‘Axed‘ is an Australian short film written and directed by Joshua Long.
‘Axed‘ traces the story of a man who is fleeing for his life and finds himself caught between a ruthless band of soldiers who are tasked with exterminating infected people, and the infected zombies that are roaming the world and increasing in numbers.
The opening montage of the main character in the woods with his axe, going slightly crazy and laughing at his predicament, instantly made us think of ‘Ash’ from Evil Dead…..and that is before we found out that the main character is called ‘Bruce’ – which we are going to chalk up as an intentional, sideways tribute to Bruce Campbell.
Anyway, Bruce is enjoying a family meal, when it is gatecrashed by soldiers in bio-hazard gear who claim that they are all infected and they drag the family out to the woods for execution. One by one they execute Bruce’s family, but they get set-upon by infected zombies before they get to Bruce and he makes his escape. Bruce must now survive and get through the woods that are populated by the triple dangers of zombies (the deceased infected, who rise again after death), the infected themselves, and the ‘military industrial complex’ group of solders.
This is about as much plot as you get for this kinetic 30 minutes of zombie chaos. Nothing is really explained about the background or the origins of the outbreak, you never really find out how long it is has been going on for, or who the group of soldiers are really working for. But it’s all okay, as ‘Axed‘ only really wants to focus on relentless pace and dizzying action.
The zombies/infected in ‘Axed‘ are pretty fast on their feet, and the whole film is basically built around creating situations of raw panic….which is does very well.
The camera work is fast and jerky, and the colour palette is washed out throughout the film – this is a short film that doesn’t want you to relax, and wants to paint a grim and bleak vision of its world.
The tagline ‘The Living, The Infected, and the Dead’ pretty much sums up the premise of this film – Bruce is not safe, everything and everyone is a potential threat. The infected can sprint and hunt him down, once they die they start rising again as shambling zombies, and the army are no help to him and have just executed his family. This is not going to be a nice walk in the woods for Bruce.
For a short film, this is at the longer-end of the spectrum and it runs for almost 30mins, and for a film with little dialog or plotline, it manages to sustain your interest pretty well for the duration. Worth checking out for fans of zombie-action.