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[[caption-width-right:324:[- Unfortunately, he does not [[Series/SledgeHammer talk to his weapon]].-] ]]

-> "Their bodies had been pounded over and over again by a madman with a sledgehammer, until all that was left was a bloody heap of mangled flesh and shattered bones. There was barely enough of their faces left to match their teeth with their dental records. They never found the boy. Some think he just flipped out and ran off, maybe trying to find help in the forest. If so, he probably died. Police say he was probably taken by the killer. In either case, most believe him to be dead. That is, except for some people around here. Folks in this part of the county say he's still out there, in the night. Just watching. Waiting. Waiting for his mother's killer to return. Waiting to take his revenge. The killer was never caught. The prime suspect was of course the woman's husband. There were no charges brought against him. No one knows who did it. No one. He just might come back... tonight."
-->-- '''Chuck'''

''Sledgehammer'' is a 1983 SlasherMovie.

In 1973, an abusive woman locks her son in the closet of the secluded cabin she has gone to to rendezvous with her lover, who she intends to leave her husband for; likewise, the lover plans on abandoning his wife. As the two become intimate, an unseen figure (presumably the boy) bashes in the head of the man with a sledgehammer, then beats the mother to an unrecognizable pulp as she begs for mercy.

Ten years later, a group of seven friends (Chuck, Joni, Jimmy, John, Mary, Carol and Joey) acquire the old house, planning to use it to party through the weekend in complete seclusion, with no phones or vehicles (their van having been taken to the shop for repairs). After the initial bouts of boozing and miscellaneous shenanigans, the group leader, Chuck, after telling everyone about the double murder that had occurred a decade earlier, convinces the others to hold a séance to try and contact the spirits of the dead man and woman, to ask them who their uncaught killer was; in reality, the séance is a sham, merely the cover for an elaborate prank Chuck and Joey are going to perform to scare their friends. Unfortunately for everyone, the séance goes horribly right (as they are prone to do in these types of films) and a hulking being wearing a transparent mask and wielding a sledgehammer is brought to the house. Possessing vast supernatural powers as well as inhuman strength, this enigmatic being (apparently the spirit of the child from the opening, whose possible remains are discovered in a sealed-off closet) sets about killing everyone in the house with its spectral sledgehammer and a big old-fashioned knife.

The film's main claim to fame (or infamy) is that it was one of the first shot on video slashers, along with the likes of ''Boardinghouse, Blood Cult'' and ''The Ripper''. After languishing in obscurity for decades, the film received a DVD release in 2011, coming complete with special features such as commentaries, making-of featurettes, and interviews with both the director and horror experts.

!! This film provides examples of the following tropes:

