The Nail Gun Massacre (1985)

DVD Cover (Synapse)
Genres: Horror, Slasher Film
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Bill Leslie Bill Leslie
Terry Lofton Terry Lofton
Rocky Patterson Rocky Patterson
Ron Queen Ron Queen
Beau Leland Beau Leland
Michelle Meyer Michelle Meyer
Sebrina Lawless Sebrina Lawless

3.8 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: December 06, 2005
Starting out tonight's movie, we immediately get to witness some action as things open up with the gang-raping of young Linda (Michelle Meyer) by a group of burly construction workers. Six men take turns with the helpless and prone lady, and we then cut ahead to six months later in this small Texas town. One of the construction workers who was involved with the rape is bitching at his wife about some laundry issues, when a motorcycle-helmeted person wearing camouflage and sporting a nail gun shows up at the house and quickly lowers the priority of having a clean shirt for this poor man. As the movie moves along, we find that a number of construction workers are getting knocked off, and oddly enough, each of now-deceased worked at the same construction company that Linda was gang-raped at. Could there be some connection there? Maybe, maybe not... but it takes the clueless sheriff (Ron Queen) and the dim-witted town doctor (Rocky Patterson) about eighty minutes of movie-time to put the pieces together.

After more than a couple of years of waiting to see this title, Synapse has finally given it a proper DVD release. As long-time readers of this site may have figured out, I'm a pretty big fan of the eighties brand of slasher flicks, and considering that this is one of the more infamous titles from the genre, well... it's only natural that I've been wanting to check it out. After having just spent eighty minutes in front of the television, I can safely say that the movie was decent enough, but it certainly didn't live up to the hype that I'd heard prior to placing it in my Netflix queue.

First things first, I think that it's only fair that I point out the budget on this little flick. Even by eighties slasher standards, it's a very low-budget film, and although I have seen worse, it definitely isn't going to win any points in the realism department. The blood and gore, while acceptable, are pretty tame even when compared to similar movies from the period, and although it was nice to have a halfway original weapon involved (when compared to the normal butcher knives and machetes), I found that the weapon was severely underused. Now, that's not meant in the literal sense; we witness about a dozen deaths throughout the running-time, and each person dies at the hands of this nail gun. The problem I had here was the fact that we never see a single nail come out of the gun and we never see a nail enter human flesh. Each death takes place with a "bang" noise while the camera is conveniently focused on something other than the victim, which is then followed up with a shot of said victim holding rubber nails against a random part of his or her body. I wasn't expecting effects that would make me think I was watching a snuff film, but they really could have at least tried something to make these look a tad bit better. I'm not even going to get into the voice of the killer (who constantly spits out one-liners upon killing his / her victims), but I will say this... Darth Vader is not someone that I think of as menacing, so any future directors, please - don't use his voice for the main villain in your slasher flick.

The second consequence of the low-budget is the acting abilities from the cast. It seems as though the director rounded up a few friends, some ex-strippers, his mother (yes, literally!), and threw all of them in front of the camera with no sort of training. As I've said time and time again, one doesn't watch these movies for award-winning performances... but when one of your stars looks directly at the camera as if to ask the man behind it for help remembering his lines, you know that things aren't going too well. If these kids aren't stuttering and tripping over their lines, they're spilling them out in the most monotone, emotionless voices known to man. The fact that the audio quality on this release is absolutely wretched is actually a benefit, in my view... the voices are extremely muffled and the dialog is very hard to make out at times, but oddly enough, that really does help make the movie more enjoyable thanks to the cast involved.

Now, with all of my gripes out of the way, I can still point out that this is a decent movie and that fans of the genre should get a kick out of it. Although I did have a number of issues with parts of the film, I still enjoyed the overall product, and while it wasn't anything groundbreaking and it certainly doesn't rank up in the required-viewing level of things, it still served its purpose: it entertained me for eighty minutes (give or take). I think that fans of these types of trashy, eighties slashers would walk away with the same opinion, so with that in mind, I can safely recommend it to those types of people. Just don't go in expecting something revolutionary from the genre and don't expect to find a new favorite, and you should be fine. 6/10.
Dametria #1: Dametria - added 04/24/2007, 08:20 PM
Heads up, theres going to be a sequel. Its going to be directed by the same people and have a big cast reunion (playing the adults / parents of new killers). HOW do I know this you may ask? Because at a horror convention I was working at I was offered a roll in it by Terry Lofton. I loved the original and was really jazzed by the idea of a PART in the new one but as anyone whos seen this one knows, just about ever female gets naked at some point. So Yeah....no
Tristan #2: Tristan - added 04/25/2007, 02:33 PM
You're just not a true horror fan. I'd bend over and spread my cheeks for a part in a horror movie. All business aside, I saw this a loooong time ago on VHS, and I wasn't overly impressed then. Mind you I was about 10, and had no idea what these movies were about. So for now it gets a 6/10. If I track it down and watch it again, I'm sure that will change.
Roybot #3: Roybot - added 06/09/2010, 09:14 PM
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