Thursday, February 4, 2016

"Sledgehammer" (1984) d/ David A. Prior

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As somebody who experienced the eighties firsthand, let me state that tonight's review, a no budget shot-on-video slasher movie called Sledgehammer, is a beautifully inept example of everything that was right and wrong with that decade. The entire cast is comprised of meatheads with Chachi haircuts and zero acting ability or screen presence, who wouldn't look out of place in a Chams De Baron clothing commercial getting hugged on by some Brooke Shields-looking hooker. I'd be willing to wager that the director, one David A. Prior, likes slow motion a lot. He's also pretty fond of lingering on the exact same establishing shot of a house that he uses over and over again throughout this thing. This golden turd that must have been whipped up over a weekend full of bad decisions. Some people might have gotten pissed while choosing this one off the shelves at the local video store back then, but I wouldn't have been one of those cats by a long shot. Had it been born out of my own personal Sony Betamovie camcorder, I would have recorded over the takes with kung fu movies and porn, granted, but it's also exactly the movie that my friends and I would have had a blast tearing the shit out of and laughing our balls off at. So, let's finally have at it...

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"Shirts are for fags.", says Chuck (Ted Prior).
A horny Puerto Rican in a silk nightie locks her hysterical son in a closet, so she can slink downstairs for some strange dick, only someone with a sledgehammer serves cock blocking, smashed skull death before it can progress past awkward shoulder rubbing and flubbed dialog. Fast forward to the present day, where a gaggle of Chachullets and their C grade steady big haired trim have decided to party down in the very house where the dome flattening occurred years ago. Names aren't important here, there's a blond muscle prep who goes for romantic shirtless slo-mo strolls with his squeeze, romantically balancing an open beer on the top of her head, along the way. There's also a guy who looks like the retarded steroid-blasted variant of Louis CK who stuffs food in his mouth and spits chewed food on the blonde dude's girlfriend's head. The blonde dude consoles his girlfriend by squirting mustard on her head. There's also a guy who looks like the result of Geraldo Rivera and Tony Orlando, sans Dawn, dumped into a giant blender. The mustard incident kicks off a gross food fight that lasts a long time, and a subsequent food fight clean up scene that's even longer. The blonde guy plays a melody on his acoustic guitar on the porch, to offset how abusive he is to his girlfriend the rest of the time, I guess.

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"And then the Swamp Witch and the Zombie chased the kids around and Scooby and Shaggy put on disguises and made a giant sandwich..."
Once they're seemingly finished drinking cheap beer from the can and shouting stupid things at each other (and over each other), it's seance time, seance being a word that Muscle Louie comically cannot pronounce correctly. Ha ha. An unconvincing campfire story follows, along with a replay of the intro murders, and then more murders finally start happening, when a flannel-wearing goon in an expressionless clear mask materializes on the steps and skewers one of the lads through the neck, dragging him off. Geraldo, reluctant to bed his companion to this point, caves in and takes her upstairs for some awkwardly blatant non-sex. Sledge makes the scene and bashes them both in, leading Muscle Louie to issue a slo-mo beatdown to the killer. The bodies of Geraldo and his girl are laid out in an underfurnished white room (they pretty much all are) with a sloppy blood pentagram drawn on the corner of a wall. The killer pops up, courtesy of a video dissolve effect. He's the goon. He's the kid from the intro. He's the goon again. Louie takes a knife to the back. Blonde guy fights the goon, and his shirt disappears during the scrap. Mustard Head is forced to fend off the goon alone, and electrocutes him with a charged doorknob. Blonde guy reappears and clobbers him with a sledgehammer for good measure. As the couple is walking out of the house, the goon is watching from an upstairs window. Joke credits follow (I.C. Knun, Mike Hunt, Jac Meough, Nick Gnoes, etc.).

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I had the same expression watching this.
I should probably mention that the director didn't stop here, going on to helm thirty-four movies, including gems like 1987's Killer Workout, Deadly Prey (1987), Future Force (1989), Future Zone (1990), and Invasion Force (1990). It's also worth mentioning that the lead actor here, Ted Prior, is his brother, and has appeared in things like Nudes in Limbo (1983), Surf Nazis Must Die (1987) and Karate Warrior 2 (1988). Needless to say, this one is a one Wopper all the way, but most definitely one of those legendarily rotten one Woppers that you're bound to get a massive kick out of, under the proper circumstances. If you revel in the rotten, this one's for you.

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"You'll be tiptoeing through traction if you don't give me back my fucking ukelele!", demands Tiny Tim.
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