Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan (2013)

Ax Giant_The Wrath of Paul Bunyan

Paul Bunyan originated in North American in folktales promulgated by lumberjacks in the northeastern US and eastern Canada.  The first story appeared in print by journalist James MacGillivray (1906, Northern Michigan).  However, the name probably derives from the French-Canadian colloquial Bonyenne, an old term, and an expression of surprise meaning something to the effect of “oh my goodness”.  Director Gary Jones’ new indie Axe Giant (2013) suitably fits that description —and I was entertained from beginning to end.  Fans of the superior and wickedly satirical Trolljegeren (Trollhunter, 2010) will probably like Axe Giant.

Ax Giant_Slaughter

Without spoiling too much fun, the action starts right at the prologue. Poor Dan Haggerty (looking old) is a lumberjack foreman who kills the wrong blue ox and doesn’t have much of a role (we see a bit more of him later).

Ax Giant_Buzz

The story has six juvenile delinquents under the care of a bullying State of Minnesota corrections officer Sgt Hoke (well played by Thomas Downey) and a compassionate social worker (Kristina Kopf), heading to a “cabin in the woods” retreat.  A local wacko named Meeks (Joe Estevez) buzzes around camp talking to himself and plays chess with a mysterious entity. We learn right off the bat that a giant hulking being frequents the woods. He stays to himself and hides in an old mine shaft. He eats small game like brown bears (which are not native to Minnesota).

Things get fun when one of the delinquents finds an unusal bovine skull and horn…

While no classic, Axe Giant is a lot of fun, with good creature effects by Robert Kurtzman’s Creature Corps.   I can watch this kind of nonesense all day long.  Pack up some beer, grab some firewood, load the gear and iPad and watch this one out in the woods.  But don’t pick up any ox horns…

Ax Giant_The Giant

American Folklore

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