Explore the past and present of the rough-and-tumble logging industry in the first ever nonfiction series about the treacherous life of Pacific Northwest timber cutters, AX MEN.
For more than a hundred years, larger-than-life characters, many of whom are members of logging families that go back to the time when the West was being settled, have spent their days among towering trees and powerful machines and their nights in outposts far from the comforts of civilization. Snapped cables, runaway logs and treacherous machinery are among the many dangers that threaten their lives and safety today. Follow four logging crews through a season in the remote forests of northwest Oregon and see how, plagued by mechanical failures, relentless weather and violent and unpredictable terrain, these men risk their lives every day in a constant struggle of man versus nature.
DISC 1: Man vs. Mountain / Risk and Reward / Storm Season Strikes / The Big Hit
DISC 2: Market Meltdown / Reversal of Fortune / The Close Call / Loggers Under Fire
DISC 3: A Logger s Thanksgiving / Black Friday / Storm of the Century
DISC 4: The Toughest Season / Picking Up The Pieces / The Final Haul
If you've ever wanted to know the difference between a yarder and a yoader, Ax Men - The Complete Season One is for you! This 14-episode History Channel series follows the struggles of four logging companies working in the depths of the Oregon forests. The camera lovingly films gigantic machines lifting and yanking at enormous trees. The loggers themselves are full of salty language and roughneck machismo as they topple trees (the hearty voiceover declares that one logger "handles a chainsaw like a pool cue"). Unfortunately, the show drowns in hype. Trees aren't lumber, they're "green gold." Every setback could destroy the livelihood of everyone involved. No one would deny that logging is dangerous labor, but Ax Men hammers at this relentlessly, proclaiming every possible accident a severe threat to life and limb. After the tenth or 20th or 50th reminder, you suspect the producers are ghoulishly eager for someone to be maimed or mangled. It's too bad, because if the show had focused on the men and actually delved into their lives--instead of just making them look like one-dimensional jerks or heroes--their trials with storms, equipment failure, and human error could have become compelling. Instead, Ax Men shows the same footage of trees falling over and over (or maybe each shot is different; who can tell? How many different ways can a tree fall?), trying to squeeze a visual spectacle out of it. It's an insult to everyone involved. --Bret Fetzer
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