A surprisingly accomplished cult classic of inner perversity hiding in the most unexpected of places. (I say that, but I've always found rural North Carolina an inherently freaky place.) Sure it's 60-some minutes long, but it holds the tension, characters are memorable, and the set pieces always have a hint of depravity. A Video Nasty that is more about atmosphere than content.
As a whole, the film isn't good. But such ideas as the paralyzed grandfather or Leslie Lee's first murder may wake the always hungry cinephile hidden behind your glasses. Furthermore, the three actors playing the bad guys are very professional considering the kind of production AXE is. Two or three violent scenes, most of the time off-screen, piqued the US censor's curiosity. Already forgotten
A sort of low-rent American version of the kind of film Mario Bava made before he died where no one's trustworthy and violence is always lurking nearby. I've never been a tremendous fan of late-period Bava (too much sex and gore (and tedium) for the sake of it) but Axe I can get behind. It spins a web of murderous intrigue and lets you hang in it; ambitious but unpretentious and a lot of sleazy fun.