Sledge Movie Review
Written by Richelle Charkot
DVD released by Midnight Releasing
Directed by John B Sovie II and Kristian Hanson
Written by Kristian Hanson
2014, 75 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on January 28th, 2014
Kristian Hanson as Adam Lynch
Travis Hanson as Shawn
Dustin Bowman as Alex
Rachel Cornell as Couch Girl
Russell Matoes as Nash
Stephanie Tupper as Sarah
Desiree Holmes as Michelle
About two and a half minutes into this movie I realized it would be an hour and fifteen minutes of a joke I didn't find funny. Masquerading as a horror-comedy, this film follows the standard "camping trip gone terribly wrong" archetype, but instead of being witty and playing with the clichés that it mocks, it is just a bunch of unfunny testicle jokes (and I am a fan of a good dick joke), mimicry of people who are handicapped, and some staggeringly weak dialogue delivered from actors who clearly haven't really matured past high school level proficiency. This is a movie that after I watched fifteen minutes, I considered emailing my editor back and saying, "Please don't make me finish this."
Sledge is a meta-framed storyline that follows a girl watching a film about a masked lunatic in the middle of the woods who is torturing and killing anyone that crosses his path. Although the 'couch girl' is who the story comes back to throughout the movie, Sledge is primarily about the movie that she is watching. It follows five 'friends' that decide to get away from their daily stressors and go on a camping vacation in the middle of the woods. The gang is comprised of two couples and one snarky fifth wheel who fears that he missed his chance with the love of his life, Sarah (who is also on the trip with her boyfriend Nash). The group barely gets along with each other in their good moments, but are even more awkward when both couples pair off at the end of the night to consummate in their sleeping bags. The individual trivialities and hardships of the heart fall to the wayside when the group have to escape a psychopathic killer wielding a bloodied sledgehammer, who is picking them off one by one.
The only way that I would consider watching this movie again is if I had a bottle of whiskey and took a shot every time a penis joke is made, but then I would inevitably be hospitalized due to alcohol poisoning. After the first fifteen minutes I would venture to guess that about fifty phallic references are made, as well as a poor taste depiction of a person with a developmental delay that he 'acquired' through excessive drug use. Watching Sledge I was reminded of high school English when we were required to film short projects of Shakespeare scenes, and inevitably one group would try to be funny, but the jokes were so awkward and ridiculous that it just made the class uncomfortable for the duration of their showing. That same feeling of "Oh god, please make this stop, I can't believe they thought that was funny" quivered up my spine throughout the duration of this film, but instead of five minutes, it was seventy-five.
The only factor that is mildly redeemable in Sledge is the fairly capable (or at least somewhat promising) acting from Dustin Bowman, who plays Alex. There is the occasional smirk-worthy line delivered from his depiction of the "lovable asshole," but overall, just one actor being relatively competent is far too little, far too late in this uniformly terrible movie.
I want those seventy-five minutes back.