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So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993)

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Released: 6/17/2008

All Ratings out of
Video: 1/2
Audio: 1/2
Extras: No Extras

Review by Mike Long, Posted on 6/21/2008

I can't say for a fact that it's been happening since the inception of television programming, but it's a phenomenon which has been very reliable in my lifetime: A beloved, or at least respected, television actor attempts to make the transition to movies for the first time and the results aren't spectacular. Actors such as John Ritter, John Larroquette, and Mark Harmon, all struggled to make that transition. In 1993, Saturday Night Live star Mike Myers had already had a box-office hit with the Wayne's World movie the year before. But, his first foray into an original film, So I Married an Axe Murderer, didn't have the same kind of success. Fifteen years later, it's time to take a second look at the movie, as it has come to Blu-ray Disc.

Myers stars in So I Married an Axe Murderer as Charlie Mackenzie, a beat poet (does that pay well?) living in San Francisco. Charlie has a history of failed relationships which typically end due to bizarre accusations which Charlie makes towards his girlfriends (eg: stealing, smelling bad, etc.) One day, Charlie visits the "Meats of the World" butcher shop to buy a haggis for his Scottish parents, and he meets Harriet (Nancy Travis). He is immediately intrigued by her and returns to the store to ask her out. Soon, Charlie and Nancy are dating. However, when Charlie reads about the "Honeymoon Killer", he becomes convinced that the story of the murdering woman is a bit too similar to Harriet's background. While his family and his best friend, Tony (Anthony LaPaglia) assume that Charlie is simply sabotaging yet another relationship, Charlie becomes convinced that his life is in danger.

When So I Married an Axe Murderer debuted in 1993, it was a box-office failure, and it’s easy to see why. Audiences had come to love Mike Myers playing outrageous characters, and Charlie is a fairly down-to-Earth guy – in fact, that’s the whole point of the movie. (It’s interesting to note that this is Myers only starring role where he basically appeared as himself, without a wig, false teeth, etc.) Save for a few scenes, the movie is rather tame and safe when compared to Myers’ other work. The plot is wafer-thin and the ending is very predictable. Some of the supporting cast is good, but Nancy Travis is terrible – she’s the film weakest link. She never actually acts in the film, she merely smiles for the camera. While the first half of the film isn’t exactly legendary, the second half feels like a series of random scenes merely strung together.

So, it’s understandable that Myers immediately bounced back into Wayne’s World 2. However, So I Married an Axe Murderer is a film that has grown more likable over the years, especially when it’s compared to Myers’ other work. The screenplay is credited to Robbie Fox (who also wrote the story for the Pauly Shore vehicle In the Army Now), but it’s clear that Myers had his hands all over this movie. This is especially obvious with Charlie’s Dad, who is also played by Myers in heavy make-up. This part is a spin on a character that Myers had done on Saturday Night Live (“If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap!”) and we can see a lot of the future Fat Bastard and Dr. Evil in the character. The scenes where Charlie’s Dad and Anthony LaPaglia are together are classic because it’s abundantly clear that Myers is ad-libbing and LaPaglia’s laughter is very real. Some of the humor in the film also bears a resemblance to jokes that Myers would later add to other films. (Charlie’s assertion that his ex-girlfriend smelled like soup reminded me of Austin Powers’ notion that carnies smell like cabbage.) Given that, Myers loudly yelling “Hello!” to punctuate a joke was tired in 1993 and it’s even more annoying now.

So I Married an Axe Murderer is one of those movies which will never develop a cult following, or a huge fan base, but many people seem to know it. It’s rather odd that the movie doesn’t contain a good (or even decent) story and no truly memorable characters (save for Charlie’s Dad), but there are many quotable lines in the movie. If you’ve seen So I Married an Axe Murderer, then you already know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, go into it with an open mind. You’ll find 2-dimensional characters and a lousy mystery plot. But, you’ll also find some very funny moments and some dialogue that you’ll find yourself quoting.

So I Married an Axe Murderer comes out swinging on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.85:1 and the disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 20 Mbps. The quality of this transfer varies throughout the film. Some shots are quite clear, while others are noticeably grainy. There is also some shimmering and video noise in some shots. The fleshtones have the look of a glazed donut in some scenes. On the positive side, the colors look very good, most notably the reds and greens, and the image has a nice amount of depth. The Disc offers a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 1.5 Mbps. This track provides clear dialogue and sound effects throughout the film. The crowd scenes offers some nice stereo and surround effects and the in-film music sounds fine. Still, it's not until the finale that we actually get any effects that take the track above the standard "rom-com" audio.

Despite the fact that the words "Special Edition" are splashed across the cover art, there are no extra features on this Disc.

Review Copyright 2008 by Mike Long