08th Sep2014

‘Sledge’ VOD Review

by Richard Axtell

Stars: Dustin Bowman, Stephanie Tupper, Rachel Cornell, Kristian Hanson, Travis Hanson, Troy Miller, Russell Matoes, Tino Faygo, Wendy Miller, Desiree Holmes | Written by Kristian Hanson | Directed by John B Sovie II, Kristian Hanson

Sledge-Key-Art

A spoof of the horror genre, and littered with nods and references to fright flicks of yesteryear, Sledge fixes on a psychopath Adam Lynch who not only believes he’s in a movie and video game but that he’s the hero of this story. This murderer with a sledge hammer is an original slasher who loves to talk and make jokes as he viciously mutilates the dumb campers who always return to a site of mass murders for no apparent reason.

Sledge is a film within a film. So the film Sledge, which I am reviewing, contains a girl watching a horror film called Sledge, which makes up the majority of the film. Occasionally we are brought away from the action so she can comment on how the film is bad, ridiculous and makes little to no sense. Of course, what the film makers didn’t intend however if for you to actually agree with her. Unfortunately, she is quite right.

As a spoof horror, I didn’t expect to be terrified. I expected film which poked fun at the horror genre, with winks back to the classics, maybe a few jump scares to keep up the horror theme and probably a lot of gruesome murders. But what I instead was a group of quite annoying people making constant sex jokes at a camp site for about half an hour before anything really happened. Even better, for the first twenty minutes of that, I couldn’t see the faces of the characters because the was hardly any lighting, or the camera was zoomed so far into their faces they were blurred out. As well as that, some characters seemed to speak a lot louder than others, sometimes drowning out each other as they talked over one another. At points, this film felt like a home movie shot on a hand held camera as the actors tried to improvise lines to fit in with a story, resulting in a mumbling mass of chaos.

Now I did rip into the film a lot there, so in the spirit of balance I will now talk about the better moments in the film. It did make me laugh at one point, a well placed advert for a fake horror film called ‘Amish Paradise’. Very silly. There was a puppet in it at two points. I am not sure why, but who doesn’t like puppets? The story overall wasn’t too bad, I could see what they were trying to do, even if they didn’t quite achieve it. The ‘film within a film’ aspect was definitely a good choice, and definitely poked fun at the extremely cheesy horror films on TV late at night which was a nice touch.

But Sledge has not won me over (surprised?). With such a good premise, I am disappointed about what was produced and while it tried to be both funny and horrific, it never managed to really achieve either.

Sledge is out now – in he US – on digital and on demand; it hits DVD on October 7th.

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