Sunday, January 1, 2012

Home Improvement, SOV style: Sledgehammer (1983)

Sledgehammer (1983)
starring: Ted Prior, Linda McGill and John Eastman

It's hard to keep track on movies like this considering my condition in this country, my dear oh beloved country who refuse to import foreign films outside Lionsgate, Universal, Disney and the rest of the big name companies. Much more is it harder to look for a title like this: not only is this a Shot on Video horror flick in the 80s, but it's also as rare as a dick on a cactus.

Moving back, thanks to anonymous tipper, I managed to at least watch a online streaming of this film, and thank God it wasn't much of a waste of time. Sledgehammer starts with the standard opening; child gets abused and locked in a closet by his sex-eager mum so he wouldn't other her and her lover in a dick sucking night of fun. They got about a minute or two before the boy escapes captivity and brains his mum and lover with, no-brainer (pun intended), a sledgehammer.

Ten years later, a group of seven teenagers with perms bigger than the next, crashes in the same house where the opening murders were committed for a night of partying, sex and an obvious foodfight filler. Then cue seance (pronounced as "Seens" by one dumbfart...haw haw!), some pranks AKA false kill, and then comes in one hulking maniac in a plastic mask, checkered blue shirt and wielding a mean sledgehammer. One by one, he thins down the momentary occupants of his home, as swift and as heavily edited into slow-mo as possible.

All the while, the cheese triumphs once again with a love story between the two main characters, whose engagement is starting to dwindle as the husband-to-be is having doubts on the idea of tying the knot and giving up the parteh forevah. Cue the cheesiest make-up scene ever (beer can balancing on the head...yes...they made up after the dude balance a beer can...on his head...), and an uber slow-mo (again) walk scene with added music to match. Is all good until they came to face facts that a phantom construction worker wannabe is smashing their friends to a bloody pulp, which the only thing that makes sense here is that he appears to be immortal and can revert back to his ten year old self for some odd reason.

Sledgehammer is everything a low-rent, low-budget shlock is, only does a better job on entertaining us compared to the rest. Excessive gore, ultra-cheese, synthesizer music, echoing sounds, rusted script, stale looking premise, uneven lighting, obvious edits, pacing problems, it's sin after sin after sin of low-brow home-made horror flicks cliches. But thankfully, it's not an entire waste of time, even if it does contain more than one slow-mo sense...in fact I guess half of the onscreen murders were committed in slow-mo for some reason...I put my money on filler, since the food fight is pretty much a filler itself, I'm guessing they needed more time to make it a full feature.

While it tries no effort hiding the minimal budget, it does make it up with some creative use of its low-budget, even if it does end up being unintentionally (?) funny. Taking cues to forerunners like Halloween and Friday the 13th, Sledgehammer do away every slasher film convention and did it with cheese enough to make it a worthwhile, entertaining piece for its kin. What more is its fairly cool looking slasher, whose simplistic get-up got it working, and hulkish strength matches his weapon of choice. It wasn't much of a mystery that he's supernatural, able to teleport from place to place, withstand fatal blows and even shifts back into his ten year old form, he's pretty intimidating as he can easily corner you.

The climax had the two lovers facing off the masked killer, which as predictable as it gets to a seasoned watcher, is still as entertaining as it dwindle down into a mano-a-monster showdown between a topless hero and a pulped up killer.

Sledgehammer, rarity and all, is definitely worth finding for all slasher purist. Beneath it's badly lit, bad audio, mediocre story and cheesy acting is a small budgeted slasher film at its finest. I dare you to watch it and not to laugh at that scene where our lead male got slapped by a kid...I dare ya!

1 male brained with sledgehammer
1 female bashed to death with sledgehammer
1 male knife through the neck
1 female strangled to death
1 male chest smashed with sledgehammer
1 male knifed on the back
1 female knifed to death
total: 7

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