Directed and co-written by Garrett Tripp, Lissy Borton Had an Axe is about Lissy Borton herself (Dana Melanie), who is a sweet, yet socially awkward, metal-mouth teenager, who is going through a difficult time with an overbearing stepmother and an ignorant father. After finally snapping, she unapologetically axes her parents, and attempts to salvage what's left between her and Stephen, her only friend from childhood. However, things quickly turn sour when he turns out to be "just like everyone else", and it’s in that moment her urge for a few more whacks resurface.
Having been the 1st Assistant Director on the previous Dana Melanie horror-vehicle Treehouse, he takes on the dual role of co-writer/director as he attempts to do a retelling of the infamous Lizzie Borden murder cases from 1892, but with a modern day twist. The writers do a solid job of making us understand what Lissy is going through and making us sympathise with he inner struggles, even if she is ultimately this tragically pathetic figure, that is socially-hindered due to her appearance and her slightly crazed behaviour. She is sort of stuck in the past and wants everything to be as it was, but when everything changes around her, that’s when the urge for whacks comes out.
When the axe comes out, you know mayhem is coming, and it delivers with nasty and bloody results, which is always a treat for horror fans. It is superbly shot by Joshua Lassing who does a great job at creating the building tension and atmosphere, with everything starting out all sunny and bright at the beginning only for it to get dark by the end, which perfectly reflects Lissy’s transformation. As Lissy herself, Dana Melanie is utterly fantastic, as she was in Treehouse, effortlessly able to switch from sweet and goofy one second to sinister and tragic the next.
In the end, Lissy Borton Had an Axe is one of the better short horror films currently out there, having a strong concept, superb lighting and cinematography, and another stellar performance by Dana Melanie. Garrett Tripp makes a solid debut as a director, which hopefully will promise good things for his future as a filmmaker.
LISSY BORTON HAD AN AXE / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: GARRETT TRIPP / SCREENPLAY: GARRETT TRIPP, JERED YEATON / STARRING: DANA MELANIE, FORD FANTER, WENDIE WELDON / RELEASE DATE: TBA