PICKAXE *** USA 2019 Dir: Jeremy Sumrall. 77 mins
A gang of libidinous and crazy all-American teens set off on a riotous road trip to the backwater of Woodland Hills to see their favourite rock band ‘Sacrilegious Desecration’ and this tongue in cheek, wacky comedy bloodfest then sets off at an adrenaline fuelled pace and never lets up until you’ve seen it right through to it’s bittersweet ending.
Paul and Dana Farmer go missing in the woods after a bizarre incident which has led to the resurrection of the son of Satan in the demised form of Alex Black wielding his trusty and blood stained pickaxe. He wasn’t invited to the party, but he sure as Hell gatecrashes it anyway and the only ones who are not afraid of this monster are the pair who have met him before.
Adrienne Palmer who is played brilliantly by Tiffany Shepis is the only one mad enough to confront the killing machine, but she is helped by brave Sheriff Dwayne Matthews (A. Michael Baldwin) who proves to be her perfect foil and their strange love interest gives a nice reprise from the bloodletting and crazy sexual carnage that the film carries so well.
Pickaxe is an entertainment filled romp of drugs, teens, lustful sex, nudity and gratuitous violence, but it is always portrayed by the writing in an authentic and contextual way which adds to and doesn’t diminish the drama and fun that it has in spades. The acting overall is of a very good standard and the story is a simple yet effective one that doesn’t get in the way of the bloody rollercoaster of thrills and crazy comic capers that it contains. The idea to present the short backstory in words at the start was a genius move and it helped to launch me right into the crazy world that opened up afterwards. There are loads of tongue in cheek touches of great American humour such as the glam rock and really kitsch ‘Sacrilegious Desecration’ and many oblique but funny references to the word ‘dead’ to keep you amused. This is then topped off by a rich cream of well oiled and very bloody special effects that kept me transfixed and thoroughly entertained by what is a good old fashioned and really fun movie for a late teen/adult audience.
The finale is sure to hit you full force in your laughing face just like the fearsome blades of Black’s mighty weapon! Pun fully intended, and when you buy this one you will see what I mean for yourself.
Review by Nathan Sandiford