No indie DVD label is as dedicated to the preservation and promotion of “outsider cinema” quite like our friends at Severin Films. Nope, no one does “so bad that it’s good” titles like they do—witness their mind-numbing Birdemic:Shock and Terror release. Need I say more?
“Either by way of budget constraints or warped vision,” says Severin’s marketing director Evan Husney, their releases “represent a piece of a cinematic underbelly from a universe all its own.”
Now Severin, in association with The Intervision Pictures Corp. are going to be releasing some of the cultier cult films from the nearly 850 movie catalog owned by pioneering VHS distributor, Larry Gold, Sr., who died earlier this year of a heart attack. First in that slate is the DVD release of SLEDGEHAMMER, a shot-on-videotape, no-budget slasher flick from the 80s:
The plot is familiar: A group of friends comes to party at a backwoods house where a legacy of brutality awaits. But within this minimalist ’80s mélange of food fights, feathered hair and abusive slow-motion lurks a relentless synth score, bizarre sexual subtexts and a disturbing shape-shifting behemoth killer. The result is 85 minutes of fever-dream depravity.
The “fever dream depravity” that is SLEDGEHAMMER was directed by David A. Prior and starring Ted Prior (his brother) and Linda McGill
At some point I had a VHS copy of this that someone gave me, but it wasn’t something I paid much attention to. I probably never did more than scan through it on fast forward before passing it on to another otaku pal of mine. That was probably a mistake. One night at Cinefamily, here in Hollywood, I saw a scene from the film and I immediately thought “Oh, that was probably that SLEDGEHAMMER thing I used to have” and regretted that I never watched it.
Severin sent me the video clip last week, along with the DVD of SLEDGEHAMMER. My mistake for not paying closer attention to this absolutely BERSERK little number when I had the chance! Just look at that clip. How could you not want MORE?
Don’t answer that, but If you are interested to win a copy of the SLEDGEHAMMER DVD be the first one to answer this question in the comments (only the FIRST person with the correct answer wins):
What popular magazine featured “extensive” coverage of SLEDGEHAMMER star Ted Prior in 1984?