So I Married an Axe Murderer – 1993
Directed by Thomas Schlamme (“The West Wing”)
Written by Robbie Fox
An under-appreciated gem of a movie. Charlie Mackenzie (Mike Myers) is a poet living in San Francisco whose poems revolve around his many failed relationships. Of course all of the break-ups are his fault because he looks for any reason to dump a girl (“She always smelled like beef vegetable soup”). Charlie soon meets Harriet (Nancy Travis), a local butcher. As their relationship becomes more serious, Charlie convinces himself that she is Mrs. X, a woman who crosses the country marring men and then killing them during the honeymoon.
Mike Myers is funny as Charlie in this movie, but all of the great moments go to the secondary characters. Anthony LaPaglia plays Charlie’s best friend Tony, a cop who is unhappy with his job because it is nothing like the police shows on TV. After complaining about this to his very understanding Captain (Alan Arkin), they both start to act towards each other like they are in a cheesy cop show. These sequences are hilarious because they deal so perfectly with well-worn clichés and the dialogue sounds like it’s lifted from some horrible 1980s cop movie. Also keep your eye out for Stephen Wright as a narcoleptic pilot, Charles Grodin as a motorist who refuses to let his vehicle be commandeered, and the late Phil Hartman as a prison tour guide with a very interesting story.
But the greatest character of all is Mike Myers' other role as Charlie’s angry Scottish (is that redundant??) father Stuart Mackenzie. This was Myers' first time playing multiple roles, and this character was before Shrek or Fat Bastard and is still his best Scotsman. Everyone who sees this movie is constantly quoting the abuse Stuart heaps on Charlie’s large-headed little brother. This is the role that steals the film, and its popularity is probably the catalyst for Myers' continued use of the Scottish accent.
This film was a total flop upon its theatrical release and almost wrecked Mike Myers’ career. This was due to one of the most horrendous cases of mis-marketing I have ever seen. All of the commercials portrayed the film a being a murder mystery, and a very poor one at that, instead of the wacky comedy that it really is. Mike Myers’ fans stayed away because it certainly didn’t look anything like Wayne’s World or SNL, and other people stayed away because, as a slasher movie, it’s pretty crappy. Just a little example of how important a good marketing campaign is to a film’s success.
If I do have any problems with this movie it’s the ending. After Charlie and Harriet get married, most of the jokes seem to stop because the writer needed to wrap up the whole “axe murderer” plot thread, and he does it pretty badly. Most of the movie is a bang, but it ends with a whimper.
Stuart – “Oh how I hate the The Colonel, with his wee beady eyes and that smug look on his face. ‘Ohhh you're gonna buy my chicken, ohhh’”
Charlie – “Dad, how can you hate The Colonel?”
Stuart – “Because he puts an addictive chemical in his chicken that make you crave it fortnightly, smartass!"