seemed to be approached with care. Reminiscent of 80's slasher gore films like "The Burning" and "Madman". I really enjoyed the kill scenes in "Pickaxe". Some of the setups to the kill sequences seemed a bit hokey, missing to create an added anticipation, and did more to lower the energy of otherwise cool kills.
Overall "Pickaxe" is a straightforward low budget slasher that only works in the indie horror community. It probably will disappoint mainstream movie goers with its low scale production, indie acting and 'on a dime' practical effects. Still there is some fun gore elements, a strong slasher and cool, creepy atmosphere. Check it out if you dig low budget movie making. (3/5)