Ahh, the memories of this movie. I remember watching Saturday Night Live back during my junior high/high school days and so I was very familiar with Mike Myers and his comedy. My friends and I had gone to see Wayne’s World when it came out in theaters and so when a new Mike Myers movie was announced, we decided we would go see it in theaters as well. Granted, this was done during the time period that I was in town, as I had moved to a different state when So I Married An Axe Murderer came out but the point is that I still have fond memories of seeing this with my friends. Now lets see if those fond memories carry over to the movie itself.
The plot: Charlie MacKenzie is hanging out at his usual beatnik club with his friend Tony Giardino, who comments about Charlie always breaking up with his girlfriends over perceived faults simply because he is afraid of commitment. The next day, Charlie stops at a butcher shop to pick up some haggis to bring to his parent’s house for dinner and he meets Harriet, the woman that owns the shop. At his parent’s house, Charlie’s mother, May, is upset to learn about Charlie’s latest break up, then starts telling him about a honeymoon serial killer called Mrs. X, who has killed three husbands on their honeymoon. Meanwhile, his father, Stuart, is telling Tony about various conspiracy theories he believes in, while constantly deriding his younger son William about the size of his head. A few days later, Charlie stops by the butcher shop as it is busy and offers to help Harriet out, to which she agrees. The two start bonding as they work and after Harriet closes the shop, they go out to dinner. As they are walking along, some sailors comment about Harriet in Russian and Harriet responds back, revealing that she speaks Russian. As they continue talking and asking questions about each other, they end up at Harriet’s home. Harriet goes to make them some tea and Charlie comments on some of the items she has in her home, especially the collection of martial arts weapons and gear. Charlie and Harriet end up sleeping together and during the night, Harriet is dreaming and screams out the name Ralph and when Charlie questions her about it, she tells him that Ralph is a female friend. Charlie gets up to leave in the morning but seeing someone in the shower, decides to surprise Harriet only to discover that it is Harriet’s sister Rose. After apologizing, Rose reads a note that Harriet left for Charlie and questions Charlie about what he did with Harriet and tells him to be careful. The next day, Charlie is telling Tony how he feels about Harriet and asks him to make sure he doesn’t screw this one up, to which Tony says he will try. Charlie and Harriet continue to get closer and Charlie starts getting antsy but is still committed to having Harriet join him at his parents for dinner. As May shows Harriet some of Charlie’s baby pictures, Charlie uses the restroom and sees his mothers copy of the Weekly World News on the toilet. Realizing that the murder victims bare some semblance to some of what Harriet said about her past, Charlie starts getting suspicious that Harriet might be Mrs. X. Charlie tells Tony his suspicions but Tony feels like Charlie is just making up another excuse to break up with a girl. As Charlie continues to pester him to look into it, Tony relents and has a colleague check into the matter but she tells them that all of the supposed victims are simply reported missing, along with their wives. Charlie still gets suspicious and when he hears that the body of the third victim had been discovered, he decides to break up with Harriet. Charlie feels bad about the break up, as he really did love her. When Tony calls Charlie to tell him somebody turned themselves in and confessed to the murder, Charlie races over to Harriet’s home to apologize but she says that he blew his chance with her. Charlie doesn’t give up, having the club band perform outside her apartment while he recites a poem he wrote about her and Harriet forgives him and agrees to give him another chance. As the renew their relationship, Harriet receives a visitor and she introduces Charlie to her female friend Ralph, whom Charlie is excited to meet. At Charlie’s parents’ 30th wedding anniversary, Charlie asks Harriet to marry him and she says no at first but as Charlie’s father toasts Charlie, thanking him for the party and wishing him the same happiness that he and May have had, Harriet agrees to marry him. Charlie and Harriet get married and as Charlie talks with Tony, Tony says he is proud of Charlie and wonders how Charlie could have thought that Harriet was a killer, dismissing the fact that she sings “Only You”, which is what Mrs’ X’s first husband was famous for singing. Charlie and Harriet head out for their honeymoon but while they are gone, Tony’s captain tells him that his suspect has admitted to other murders and is simply someone that confesses for the attention. Tony sends Harriets picture to associates of the Mrs’ X victims and they all confirm that she was the wife to all of the victims. Tony tries contacting Charlie but when the phones are down due to a storm, he charters a flight to their hotel but the pilot falls asleep during the flight and Tony yells at him to land the plane. Tony is able to contact Charlie and warn him about Harriet before the storm knocks out the phones again and he attempts to commandeer a car to get there. Meanwhile, Charlie tries to avoid being alone with Harriet but the hotel staff constantly force them together before forcing them into the Honeymoon Suite. Inside, Harriet admits that she has been married before and Charlie tells her he knows, then grabs a nearby axe to fend her off. Harriet struggles with Charlie over the axe and he ends up locking her in the closet. As Charlie goes to try and phone for help, he sees a note on the desk telling Harriet he is leaving her, just as Rose tries to kill him. Rose yells at Charlie that he took her sister from her just like all the others but she will kill him and Harriet yells at Charlie to run. Charlie climbs out the window onto the roof but Rose follows after him and continues to try and kill him. Meanwhile, Tony shows up at the hotel and after breaking into the Honeymoon Suite, frees Harriet from the closet only to move to arrest her. Harriet tries to explain what is happening and as they head outside, they see Charlie on the roof and Tony races back upstairs to help him. Rose attacks Charlie but as he grabs the axe and struggles with it, Rose ends up going over the edge of the roof. Charlie manages to hold onto her long enough for Tony to grab her and Tony arrests her and takes her away while Charlie and Harriet embrace as they watch them drive away.
So I Married An Axe Murderer met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 56% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics all seemed to enjoy Myers comedy and how the movie seemed to spoof classic marital murder mysteries but felt that it lacked focus in it’s idea. While shooting scenes in the butcher shop, Nancy Travis was distracted by Mike Myers’ antics and accidentally cut off the tip of her middle finger on her left hand when chopping vegetables with a kitchen knife. Travis kept shouting “Cut! Cut! Cut!” which she meant literally, although the crew initially thought she was referring to the term for stopping the shooting of a scene. A local doctor sewed it back on.The movie was a dud at the box office, earning $11.5 million off of a $20 million budget.
This isn’t a great comedy movie but it was a really good indication of how funny Mike Myers really could be. The acting was ok, with Mike Myers really carrying the movie on his back, playing both Charlie and Stuart MacKenzie. Anthony LaPaglia (Tony), Brenda Fricker (May) and Alan Arkin (Tony’s Captain) were also good in their roles but Nancy Travis honestly seemed kind of bland and Amanda Plummer (Rose) wasn’t much better. The story honestly did feel like it was a spoof of something Hitchcock would have made. The whole woman that had been married multiple times, only for her husband to mysteriously vanish, and her latest fiance suspects her to be a killer really does sound like a Hitchcock movie. Adding the comedy to it did kind of hurt the mystery angle of the movie but did make the characters seem more human, or at least more realistic. The comedy was mostly Mike Myers being goofy, which he is really good at. So it’s a fun movie to watch but it isn’t going to be on any lists of the greatest comedies of all time.
Rating: 3 out of 5