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  So I Married an Axe Murderer I Love You To DeathBuy this film here.
Year: 1993
Director: Thomas Schlamme
Stars: Mike Myers, Nancy Travis, Anthony LaPaglia, Amanda Plummer, Brenda Fricker, Matt Doherty, Alan Arkin, Charles Grodin, Phil Hartman, Debi Mazar, Steven Wright, Patrick Bristow, Cintra Wilson, Mike Hagerty, Michael Richards, Jessie Nelson
Genre: Comedy, Thriller, Romance
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Charlie Mackenzie (Mike Myers) is a San Francisco beat poet whose signature work sums up his main problem with relationships: he doesn't trust women. Tonight he is sitting in his regular haunt, a cafe for fellow poets, with his best friend Tony (Anthony LaPaglia) who is a cop. Charlie isn't too sure about Tony's attire, he is supposed to be an undercover policeman but is dressing more like a pimp, or Huggy Bear from Starsky and Hutch. Tony gets one thing right, however: he tells Charlie he should stop finding fault in the women he dates, but his next girlfriend throws up a whole new dilemma...

And you can guess what that is by the title. So I Married an Axe Murderer was meant to be Myers' first big post-Wayne's World hit, but wasn't really (which is perhaps why Wayne's World 2 was released so quickly after this one). That's not to say there was no appreciative audience for it, and for a while in the nineties it achieved a cult status, but it didn't feature Myers as a recognisable character; in fact, his Charlie was simply a regular guy who lapsed into Myers-esque goofing around in an attempt to be endearing.

Thanks to Robbie Fox's script (and some improvisation, one suspects) Myers did secure a few laughs, but largely it was the goodnatured tone that was winning rather than any killer lines or routines. Although it has a sensational title, this wasn't much of a Hitchcockian spoof and the thrills didn't get going until the final twenty minutes. Mainly what concerned the story was the lack of commitment in the nineties male: Charlie wasn't unfaithful, he just feared being tied down to one woman for the rest of his life in case he had made a mistake in choosing his partner.

And if his partner was indeed an axe murderer, then that would undoubtedly be a big mistake, wouldn't it? When Charlie starts dating butcher (as in meat seller) Harriet (Nancy Travis) it's all going very well - cue meat based montage - yet something is nagging at the back of his mind. Could it be that Harriet is the serial killer his mother (Brenda Fricker) has been reading about in The Weekly World News? Will she marry him and then bump him off without a moment's thought like a black widow spider? Nah, not Harriet. But then, why does she call out one of the victim's names in her sleep? And have a poster of a victim's hometown in her warehouse-sized apartment?

And she speaks Russian, like another victim did. Naturally it's not all coincidence, but as there is only one other person the killer could be, then they're not too hard to spot. For the most part, the film focuses on character comedy much beloved of the star, and we get to hear his Scottish accent once more in the shape of Charlie's father, also played by Myers. This man, based on Myers' actual dad, is a committed patriot with a broad Scottish brogue and provides the film with some of the funniest lines, although I doubt there was a Scotsman alive in 1993 who would have a photograph of Sheena Easton up on his wall. The main problem is that Harriet is never fleshed out to a believable extent, she never comes alive as a genuine person, more a series of plot devices. But if it's cutesy, So I Married an Axe Murderer is warmly presented for all that. Music by Bruce Broughton.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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