Friday, July 7, 2017

Sledgehammer (1983)

aka Sledge Hammer

How bad is it? Widely regarded as one of the worst 1980's horror films.
Should you see it? Yes, but you'll hate me for the recommendation.

David A. Prior is all over this blog for directing bad action films, generally starring his brother Ted. This was his first film, a bad horror film, starring his brother Ted. It's yet another contender for the first horror film shot on video to be released; it appears to have used the built-in light and microphone - both inadequate - though a boom mic shadow is visible in one shot. It also was either edited with a camcorder package or a Commodore computer, which explains the clunky credits and bad effects, as well as the "arty" cinematography - there are lots of freeze frames, slow-motion and slow fades, all of which appear to have been done to pad the film's running time. And wow, but the film's padded; there's a food fight in one static shot that I swear takes 10 minutes! The story starts with a child locked in a closet as his parents have sex and get bludgeoned with the title tool; but is the child a witness or the killer? Ten years later, to the day of course, a bunch of 30-somethings pretending to be college students arrive and the killings start again. There's no nudity, surprisingly. The death of the killer makes no sense, but then the plot's not terribly strong on many points.

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