Sledgehammer


Sledgehammer Information

Sledgehammer is a 1983 horror film written and directed by David A. Prior.

Plot

In a remote house, an abusive mother locks her young son in a closet, then goes into another room to meet the man she is cheating on her husband with. The man and woman intend to abandon their respective spouses, but their plans are cut short when the boy escapes the closet, and murders them with a sledgehammer. The bodies of the adulterers are found by the authorities, but the boy is not, and he is presumed dead.

Ten years later, seven friends acquire the house to party in, and travel to it in a van, which they leave with a mechanic. When night falls, Chuck convinces the others to participate in sťance to try and summon the spirits of the couple that died in the house, so they can learn who killed them. The sťance is just a means for Chuck and Joey to prank their friends, but it succeeds in bringing forth the ghost of the missing boy, which appears as a towering man in a smiling translucent mask. The spirit hides Joey's body after stabbing him in the neck, and the next day it attacks Jimmy and Carol while they are having sex, bludgeoning the former with a sledgehammer, and snapping the latter's neck.

Discovering the fates of their friends, the remaining four teenagers decide to hold up in the house until morning, at which point they will try to reach the nearest town. When the others fall asleep, John grabs a knife and goes off in search of the killer, and finds the boy's skull in a closet, a newspaper mentioning his disappearance, and Carol and Jimmy's bodies seated at a table, near Satanic imagery painted with blood. John is confronted by the ghost, and tries to fight it off, but is knifed in the back. The phantom then captures Mary, and is found (as the boy) stabbing her to death by Chuck and Joni. The spirit assumes its adult form, wounds Chuck, and goes after Joni.

Joni fends off the ghost long enough for Chuck to recover, and help her "kill" it with its own sledgehammer. As the sun rises, Joni and Chuck flee from the house, not noticing the killer's young form glaring at them from one of the windows.

Cast

  • Ted Prior as Chuck
  • Linda McGill as Joni
  • John Eastman as John
  • Janine Scheer as Mary
  • Tim Aguilar as Jimmy
  • Sandy Brooke as Carol
  • Stephen Wright as Joey
  • Michael Shanahan as Lover
  • Mary Mendez as Mother
  • Justin Greer as The Boy
  • Doug Matley as The Killer
  • Ray Lawrence as The Driver

Reception

DVD Talk, which awarded a one and a half out of five, wrote "A movie that could only have been made in the eighties, Sledgehammer is shot on video crap of the highest caliber, a veritable disasterpiece of a movie that anyone curious as to how low cult movies can go really ought to see for themselves. Horrible in every sense of the word and endlessly entertaining for all the wrong reasons". The film was described as "innocently and consistently incompetent that it is hard not love" by DVD Verdict, which also stated "In terms of cinematic quality, Sledgehammer has nothing going for it. From the fuzzy VHS stock it's shot on to the porn-worthy performances of the cast, Sledgehammer represents an endurance test of bad movie making. No amount of drugs or alcohol or snarkiness will save you from the film. It extends a firm grasp on your brain like a shot-on-video migraine. You laugh through all 87 minutes just to keep from losing your mind" and "That said, Sledgehammer is very endearing, on the whole, and deserves the attention of bad movie fans the world over".

Oh, the Horror! (which gave Sledgehammer the tag "Buy it!") said "This one obviously approaches with the subtlety of a sledgehammer and is an unabashed body count flick with most of that genre's calling cards. That already requires a certain sort of appreciation, but the SOV nature will appeal to an even more marginal crowd. It's an odd low-budget aesthetic if you're not used to it--the picture is hazy, washed out, and resembles a daytime soap most of the time. It's accompanied by one of those typical, droning 80s scores where it sounds like a guy pounded on a few keys on a Casio and called it a day. Most will call this crap, but others will call it charming. If you're in the latter category, you will find a lot to like, as stuff like this carries a lot of nostalgic currency. And while that doesn't cover up its obvious flaws (poor acting and a non-existent plot) the feeling it exudes is distinctive". Hysteria Lives! gave Sledgehammer a two and a half out of five, opening its review with "whilst this early shot-on-video oddity certainly isn't going to win any awards it is cheesy (and even sometimes a little creepy) enough fun to keep most fans of the subgenre entertained".




This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sledgehammer_%28film%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.
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