AXE (1974) + KIDNAPPED COED (1976) Double Feature

axe-kidnappedSunday, April 13, 7:30 PM
Frederick R. Friedel Double Feature
AXE (1974) + KIDNAPPED COED (1976)

Presented by Danger After Dark

Young North Carolina writer-director Frederick Friedel made two thoroughly strange, offbeat, unpredictable little genre films, AXE (1974) and KIDNAPPED COED (1976), but neither film made much impression when they were carelessly dumped into drive-in and grindhouse double bills, then forgotten.  But their cult following grew over time — AXE became one of Great Britain’s most notorious banned “Video Nasties” in the 80s, and Stephen Thrower’s seminal book NIGHTMARE U.S.A. made a persuasive case for Friedel as a wrongly neglected American regional indie auteur with a unique voice.  Now Severin Films has returned to the original film elements for both titles, and digitally restored them to look better than ever before.  AXE is an oddly poetic, wintry, axe3Bergman-influenced chamber piece with three hitmen on the lam taking control of a desolate farm occupied only by teenaged Lisa and her catatonic grandfather, with the unstable Lisa soon resorting to violence to protect her isolation.  But if AXE is an intriguing oddity, then KIDNAPPED COED is nothing short of an unheralded crackpot exploitation masterpiece — a surreal, inventive black comedy/neo-noir about the developing romance between a spoiled heiress and her small-time hoodlum abductor.  Featuring stealthy tracking shots through decaying Southern flophouses and bars, and a cast of eccentric supporting characters right out of “Twin Peaks”-era Lynch, KIDNAPPED COED is the best 70s American regional exploitation wonder that you’ve probably never seen.

Danger After Dark’s Travis Crawford will be in attendance to introduce the screening.
Films courtesy of Severin Films.


Previous program: Saturday, April 12, 2014, Midnight – GETEVEN
Next program: Monday, April 14, 2014, 7:30 PM – FILMADELPHIA: THE SEQUEL