Axe Murdering With Hackley
Dir. Tim Sanders (2016)
Slasher movie villain Hackley struggles with the same shit as everyone else, from an incompetent boss to his annoying alarm clock. The only difference between him and you is that his job involves murdering teenagers.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
I reviewed Axe Murdering With Hackley years ago on my old blog, and for some reason it was lost to the sands of time. Since I have an interview with all of the folks who made it, I figured it was high time that I revisited this criminally underseen and absolutely fucking hilarious horror comedy that riffs on the slasher genre better than just about anything I’ve ever seen. Part Office Space, part Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, how the hell this film hasn’t made its way into the general public’s consciousness, I have no idea, especially now that it’s streaming free on Tubi.
Allen Hackley (which is also the real actor’s name) is a slasher movie villain, the star of the longest-running horror franchise of all time. He was bigger in the 80’s, during the slasher heyday, but he’s still the legend in the workplace that is filled with other slasher villains. Unfortunately, Hackley is struggling with his performance in the modern world, forced to follow the old rules of the game that aren’t as effective with modern victims. If you’ve worked in the corporate world before, you know how this goes: somebody else was successful abiding by the rules, so you should be able to as well, regardless of how arbitrary said rules are. I’ve had this fucking job before, where “those who can’t and are also morons get stuck in middle management” and the rules are made by people who aren’t good enough at your job to do it themselves.
Not all of the jokes hit and they also use the word “retard” a couple of times, which I’m sure will offend a few people. All in all, though, the movie is hilarious and is one of my favorite horror parody films. It successfully skewers office politics and the inanity of the corporate world like few movies can, and it’s the type of hyper-aware horror movie that pokes fun at itself as well as it does the films that it parodies. Each character is a parody of a particular franchise: Hackley is Jason Voorhees, Hyde is Michael Myers, Mitre-Saw is John Kramer, etc. The actors all do a wonderful job of in their respective roles, portraying characters that we already know so well as fans of the genre. It’s truly a genius film, one that should have received far more attention than it has up to now. I’m hopeful that its availability on Tubi will give it the wider audience it so rightly deserves.
Who this movie is for: Horror comedy fans, Slasher lovers, Corporate animals
Bottom line: A sharply effective spit-take on the parodic horror film, Axe Murdering With Hackley is brilliant and hilarious and is one that I would recommend to anyone who likes horror comedies. It feels like something that would belong in National Lampoon, delivering a brutal takedown of corporate culture and the tropes of several generations of slasher films. I’ve asked the producers about a physical copy for years, but apparently those discussions with the financiers fell through. Thankfully, the film is now available free on Tubi, where I highly recommend that you check it out. Hackley is a character that they haven’t even begun to explore, and I’m hoping that we see more from him in future efforts. Great film, and don’t forget to check out my interview with the cast and crew.