After a woman takes her son up to a house in the woods, she proceeds to lock him up in a closet so she can spend time with her lover. Too bad the son gets out only to kill both his mother, and her lover. Years pass, the house is abandoned and rumors of the area are flying, but that won't put a damper on a group of friends weekend get away. Or could there possibly be truth, to those wild rumors of a killer with a sledge hammer?
For me, one of he most depressing things about modern horror movies, is the lack of eye-catching art work. For those who were lucky enough to grow up in the golden age of mom 'n pop video shops, probably share the similar experiences of grabbing movies simply because the box cover looked really cool. Those days are since long gone, now each cover just blends in with next, following the design trend that's popular at the moment. So I was quite happy to come across an older shot-on-video flick called, "Sledgehammer" that has, with out question, the best cover art ever.
I'm not sure what that says about the movie itself, where its legacy and infamy comes from its box art and not the actual movie. Then you watch the movie, and you realize why that as. Shot-on-video horror movies have a bum wrap of being extremely bad and cheap, and "Sledgehammer" does nothing to dispute that. Very typical setup, two gruesome murders take place at a house, a legend is born about the house and what happened, then a group of friends decide to vacation at said house, and thank god for that. No really, if it weren't for these people, who are arrogant enough to brush off the legends of these places, and are dumb enough to say the line we all know by heart now, "That didn't really happen, its just a story." Then the horror genre would be very sparse.
Anyways, naturally good times are had, the scary story of the house is told, food fights, drinking and lots of making out. Then before you know it, weird things start happening and friends start disappearing. The bodies of the dead friends are found, and everyones inner Scooby-Doo kicks in and they're going to solve this mystery and find out what's behind that locked door nobody can get into. Well soon they find out, and now they see they're sharing the house with a killer wielding a sledge hammer (I wonder if that's where they got the name from?) and wouldn't you know it, the son of a bitch is invincible. A by-the-numbers style slasher if their ever was one, you know exactly how the movie is going to play out before you even turn it on.
No matter how you look at it, at the end of the day "Sledgehammer" is a bad movie, but there is something about these SOV horror flicks and the crappy little charm they have, that makes it hard to hate them. Maybe because we are aware of the quality, or lack there of, that they possess. The acting is atrocious, the effects are cheap, even though "Sledgehammer" does have one nice scene of someone getting their head bashed in. Most notably though, is the bad editing "Sledgehammer" has. I have never seen one movie abuse slow motion so much. It's actually more shocking when something is played in real time instead of slow motion, locking doors, throw bags on the ground, fighting the killer, dying...It's all in slow motion, and that's just not right.