Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Sledgehammer
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3.5 out of 5 stars
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on May 4, 2012
One of the very first shot on video horror films (though not the first that honor belongs to the bizarre 1982 film Boardinghouse) Sledgehammer was finally rescued from the dark realms of obscurity. The question is was it worth it? You better believe it!
Though Sledgehammer isn't gonna win any awards in... well any category the film does have it's merits. It's a 100 percent bona fide piece of entertainment. Playing out in the most charming way possible.
The plot (If you call it a plot) Centers on a group of 7 friends who spend a night in a farmhouse where ten years prior an abusive mother and her lover had been murdered by her son with a sledgehammer. Well after a seance that somehow brings the killers ghost to life the friends are picked off by the said ghost with a sledgehammer.
I told you this isn't Citizen Kane. But really who cares? I sure don't. For a film that was shot on video and filmed in 7 days it's easily one of the better low budget films of it's kind. The film never looks to rip off any other film of the time period nor does it go out of it's way to be really any good. But damn is it charming! All it seems to want to be is itself. A truly quirky little slasher film from a decade of the genre.
The acting is a mixed bag here but the Ted Prior who plays the lead is actually pretty decent and likable. He's the director's brother and was also a 1983 Playgirl centerfold.
Everyone else wings it but gets by with a solid C minus. Nothing to cry over or to celebrate about.
The gore effects are good and the film even manages a moment or two of sheer suspense. Talk about unexpected. And so was the film :)

Now the dvd presentation is glorious! And where's it at! I'm sure all you Amazon shoppers want to know what you're getting and trust me the dvd shines.
The dvd starts off off with an outstanding 80's retro quality. The FBI Warning and Coming Attractions are all presented in VHS quality! And not just regular VHS quality but that amazing old video store been used for 20 years kind of quality. I loved it!
(Don't worry all the extras and the film itself are in perfect dvd quality.)
There are not one but two commentaries for the film. One from the director himself! Talk about a treat huh? The other is a fan commentary from the good site Bleeding Skull. Both are terrific :)
The film also has 2 featurettes! And even an extra interview with the director for good measure. It's a pleasure to see such an obscure film getting such a warm welcome on dvd. Intervision should be proud.

So what are you waiting for? If you're a slasher film fanatic (if you're reading this then I can bet you are :) )this is a must buy! It's a really entertaining film with charm bigger then it's budget. And think, will this ever get a Blu Ray release? You know it won't. So there is no question where this belongs. In your slasher film library.
Enjoy all!
Hope this review helps :)
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on August 5, 2012
I'm one of those goofballs that has a ridiculous amount of B-movie DVDs for no apparent reason. I'm just constantly buying random films that nobody has ever heard of. There is something about a film that tries hard to be good but falls flat on its face. However, I'm not quite sure that is what happened with this film. I actually have no idea what they were going for with this one. If you are a B-movie collector, buy it because you certainly don't own anything like this one.
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on April 19, 2012
Sure this movie is an ultra low budget movie, shot in an apartment. There are flashes of brilliance here though. This movie starts out with a very basic slasher formula. Kids alone in a house. Partying, drinking, having sex etc. etc.

The great part about Sledgehammer is that it never gets too boring. If you have a sense of humor about some of the corny acting, slow motion etc. it's a fun movie to watch.

Without giving too much away, there are some really strange, unexplained, supernatural type things going on throughout the movie.

The film is corny, but the unfocused, white, washed out videocamera, look actually makes the movie more frightening. I'm not sure if it's because this lack of video quality, makes the film seem more voyeuristic or what. It has more of a realistic feel.

The DVD itself has 2 audio commentaries. One is a fan commentary with two guys from Bleedingskull.com. This commentary is pretty fun. They delve more into the world of Shot-on-Video Horror. As someone who has, seen a few SOV horror films (but knew nothing of the current fandom or business that surrounded them during the 80s), it's a bit of an intro to the world of SOV movies.

The other commentary is with director David A. Prior. Mr. Prior seems pretty embarrassed of the film, and continuously shakes off anything positive the moderator says.

There are also a few featurettes that are a few minutes long. Worth checking out, but don't offer as much info as either of the commentaries.

Overall, if you're a slasher fan, this is worth checking out. It's cheap, corny, and overall very entertaining. The fact that this disc has special features is incredible. Intervision Video did a great job with this release.
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on June 16, 2013
Intervideo is pretty darn cool. I really enjoy the old VHS style used in the packaging and intro, which really adds to the retro feel of the movie and sets the proper mood for going into these films.

Sledgehammer isn't too bad for what it is and i think anyone viewing this film needs to have some of that 80's open-mindedness to truly enjoy this diamond in the rough. I had to giggle at the director in his interview almost appearing bewildered at the idea anyone would like his movie, but if you listen to the commentary he loosens up and actually starts really talking to us properly about it which is nice.

The bonuses are a very welcome addition to the dvd and make it a solid purchase for any collector of 80's horror. Of course you may read negative reviews, but that is probably only due to the idea that the person did not buy it really knowing what they were getting into. VHS looks like VHS no matter if you slap it on a DVD or blu ray so complaining about picture quality is pointless. The acting can be pretty cheesy yes, but that is what most of us expect... it is a shot on VHS camcorder movie. Many people who tend to enjoy this film are either avid horror collectors or aspiring film makers, so watch a trailer first people. I happen to be a collector or horror who just so happens to be an "80's Kid", i was about 13 when this came out so VHS was my "thing".

