Sony // 1993 // 93 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge Clark Douglas // June 19th, 2008
The Honeymoon Was Killer
"I'm not kidding, that boy's head is like Sputnik; spherical but quite pointy at parts! Now that was offside, wasn't it? He'll be crying himself to sleep tonight, on his huge pillow." -- Stuart MacKenzie, speaking of his young son
Charlie Mackenzie (Mike Myers, Wayne's World) has always had trouble finding the right woman. For one reason or another, nothing ever seems to work out. He puts up with a great deal of scoffing from his very Scottish father (Myers again) and spends most of his days drinking cappucinos and reading poetry in a local club. One day, he sees a gorgeous woman (Nancy Travis, Becker) inside the local butcher shop. He quickly falls head over heels for her and is quite astonished when he discovers that she seems to feel the same way about him. Charlie has finally found the perfect woman. There's only one problem: she just might be an axe murderer.
Is it possible to recommend a film that fails miserably in the execution of its central premise? I'm not sure, but So I Married An Axe Murderer would be a worthy contender on a list of potential candidates. The central story of Charlie's lustful/nervous relationship with a possible serial killer attempts to be both funny and thrilling, and it really isn't either. The basic premise hits a dead end and spins around in circles attempting to find a satisfactory conclusion. Is she a killer? Is she innocent? Will they stay married? Will she try to kill him? The film recognizes that none of these answers is particularly amusing and attempts to provide a big action climax instead. However, there are so very few laughs during the final 20 minutes or so of the film. The movie doesn't feel fun anymore. So I Married An Axe Murderer offers a weak premise and even weaker execution (no pun intended) of that premise.
Mike Myers seems like an actor who is very uncomfortable in his own skin. Almost every character he plays sports an accent, a gimmick, or something that permits Myers to act like someone other than himself. Like Peter Sellers (please forgive the comparison), Myers seems awkward when trying to do "normal." So, it's no wonder that Charlie McKenzie is one of his least distinct characters. Charlie does impersonations and goofy routines as often as possible, and you get the sense that Myers is adding these out of desperation. On the other hand, Myers seems very comfortable playing the goofy father role. Travis is charming, but perhaps necessarily undeveloped: if we know too much about her...we'll know too much about her.
This Blu-ray version of So I Married An Axe Murderer gives itself the laughable title of "Special Edition." To everyone involved with this disc: what is remotely special in any way whatsoever about this edition? There are no special features of any kind. None. No featurettes, no commentary, no theatrical trailer, not even "a sneak peek at The Love Guru!" What's the deal, huh? I might not make such a fuss if the words "special edition!" weren't all over the packaging. The hi-def transfer is also underwhelming, with a surprising lack of detail. You would have to be a serious videophile to consider a switch from DVD to hi-def for this particular title to be worthwhile. Audio is fine, though it buries Bruce Broughton's score in favor of the rather uninteresting sound effects.
So why did I enjoy this movie as much as I did? Because pretty much every element that isn't related to the main plot is wonderful. Fortunately, So I Married an Axe Murderer is the sort of movie that is comfortable wandering down plenty of rewarding rabbit trails. The material featuring Myer's family is quite funny, with Myers himself playing the patriarch. Crotchety old Stuart MacKenzie is very much like a thinner, funnier version of Myer's popular "Fat Bastard" character from the "Austin Powers" films. Equally funny is Brenda Fricker as matriarch May MacKenzie: "Oh, I can't have that. I'm on a wonderful new diet! The Weekly World News Garth Brooks Juice Diet." Ladies and gentlemen, there have been many phony movie diet names, but never, ever, has there been one as wonderful as "The Weekly World News Garth Brooks Juice Diet."
Additionally, there is a broad host of supporting roles/cameos that are wonderfully entertaining. When a film is packed with celebrity cameos, there are usually as many misses as hits (see most Adam Sandler films as examples). Here, everything works, and everyone contributes at least one laugh-out-loud funny moment. There are splendid appearances by Phil Hartman (The Simpsons), Charles Grodin (Midnight Run), Amanda Plummer (Pulp Fiction), Steven Wright (Coffee and Cigarettes), Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine), and Michael Richards (Seinfeld), who eventually begins running through a room screaming, "I'm an insensitive man! I'm an insensitive man!" Um...yeah.
After much consideration, I've determined that delightful trimmings can't really salvage the entire meal. Still, if you're the sort of person who's willing to eat a crummy cake just to get some tasty icing, then I would recommend giving the film a look. Fans of Myers or the movie should beware: the hi-def transfer is nothing to write home about, and this "special edition" is about as un-special as they come.
Guilty, though most of the cast members associated with this crime are free to go.
Review content copyright © 2008 Clark Douglas; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic (Widescreen)
* TrueHD 5.1 Surround (English)
* TrueHD 5.1 Surround (French)
* TrueHD 5.1 Surround (Portuguese)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Release Year: 1993
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13