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DVD released by InterVision Picture Corp
|Directed by||David A. Prior|
|Produced by||Nicolas T. Kimaz|
|Written by||David A. Prior|
|Starring||Ted Prior |
|Music by||Ted Prior |
Philip G. Slate
|Edited by||Ralph Cutter|
I & I Productions
|Distributed by||World Video Pictures, Inc.|
Sledgehammer is a 1983 slasher film written and directed by David A. Prior. The film tells the story of a young boy who murdered his mother and her lover with a sledgehammer. Ten years after the murder and the child's mysterious disappearance, a group of teens stay in the house for a weekend when they are terrorized by the ghost of the little boy.
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 an unknown killer appears and murders them with a sledgehammer. The bodies were found by the authorities, with the exception of the boy, being missing and 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 séance to try and summon the spirits of the couple that died in the house, so they can learn who killed them. The séance 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 stabbed 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 defeat it with its own sledgehammer. As the sun rises, Joni and Chuck flee from the house, unbeknownst that the killer's young form is glaring at them from the house's top window.
- Ted Prior as Chuck
- Linda McGill as Joni
- John Eastman as John
- Jeanine 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
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". DVD Verdict described it as "innocently and consistently incompetent that it is hard not love". Oh, the Horror! (which gave Sledgehammer the tag "Buy it!") said, "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".
- Jane, Ian (May 16, 2011). "Sledgehammer". DVD Talk. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
- Oden, Ike (May 13, 2011). "Sledgehammer". DVD Verdict. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
- Gallman, Brett (May 4, 2011). "Sledgehammer (1983)". Oh, the Horror!. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
- Kerswell, Justin (February 24, 2008). "Sledgehammer". Hysteria Lives!. Retrieved May 5, 2013.