The fine folks at Brain Damage Films have been responsible for several films I have thoroughly enjoyed this year. These include SCAVENGER KILLERS, DEAD ON APPRAISAL, and POE. However, even the best companies have a miss every now and then. It saddens me to report their recent release SLEDGE is one of those misses. Although the film has a great premise, the final product comes up way short in the entertainment category.
If you are not familiar with SLEDGE, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Brain Damage Films:
A group of twenty-somethings head to a secluded campground fro a peaceful weekend. What could go wrong? Hunted in secret by vicious killer Adam Lynch, a deranged maniac who wears the faces of his victims, the teens must do everything in their power to hold onto their sanity and their lives. SLEDGE features horror and humor in equal measure and it’s sure to leave you screaming for more.
Unfortunately, this film made me scream for it to stop. For as much as I love the concept of a killer with a sledgehammer, the execution here leaves much to be desired. And yes, I realize the film was meant to be tongue-in-cheek to begin with…but even that aspect never makes it across for me.
SLEDGE is shot in a low-budget fashion, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes it is painfully obvious here. The sound quality is terrible which, while not a complete fun-killer by itself, is just one more nail in the coffin here. These two negatives are not usually a reason to dislike a film completely, but when they are combined with poor acting and sad special effects, there’s really not much that can save it.
Speaking of poor acting, the quality within this film is below poverty-level. Regardless of whether or not this was done intentionally, the pitiful cast does nothing for me at all. I found each character annoying, and this was compounded exponentially by the fact that none of the cast could act. I would daresay I’ve seen elementary school productions with more talent.
I would like to say the special effects in SLEDGE are decent, however they are simply dull and flat. The blood and gore look orange instead of crimson, which is almost laughable…if it weren’t for the fact the special effects team tries hard to make it look real. The intestine that was supposedly ripped from a guy’s stomach is just a single rubber hose painted red. I actually shook my head when this scene arrived. If it was meant to be funny, it failed.
I hate to rip a film like this when it could have been so good, however it is my duty as a reviewer to give you my honest assessment. As a result, I have to recommend you steer clear of SLEDGE, unless you have an hour and a half of your life that you don’t want back. The film is available now if you decide to give it a look.