Indie Horror Movie Review: SLEDGEHAMMER (2017)

Good evening Freaks! Tonight we dive into Midnight Releasing’s, in association with Brain Damange Films, SLEDGEHAMMER.  The film centers around a corrupt city full of hipsters, roller-derby-cheerleaders, voodoo gangs, and evil masterminds where a nobody named Yolner lives.  As a boy, Yolner often had fantasies of grand Nordic adventures and decides to follow his visions wherever they lead, even if that means going nowhere.

By no means did I have any idea what I was getting myself into before viewing SLEDGEHAMMER. Little did I know that I was going to experience a psychedelic induced acid bloodfest.  The concept of the film I actually found to be quite enjoyable and original.  Our primary character, Yolner, is having a really, really bad day that only gets worse.  There’s even an appearance by Thor, the God of Thunder, which was a really clever nod to Marvel fans and fans of Nordic lore. Like I said, the film was totally original and I’m sure viewers will appreciate it like I did.  I also thought the whole afterlife review was pretty clever.

When it comes to the acting, it was pretty goofy.  I know this is a horror comedy so the acting meshed well, but I must say, it reminded me a lot of the show “Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show.” The acting between the characters also seemed a little awkward but it added to the comedy of the film.  There’s a lot of really strange commentary between the characters which gave me the same feelings I would have if watching a TROMA film or maybe even Jason Eisener’s “Hobo With a Shotgun.”

The cinematography was low budget but it didn’t play a factor into any dislike for me, it was just apparent and gave the film a grind house style feel, similar to the Soska Twins film “Dead Hooker in a Trunk.”  There were a bunch of psychedelic and weird patterned effects that went along with the film as it flashed between “reality” and Yolner’s drug induced mania as the film progressed. This did make it a bit difficult to follow at first but I became adjusted not too long into the film, especially since it picks up fairly quickly.

As the film progresses, people are really digging into Yolner’s murdering spree as Yolner continues to face public foes.  During this segment there’s an incredibly mild nod to Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees.  Even if it wasn’t meant to be a nod, I still took it that way. The soundtrack to the film was pretty insane.  I am a fan of electronic music, not particularly dubstep though.  Despite that, I actually really enjoyed the soundtrack to SLEDGEHAMMER as it was composed of “grimy” chaotic dubstep that meshed incredibly well with this incredibly chaotic movie!

If you are seeking this film, you’ve read the synopsis so I do not want to go too deep into the kills.  However, I will say 4 words, toilet…head…hammer…smash.  You’ll find that the use of the hammer and other random weapons Yolner wields are nothing less than satisfying. Lastly, the effects!! This is always my favorite thing to talk about and this film definitely left an impact on my brain in regards to their use of practical effects.  I could see that on some aspects of the effects they had to work with what they had for their budget.  There was a specific scene involving a hammer smashing in the face of a biker with their helmet on and it was totally gnarly, fun, and entertaining.

Overall, I would give SLEDGEHAMMER a recommendation and could see this being played in the background during a party, while enjoying some type of psychedelic mind altering substance (say no to drugs!).  Or for fans of TROMA!  I enjoyed SLEDGEHAMMER for what it was and only took it as face value because it’s a very comedic film.

Devin March
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