%% * EightiesHair
* AbusiveParents: The mother from the opening manhandles her son, and locks him in a closet while she goes to have sex.
%% * AllWomenAreLustful: Carol.
%% * AssholeVictim: The mother.
%% * AxCrazy
%% * BadassBeard: John.
* BatterUp: Joni wails on the killer with one, but drops it afterward.
* BedsheetLadder: Joni tries building one, but gives up rather quickly.
* BigDamnHeroes: Chuck, thought dead by that point, comes out of nowhere to save Joni from the killer JustInTime.
%% * TheBigGuy: John.
* BigOlEyebrows: Part of the killer's mask.
* BloodFromTheMouth: Joey's death, and Chuck when the killer is bashing him against a wall.
* BrokenHeel: While running down a hallway, Joni trips.
* TheBrute: The killer's head nearly touches the ceiling, and he's taller than most of the doorways.
* CampGay: John acts like one in an early scene.
* CarpetOfVirility: A few of the men.
%% * CassandraTruth: Chuck, initially.
* CarryABigStick: John grabs a piece of wood (with a nail in it) for defense, but abandons it in favor of the sledgehammer.
%% * CellPhonesAreUseless: There are no phones.
%% * ChaseScene
* ClosedCircle: There's nothing but forest for miles around.
* ClothingDamage: When Chuck fights the killer the second time, his bloodied and tattered shirt is inexplicably gone.
%% * CreditsGag: There's some obviously fake names in there.
%% * CreepyChild
* CouldntFindAPen: A bloody pentagram.
* CoversAlwaysLie: The mask on it is completely different from the one in the film, and the killer does not have RedEyesTakeWarning.
%% * CueTheSun
%% * ADateWithRosiePalms: Chuck tells fairly graphic stories.
* DeadlyPrank: In a way, since the joke séance summoned the killer.
%% * DeathByMocking: Joey.
%% * DeathBySex: The mother and lover, and Jimmy and Carol.
* DeathTrap: Joni rigs one, using wires to electrocute the killer when he grabs a doorknob. It fails to stop him.
%% * DevelopingDoomedCharacters
* DirectToVideo
%% * DontGoInTheWoods
* DropTheHammer: The killer's weapon of choice is a sledgehammer.
%% * DwindlingParty
* TheEighties
* TheEndOrIsIt: The film ends with the killer (in child form) staring down from an upstairs window at the escaping Chuck and Joni.
%% * EnfantTerrible
* EstablishingShot: Yes, filmmakers, we know what the house looks like, you can stop showing it to us for inordinate amounts of time.
%% * ExtremelyDustyHome
* FadeToBlack: After the first two murders, the film fades to red.
* TheFaceless: We never see the face of the killer's adult form.
* FanDisservice: Carol and Jimmy are naked when they die.
* FanService: Carol and Jimmy's sex scene, and Chuck's rampant shirtlessness.
* {{Fetish}}: John wears a mask during sex... but not on his face.
* FightScene: The killer fights John, then Chuck.
* FinalGirl: Joni (and Chuck).
* FoodFight: Joni gets food coughed into her face during dinner, and things degenerate from there.
%% * GhostStory
%% * GoneHorriblyRight: The séance.
* {{Gorn}}
* GoryDiscretionShot: The mother getting hammered, which is shown via the sledgehammer's shadow, and blood spattering on a wall.
* GroinAttack: Joni nails the killer between the legs, causing him to let out a Franchise/{{Godzilla}}-like roar.
%% * GrossUpCloseUp
* HandOfDeath: Used before Jimmy and Carol's death.
%% * HauntedHouse
* HeartbeatSoundtrack
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: The killer gets his face bashed in with his own sledgehammer.
%% * AHouseDivided
* HollywoodSatanism: Jimmy and Carol's bodies randomly appear seated at a table, with a pentagram on the wall behind them.
%% * HystericalWoman: Joni.
%% * ImpromptuTracheotomy: Joey's death.
* ImplacableMan: The killer is knifed, bludgeoned, electrocuted, cleavered, beaten, and has his skull caved in.
* ItIsPronouncedTropay:
--> '''John:''' "Hey, you wanna hold a [[SpookySeance scene]], go ahead, hold a scene."
--> '''Mary:''' "It's a séance, stupid."
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Chuck can sometimes come off as... less than endearing.
--> "Now that's my girl. Now do me a favor, will ya? Get this shit outta here, I gotta go get a beer."
* JustHitHim: The killer slams Chuck into the wall a couple times, then tosses him aside.
%% * KnifeNut
%% * LeaveTheCameraRunning: Get your fast forward button ready.
* LetterMotif: Joni, Joey, Jimmy and John.
%% * LingerieScene
* MalevolentMaskedMen: A creepy translucent one, like in ''Film/AliceSweetAlice'' or ''Film/DontOpenTillChristmas''.
%% * AManIsAlwaysEager: John, but not Jimmy.
%% * MenacingStroll
* MindOverMatter: Though nothing beyond opening and closing doors.
%% * MindScrew
%% * AMinorKidroduction
%% * MommyIssues
* MonochromePast: When reshown, the opening is in sepia tone.
%% * MrExposition: Chuck.
%% * MrFanservice: Chuck.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: So much random slow motion and freeze frame.
%% * MurdererPOV
* NeckSnap: Carol's death.
%% * NeverRecycleABuilding
* NoNameGiven: The boy, his mother, and her lover.
* NoTellMotel: Mentioned by the mother and lover.
* NotQuiteDead: The killer drops after being knifed, but recovers after a few minutes.
* OnceIsNotEnough: Though John was admittedly injured in the fight, so stabbing the killer a few more times probably wasn't his first priority.
* OneWordTitle
* OurGhostsAreDifferent: The killer is presumably some kind of spirit, albeit a fleshy one.
* ParlorGames: Charades.
* PeekABooCorpse: Joni opens a door, and Joey's body falls out. Later, the killer goes the extra mile of hiding it ''again'', this time suspending it from the ceiling with wires.
* PerpetualSmiler: The killer, though maybe Perpetual Grimacer might be more accurate.
* PieInTheFace: Happens to Chuck during the FoodFight.
%% * ThePigPen: John.
* PintsizedPowerhouse: The killer, in his child form. To give an example, he bitch slaps the muscle bound Chuck to the floor.
%% * PornStache: Jimmy and John.
%% * PsychopathicManchild
* RevengeBeforeReason: After finding John, Mary grabs a knife and blindly rushes towards the killer, and is knifed to death in a few seconds flat.
* RunawayBride: Chuck asked Joni to marry him, but has started getting cold feet.
%% * SelfMadeOrphan
* TheSeventies: The opening.
* SexyDiscretionShot: The mother may or may not have been giving her lover head when they were so rudely interrupted.
* ShowerScene: But it gets interrupted.
* SimilarlyNamedWorks: The television series ''Series/SledgeHammer'', which began airing in 1986.
%% * SpookySeance
* SurrealHorror: Even some detractors admit it succeeds in creating a weird, nightmarish atmosphere.
* TearsOfBlood: The boy's skull is found with blood dripping from the eyes.
* TeleportersAndTransporters: The killer appears and disappears at random, and also teleports John and Mary.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: It's hard to tell how many knives are sticking out of Mary's body.
* TheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: Mary may be annoyed by John, but after he's killed the first thing she tries to do is avenge him.
* ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight: The killer is summoned from the closet.
* TitleIn: Ten Years Later.
%% * TouchOfTheMonster
* TooDumbToLive: When the others fall asleep, John (who is looking for a fight) wanders off alone.
%% * UndeadChild
* UnusualEuphemism: "And don't worry about your van, I'll have the transmission shifting gears like a good woman on her honeymoon night!"
* VideoCredits
* VisibleBoomMic: In the ShowerScene.
* TheVoiceless: The killer never speaks in his adult form.
%% * WalkingShirtlessScene: Chuck.
* WeaponOfChoice: Obviously a sledgehammer, though a knife also sees a lot of use.
* WhiteMaskOfDoom: On the cover.
* WildTeenParty: They're presumably supposed to be teenagers.
* YourCheatingHeart: The mother and lover.