Lisa, Lisa (1974)

USA, 1977
63m (Australia), 66m 49s (UK), 72m (Norway), 78m (USA)
mono, English

An American horror film directed by by Frederick R. Friedel. It was one of the many films to join the “” list in the UK.

Plot Summary

Three armed thugs, Lomax, Steele and Billy, flee a supermarket robbery and hide out at a remote farmhouse inhabited by 13 year old Lisa and her paralysed grandfather. The inevitable sexual assault on the angelic Lisa results in equally inevitable and bloody retribution being meted out by the vengeful teen.


Directed by: Frederick R. Friedel
© [not given on screen]
Boxoffice International Pictures, Inc/A Harry Novak presentation (opening logos) Frederick Productions presents
Executive Producer: Irwin Friedlander
Produced by: J.G. Patterson Jr
Production Manager: Philip Smoot
Written by: Frederick R. Friedel
Script Consultant: Alan J. Pesin
Script Girl: Jaqueline Pyle
Director of Photography: Austin McKinney
Editors: Frederick R. Friedel, J.G. Patterson Jr
Original Score by: George Newman Shaw, John Willhelm
Soundman: George Newman Shaw
Assistant Soundman: Carl Fuerstman
Recording Studio Engineer: Hank Poole Jr
Makeup: Worth Keeter
Technical Assistants: Scott Smith, Richard W. Helms, Charles Rickard, Harry H. Waters, Lenore Fuerstman
Assistant to the Producer: Nita S. Patterson
Filmed in cooperation with: Empire Studios, Charlotte, North Carolina
Special Acknowledgment and Appreciation: Mrs Clara Hood, Matthew, NC; Mr and Mrs Richard Wolfe, Fort Mill, SC; Queens College, Charlotte, NC; Dr Mollie Abernathy, Charlotte, NC, S&H Motors Inc, Charlotte, NC; Munford Majik Mart, Charlotte, NC; The White House Inn, Charlotte, NC; Radio Shack #2304, Charlotte, NC

Jack Canon (Steele)
Ray Green (Lomax)
Frederick R. Friedel (Billy)
Leslie Lee (Lisa)
Frank Jones (Aubrey)
Douglas Powers (grandfather)
Carol Miller (storewoman)
Hart Smith (detective)
George J. Monaghan (Harold)
Scott Smitt (policeman)
Jeff Mackay, David Hayman, Don Cummins, Jaqueline Pyle, Lynne Bradley, Richie Smith (radio and television shows)
George Newman Shaw
Ronald Watterson
Beverly Watterson
Graddie Lane
Suzy Bertoni

Alternative Titles

Die Axt – West German title
California Axe Massacre – UK title
California Axe Murders
Lisa, Lisa


Monthly Film Bulletin vol.49 no.584 (September 1982) pp.196-197
The arbitrariness of the grey and gritty images is matched by a soundtrack on which a curious synthesizer score runs in tandem with all other sound for most of the film. Characterisation is rudimentary: the
sadistic killer (Steele) with his sunglasses; the hardened old criminal (Lomax) with his cigar; and the young innocent with his beard (Billy, played by director Frederick R. Friedel), looking more like an inmate of some Berkeley doctoral programme than a hood. […] Perhaps the strangest aspect of the production is the sense that it is striving to become Art (Bergman?). The absently smiling girl, first seen beheading a chicken in the yard; the crippled grandfather; above all the ‘nihilism' of the ending – all suggest that the film was made by misguided novices rather than by a professional exploitation team. – from a review by Chris Auty

Variety 30 March 1983 p.133
[A] fascinating but totally uncommercial film noir exercise in the horror genre, recently reissued to take advantage of public's appetite for gore-shockers. Recalling the B-films of old in its one-hour (plus elongated credits) running time, picture will be of more interest to film students than exploitation film fans. Filmmaker Frederick R. Friedel, working on apparently a student film budget, emphasizes detail, closeshots and inserts, with punchy, accelerating editing to maintain tension in the absence of a strong narrative. […] Abstracting his minimal material, Friedel evidences a good camera eye here. A piano, ondioline-style electronic keyboard and percussion score help to sustain the hypnotic mood, but for general audiences, lack of solid story values combined with amateur acting are bound to be disappointing. – from a review by Lor


Cinefantastique vol.13/14 no.6/1 (1983) p.107 – review (by J.P. Harris)
Halls of Horror vol.2 no.6 p.23 – note
Monthly Film Bulletin vol.49 no.584 (September 1982) pp.196-197 – credits, synopsis, review (by Chris Auty)
Screen International no.352 (17 July 1982) p.24 – credits, review
Variety 30 March 1983 p.133 – credits, review (by Lor)
Video Watchdog no.183 (May/June 2016) pp.55-56 – illustrated review

The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.319-320
The Films of the Eighties by Robert A.Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.27 – credits, synopsis
Hoffman's Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.31 – credits, review
Horror and Science Fiction Films III by Donald C. Willis p.19
Regional Horror Films, 1958-1990 by Brian Albright p.273-274
Shock Xpress Volume 2 pp.103-105 – review
Seduction of the Gullible, The (2nd edition) p.15 – credits, synopsis, review