Also known as: Sledge Hammer (alternative spelling)
Release Date: 1983
Directed by: David A. Prior
Written by: David A. Prior
Music by: Ted Prior, Marc Adams, Philip G. Slate
Cast: Ted Prior, Tim Aguilar, Linda McGill, Sandy Brooke, John Eastman, Janine Scheer, Stephen Wright
I & I Productions, World Video Pictures, 87 Minutes
Sledgehammer came to me via Joe Bob Briggs’ show The Last Drive-In. It was paired with arguably the worst film ever made, Things.
Since this movie was shown first, it did leave a bad taste in my mouth but seeing Things directly after Sledgehammer, made me appreciate Sledgehammer for not being a steaming pile of crap covered in ghost pepper sauce and forced down my gullet.
This was actually David A. Prior’s directorial debut and it’s also the first slasher film shot on video, as opposed to traditional film.
I’ve reviewed some of Prior’s other films but this one doesn’t really live up to his other work that I’ve seen, which are also bad pictures. But he had to start somewhere and learn the ropes before making cult classics like Deadly Prey and The Final Sanction.
The real problem with this movie was the cast. Prior told them to always be over-the-top and always having a blast in every scene and man, they really pushed it to an ungodly level of cringe. Nearly everyone has a can of Budweiser in their hand in just about every scene.
Don’t even get me started on the endless food fight sequence.
The plot is bonkers, as it’s about a slasher that kills with a sledgehammer, as opposed to a slashing weapon. He also appears out of thin air and is a large man with a creepy mask. However, we discover by the end that the big killer is actually the ghost of a little boy.
In the end, this is a harmless, stupid film that helped pave the way for one of the greatest schlock directors of his generation. Although, I can’t really recommend this as anything more than a cinematic curiosity.
Pairs well with: other really, really bad ’80s movies filmed on video. Also, other films by David A. Prior.