Actor Bill Paxton made his directorial debut with Frailty. The bulk of the story is told through flashbacks, as a mysterious man (Matthew McConaughey) tells a terrible tale to an FBI agent (Powers Boothe) investigating the "God's Hand" serial killer case. The man grew up in a small town in Texas, where he and his brother lived a bucolic life with their kindhearted widower father (Paxton). One night, the father awakens the two boys, Fenton (Matthew O'Leary) and Adam (Jeremy Sumpter), and tells them he's had a vision, and God has chosen him and his sons to help Him slay demons who walk the earth in human form. He tells the boys they can never tell anyone about this task. Before long, he comes home from work with a list of names that he claims an angel has given to him. He then begins abducting people, bringing them home, one by one, and having the boys watch while he lays his hands on them. After having proven, to his mind, that they are demons and not human, he chops them up with an axe while the boys look on.
In many ways a bridge between the late-'50s generation of folksingers like Dave Van Ronk and the early-'60s version posed by innovative songwriters like Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton managed to keep his integrity intact through it all, and if he didn’t exactly break new ground anywhere, he has always been a careful and thoughtful songwriter. This set brings together five of the six LPs Paxton recorded and released with Elektra Records between 1964 and 1972 (the sixth, New Songs Old Friends, released in 1972, was a retrospective live set), 1964’s Ramblin’ Boy, 1966’s Outward Bound, 1968’s Morning Again, 1969’s The Things I Notice Now, and 1970’s Tom Paxton 6. The end result is an almost complete collection from Paxton's peak middle years, the years when he wrote and recorded most of the songs on which his legacy rests.