The movie? Well, in typical fashion it is your average film about a group of friends heading out to party for the weekend and just happen to pick the wrong place to do it. A cursed house where brutal murders took place. What sets the film apart from most is that the killer is more of a mystery never explained and has a "mystical" quality. Also, the house itself has bleak white walls and long halls which give it a strange aura and some interesting tension and/or claustrophobic feel. The effects themselves were rather impressive for the time, though not heavily gory or extreme.

So in the end this movie has a limited audience who will love it for what it is, and a few haters who may warm up to it after a few viewings. It will not wow you with gore, acting, or even nudity but it does deliver as a good popcorn flick from the 80's.
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on January 7, 2015
This shot-on-video disaster (actually pre-dating BLOOD CULT by a full year) is only good if you want to see how director David A. Prior and his actor/brother Ted Prior got their start. It's auspicious to say the least. A bunch of partying boozehounds go to a house where a boy killed his mother years before with a sledgehammer (How can a little boy swing a sledgehammer?). The boy is now grown up (and possibly a ghost as he disappears and reappears at will) and begins to dispatch the group one by one. Badly done on all counts, including terrible acting, poor videography, outright bad effects (by an outfit called Blood & Guts) and a general sense that you've seen this type of film a thousand times before. Made for $40,000 and it looks it. David Prior has directed a string of horror and action films, the best probably being THE LOST PLATOON (1989), a mixture of vampire and war genres. SLEDGEHAMMER also stars Linda McGill, John Eastman, Jeanine Scheer, Tim Aguilar and Doug Matlef as the killer. This puppy is long OOP and was released on VHS on the World Video Pictures label. Believe it or not, this atrocious film got a legitimate DVD release from InterVision Picture Corp., an offshoot label of Severin Films (which they must consider their own dirty little secret, since no mention of Severin is made on any of their advertising materials and early press materials made mention of the life and death of InterVision owner "Larry Gold", who never existed in real life, causing a mini-controversy to people with no sense of humor). Not Rated
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on December 30, 2014
I wouldn't call this a classic or even a cult film… it is something so obscure and weird that one truly needs to have no idea what they are getting into! If you enjoy underground films and don't care about special effects than give this a chance :D
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on April 2, 2016
This shot-on-plain-video early 80s flick was one of the first of its kind and thus deserves some attention from afficionados of SOV horror, as a historical and sociological piece. As a movie it gets about two and a half stars for effort and the interest factor of watching aspiring filmmakers experiment with a camcorder. They do manage to create what could have been a specifically video eerieness in general. But other than that the movie is too disjointed and slow to make a great impression, and the action/violence is by no means shocking enough to command much attention. Also, they apparently turned the masked killer into some sort of ghost because they didn't know how else to have him hiding inside the house, which is almost the only set in the movie! Real estate and building students will certainly get a good tour of the place, and if a promotional vid for its sale was what I was watching, I would certainly have paid rapt attention. Unfortunately, I expected there to be a horror movie attached to the proceedings! Still, SOV horror fans might want to give this flick a try as an "old movie" rarely heard of till recent years. I recall seeing it on video store shelves in the 80s and never quite getting to it, finding the box art cool, but wondering was this yet another poorly dubbed Italian movie in disguise! I also wondered why it didn't have better word-of-mouth among horrorheads if it was as effective as its packaging. After finally seeing it I certainly got my answer to that, but am still glad, from a completist's point of view, that I did. This is not to be confused with the recent "Sledge," which is nothing but a lame comedy thrown carelessly together to rip off horror fans.
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on March 31, 2014
I thought I'd like this film since I enjoy low budget horror films . It was a complete bore from the beginning with amateurish acting and poor picture quality . It look like this film was shot with a camcorder and nothing worth commenting on that is good . If you like really bad b- movie flicks then watch this , otherwise , pass it up .
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on June 10, 2011
It's impossible to judge whether the transfer of this movie to DVD or the film itself (shot on tape) is the reason it looks so ragged and raw, like watching someone's home movie. By the director's own admission, he didn't really know what he was doing but figured `learn as you go' was the best way to create a movie. I won't dispute the value of on the job training or the wisdom of hiring your friends as actors without first testing their abilities (or lack thereof). I'll just say that watching this movie was interesting. As slasher films go, it used most of the basic elements: strand a group of people in a strange isolated house then start killing them hither, thither, and yon. That the house was decidedly bigger on the inside than the outside wasn't the weirdest aspect of this movie. The killer not only changes size at will, he appears and disappears from room to room (no reason given). Trying to get away from someone who can go anywhere is a self-defeating concept. Why run or try to hide?
The problems with this movie are plentiful. The camera man (or director) was entirely too fond of stationary shots that seemed to last forever. Editing was not a high priority. This made the movie visually static most of the time. Establishing shots are one thing, but when it seems like the movie has suddenly turned into a postcard, it's a whole other matter. The characters were unpleasant, what are the odds of 3 bickering couples with the same issues getting together for a getaway and bringing a tag-a-long loner for company? There's a forced and phony food fight, a lot of squabbling, some impromptu sex, and, of course, a séance that doesn't take place (I don't know how they managed to do that but they did). Thank goodness the surviving boyfriend had the presence of mind to remove his shirt before doing battle with the masked ghost killer! I know, it didn't make any sense to me either but there it is; those are the highlights of this tragically inept movie. And no, it's not a keeper.
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on July 30, 2014
very good
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