Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Redbox Crap: Axe Giant- The Wrath of Paul Bunyan

So who exactly thought that this was a good idea.  Today's film is Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan.  Just go ahead and let that soak in for a minute.  Done groaning?  Good.  So yeah, it's your typical Slasher Film compiled from a dozen cliches and tropes.  The difference- Jason Voorhees is now a real Giant.  The whole thing looks and feels cliche and cheap.  The film showed up in many a Redbox, which triggered me to check Netflix.  Nothing against the Blockbuster-replacement, but Netflix is already sending me films all of the time- why would I need to use it?  As luck would have it, the film was put on Streaming last week, so I got to see it for you.  The biggest stars on board are Dan Haggerty (still Acting apparently) and Joe Estevez.  I haven't seen you since Roller Gator!  Will this silly thing be better than a film about a rapping Alligator puppet?  To find out, read on...
The film begins by immediately reminding me of Asylum films.  That's a bad sign.

By the end, I almost wish I had been watching one.
The film opens over 100 years ago in Winter.  A group of Loggers are at a settlement and appear to be ready for a nice Barbeque.
Unfortunately, a freaky mutant attacks and kills everyone.  To see the film's budgetary limitations, you have to see the scene with the Giant Saw.  I won't SPOIL it for you.
Jumping ahead to the Present, a bunch of first-time offenders are sent to a Camp to learn skills that will help them.  It's a plot thread seen in numerous films, including See No Evil.

By the way, that film is getting a Sequel.  I'm happy for Kane, but sad for the rest of the human race.
Out in the Woods, the once-normal-sized Paul is now a Giant.  They don't really explain it in any logical way, nor do they explain how nobody has spotted him in the last 119 years!

This out-of-context shot sums up how I feel about the film's first real glimpse of Paul.  It's...something.
This film is so ho-hum that I have time to mention the Casting.  Here's a weird one: the son of Martin Kove is in it (see below).  Maybe him and Greg Evigan's Daughter can go on to Star in crappy, Direct-to-Video films for years to come like their Dads.

On the plus side, he's not appearing in a 1313 film!
In a plot point out of about 100 films, Bunyan chases the group since they took something that was dear to him.  In this case, it was the horn of Babe, who was killed in 1894 by the Loggers.

When you're stealing ideas from Crocodile, you're not even trying!
Around the halfway point, Paul finally starts killing people.  Somehow this dumb girl doesn't know that a 20-foot giant is behind her.  How do you not smell him?  I mean, how long must he have been wearing those pants?!?
Joe Estevez is here to save the day!  Seriously, he's the only interesting character here.  He's the guy who's been apparently caring for Paul and is there to give his back-story.

Mind you, there is no *good* explanation for how he knows this, since Paul doesn't speak.  I guess he could be lying.  Regardless, this is where we'll end, so as to not SPOIL too much more.
Everything about you is lame.  That said, the movie is fun to watch ironically.  It's not a perfect 'so bad it's good' film as it takes a bit too long to get going.  On some level, that works.  It gives you plenty of time to prepare for the shit.  On the other hand, if you're going to watch it for the shit, you don't want to wait so damn long!  That said, the terrible effects, writing and overall production values are a hoot.  If this were a Troma or Full Moon film, they would have ruined it.  This appears to be a genuine effort made by someone trying to make a hit film.  It's not tongue-in-cheek like Sharktopus, attention-grabbing like Mega-Shark vs. Giant Octopus or trying to make your drunk ass laugh like, well, every Troma film ever.  It's for that reason that the film failing.  If you can get past the slow open, it's a laugh riot.  The characters are so one-dimensional and every scene is so predictable.  The giant effects are the real show-stealer.  This film has the potential to be the next Birdemic (although that film has about 800 other reasons why it's funny bad).  If you want to see it before it may become 'hip' to do so (a la Sharknado- which even my parents have seen!), check it out on Streaming.  Well, unless you're Maynard- sorry.  The best/worst thing about the giant effects is that they were done 1988.
Next up, a Marvel Comics film made in Australia (for no clear reason).  Will Dolph 'break us' or make a film that holds up better than you might think?  Stay tuned...

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