PICKAXE (2014) Reviews and overview


‘An urban legend reborn’

Pickaxe – formerly known as The Pick-Axe Murders Part III: The Final Chapter – is a 2014 American horror feature film written and directed by Jeremy Sumrall (Possum Walk).

The film is a homage to 1980s horror movies and a “threequel” to a movie that never existed. In 2019 it was retitled Pickaxe and remarketed with new artwork.

The movie stars Tiffany Shepis (Strange NatureVictor CrowleyThe Night Watchmen; et al), A. Michael Baldwin (Flay; Brutal; Phantasm franchise), Nick W. Nicholson, Roxy Vandiver (Spirit Camp), Sal Governale, Catherine Lawrence Kinslow, Kerry Beyer (Spirit Camp), Ashley-Marie Zgabay, Shawn Hernandez and Troy Parker.


In the summer of 1982, a group of campers was horribly slaughtered at Camp Arapaho in the sleepy little town of Woodland Hills. The ten gruesome murders were blamed on Alex Black, a mysterious man believed to have been the son of Satan himself, whom the townspeople had hunted down and lynched nearly twenty years prior. A young woman named Adrienne was able to defeat Alex and put a stop to the killing spree.


One year later, a series of mysterious killings at the Meadow Falls Sanitarium (where Adrienne had spent the last year as a patient) was once again linked to the mysterious Alex Black. Twenty patients and staff members were horribly slaughtered in increasingly graphic and brutal ways. In the end, a young man named George Miner, along with Adrienne was able to defeat Alex Black, sending him back to the foul hell from whence he came.

For five years, Alex Black has been silent, and the town of Woodland Hills has been peaceful. However, tonight is the night of the death moon, and someone has found a way to bring Alex Black back to life…


“It’s a fast-paced, technically well-made film. The back story is detailed enough to make up for a rather conventional-looking killer, and the gore we do get is a lot of fun. Some of the chemistry between characters and their acting wasn’t perfect, and a lot of things were hinted at that never came to be.” Adam the Movie God

” …the film’s acting was on and off, but no big deal and the deaths should’ve been more inventive. I would like to have seen the pickaxe put to more use. While the movie was tons of fun, I just couldn’t help but wish it was a tad scarier or had some more suspenseful scenes.” The Final Boy

“The small-town allure is alive and well, and this production was clearly filled with a ton of professionals behind-the-scenes. God, I just wish someone shook Sumrall and said “What are you doing?!” The script absolutely murdered this film’s potential and not even classic slasher tropes and the charm of Tiffany Shepis can save it.” Horror Society

“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.” Horrorscreams Videovault

“Your origin story is just words on a black screen, and everyone acts like they don’t care a fig if you’ve seen the first two films in the first place. Strangely enough, this doesn’t leave you confused (Again, slasher film), but allows you to build up the mystery yourself in your head. One of the things that really helps sell the movie is its cast.” Houston Press

“The characters are silly and over-the-top in an ’80s movie way (obviously something they were shooting for), the dialog is cringe-inducingly goofy (but also in a good way – it’s obviously purposefully goofy), it has just enough clever humor and subtlety thrown in to let you know that the bad stuff is done on purpose…” Post-Modern Trashaeology

“Alex Black looks tremendous in a guise that brings to mind the greatest backwoods burlap-sack sporting villains and he stalks and slashes with a similar imposing threat to Jason Voorhees’ finest moments. Whilst we can see that the production team were operating on a meagre budget, they hide the lack of funding well enough, and there are some impressive gore effects amongst the murders.” A Slash Above…

“The effects are, for the most part, well done, practical and messy. Implements, throat slittings, disembowelings, all the favourites are on display here. The one place Pickaxe comes up short is the use of, you guessed it, CGI blood spray. Especially towards the end when guns come into play…” Voices from the Balcony

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Cast and characters:

Tiffany Shepis … Adrienne
A. Michael Baldwin … Sheriff Mathews
Sal Governale … Lou
Johnson Nguyen … Concertgoer
Michelle Ellen Jones … Dana
Nick W. Nicholson … Principal White
Roxy Vandiver … Betsy
Kerry Beyer … Squirrelly Dan
Daniel Pesina … Concertgoer
Catherine Lawrence Kinslow … Front Row Concertgoer
Joe Grisaffi … Mr Miller
Troy Parker … Chubbs McGee
Ellie Ryham … Concertgoer
Shawn Hernandez … Victor
Keefer Barlow … Marilyn

Filming locations:

Houston, Texas

Fun Facts:

The production raised money online via an Indiegogo online campaign.