Sledgehammer (1983)

Sledgehammer (1983)

Sledgehammer (1983) Clip


Title: Sledgehammer

Release Date: 1983

Budget: $40,000

Rated: NR

Tagline: "Flesh tears, Bones shatter, the nightmare has begn."

Sledgehammer (1983) is a homemade american slasher movie. Shot-on-homevideo (AKA Shot-on-Shideo) about a young murderous boy who kills his parents at the age of 7, ten years later teens fall prey to the same sledhammer killer after renting out the house for a wild party weekend.


A young boy murders his mother and her lover with a sledgehammer. Ten years later, a wave of teenage murders plagues the same area.


"In 1973, a young boy murders his mother & her lover with a sledgehammer. 10 years later, some college kids rent the place for the weekend & fall prey to the maniac who does them in with a knife & as the title clearly states, a sledgehammer, with the remaining people trying to figure out a way to stop him. Having read a negative review for this movie in an old film review text, I was interested in seeing SLEDGEHAMMER, the way the plot was brought around in the review sounded creepy & interesting, I figured the film wouldn't be a masterpiece, but would be at least must be a slice of good old 80's horror movie cheese & boy was I ever wrong! After securing a VHS copy of the film (as far as I know, I don't think this film has a DVD release yet & hopefully will stay that way!) I couldn't believe how boring this movie was! The film was shot on one of those old VHS camcorders, with the usual title cards that you could make on them at the time as film credits. The director was David A Prior who unlike a lot of 1980's slasher directors, who made one or two films before disappearing, actually continues to work in the B movie field (probably his most memorable film is MUTANT SPECIES with WILFORD BRIMLEY & DENISE CROSBY) however after seeing this movie you wonder how David ever got work after this at all! Now granted, David's direction here was pretty decent for the most part & despite it being shot on video, the film is well lit (some scenes in the film, you can see a purplish tinge to the picture) than most shot on video efforts, so the look of the film isn't to bad. But his pacing stinks, nearly the whole movie up until the last half hour is sheer padding with unnecessary long shots of the cabin, outside during the day & night (which must run at least a good two or three minutes each, with nothing happening), countless shots of every room & hall in the house & scenes where people have a food fight, drink, sit & talk & one scene has a couple walking in the field in slow motion with really corny music for the scene playing (it must have ran a good five minutes!) & scenes that could have been suspenseful or scary (most notably the séance scene) is telegraphed in advance when one of the guys gives his buddies the go ahead to go hide in a room & play scary music & voices on a tape recorder, to creep the friends out downstairs, who think the voices are real. But perhaps the biggest mystery of all is the killer, who is now a ghost carrying a sledgehammer & (are you ready for this?) can disappear along with his weapon! in fact he can also change himself into a little kid again & even make his dead mother & her dead lover re-appear (still dead of course) at a table! that & even the living can disappear & re-appear into the next room! But the film never answers the question of, how did the killer die? it's never mentioned in the film. Did someone kill him? did he die of starvation? did he kill himself & come back as a ghost? The hero of the film who eventually causes the ghost to bleed! & eventually manages to kill the ghost, with his own sledgehammer (yeah I know, I never knew you could kill a ghost or make them bleed either)! is a muscular guy who has trouble keeping his shirt on. No suspense, no scares & fake gore, make this one of the worst horror films to emerge from the 80's. A deservedly forgotten horror item, with the usual clichéd characters who do stupid things like deciding to sleep out in the living room together instead of running out of the house to get the cops etc after they see their friends murdered. The audio is also muffled & the acting & dialogue is some of the worst you'll ever hear (in one scene a couple who get murdered with a sledgehammer don't show any shock or surprise as they see the killer about ready to do them in!). Even if you are a 1980's horror movie junkie, avoid this film at all costs. I can't imagine anyone (not even bad B movie fans) giving a film like this a good review. Saved from my zero rating due to the professional lightning set ups & direction for such a low budget, shot on video film. But question, on IMDb it says the budget for this film was $40,000 but since none of these actors are well known or professional & considering the fact that it was shot on video & not film, nor does it have any spectacular special effects or stunts, but is mearly a group of people running around a shabby looking house, where did the money go?" - Prolox from Canada on imdb 22 February 2010


  • Obscure slasher movie, no known dvd release only VHS
  • Generally viewed as an amatuer film that constantly gets bad reviews
  • as of summer 2013, it has a 4.7/10 rating
  • The killer can bitchslap and take a slug to the face without flinching
  • The acting is notoriously awful.