So I Married an Axe Murderer has its panties in a wad about a serial killer–and no, it’s not the Zodiac Killer. Apparently, San Francisco of the early ’90s is where the whack jobs come to play: the staunch Scotsman, the beat poet, the butcher who sells haggis, and ah yes, the serial killer who axes her honeymoon hubbies. Sounds about right.
The film revolves around the concept that San Franciscans are funny, as in funny-weird and thus funny-ha-ha. But maybe that has more to do with Mike Myers’ involvement than any conscious social critique. Myers stars as Charlie the paranoid and commitment-phobic poet and also appears as Charlie’s ardently Scottish father, Stuart. It’s not clear whether being Scottish makes you crazy or living in San Francisco does (or a combination of both, more likely), but it’s crystal that Charlie and fam are the butt of the joke.
Stuart is so crazy he’s even got a conspiracy theory:
it’s a well known fact, sonny Jim, that there’s a secret society of the
five wealthiest people in the world, known as The Pentavirate, who run
everything in the world, including the newspapers, and meet
tri-annually at a secret country mansion in Colorado, known as The
So who’s in this Pentavirate?
Queen, the Vatican, the Gettys, the Rothschilds, and Colonel Sanders
before he went tits up. Oh, I hated the Colonel with is wee beady
eyes, and that smug look on his face. “Oh, you’re gonna buy my chicken!
Dad, how can you hate “The Colonel”?
Because he puts an addictive chemical in his chicken that makes ya crave it fortnightly, smartass!
And you know, he’s not that far off. Wouldn’t you say that many liberal, Alice-Waters-worshiping San Franciscans simultaneously love and hate KFC for its highly processed sodium flavor? Or pick any other fast food chain: Mickey D’s, Taco Bell, Panda Express, J-Box, Carl’s Jr. All horrible, and all horribly delicious.
Even May, Charlie’s mom, considers Weekly World News to be The Paper. And this was before all that drama over at the Chronicle.
It’s supposed to be a joke–and it is– until we realize that the fakey newspaper has a headline that is all too familiar for the 21st century. “Pregnant Man Gives Birth!,” it screams. Thomas Beatie, hello! That just proves that we’re 15 years ahead of everyone else, right?
There is one scene in Axe Murderer that is both borderline crazy and defiantly not San Franciscan: Charlie plays with meat. No, let’s rephrase that. Charlie mauls meat. In a montage meant to explain how Charlie manages to woo butcher Harriet, he jumps behind her meat counter (take that as you wish) and handles the meat. Watch as they fall in love, vegans and vegetarians! Red meat will conquer all. Charlie greets hanging carcasses, holds up red guts to his face, and pummels and massages a cut of beef. In real life, we’re in a wheatgrass and granola town, and chances are many of you are not salivating right now. Sorry, meat montage. San Francisco isn’t that crazy.
Starring San Francisco is Appeal culture reporter, Christine
Borden’s, take on the city’s cinematic past to illuminate today. Have a
locally-set film you’d like to see featured? Tell her at firstname.lastname@example.org.