Monday, March 1

Some quick thoughts on The Nail Gun Massacre (1985)

A demonic-voiced figure in freshly washed head-to-toe camo and bulky black motorcycle helmet brings the pneumatic nail terror to a rural Texas construction crew. With an idiotic sheriff and denim-rockin' "doctor" in-toe, the easily-pegged-early-on cheesy wisecrackin' killer hammers a puncture wound swath through a series of interconnected revenge murders on a bunch of non-actors.

Experienced on the triple-feature homemade recording made by God knows who bought for a quarter to your left; this marks the first time I've ever seen Terry Lofton's nail gun slaughter magnum opus. Judging by the majority of reviews I've read over the years, I expected something vastly worse, and Nail Gun Massacre usually stays just a few inches from the barrel's bottom. The main issue is the blatant padding especially felt after about the fifty minute mark. There's a sense Lofton was under the gun to deliver a (near) ninety minute feature by someone above his head involved in the venture. Scenes drag on to tedium with little laughs and things should take seconds instead languish on forever. Being generous, I'd say there's only maybe sixty-five minutes of worthy material here. Despite having a budget of $4.65, tightening up the film would work wonders for viewer enjoyment.

Most of the acting isn't the absolute worst seen in the usual zero budget splatter production. The heap of constant jabberjaw is what kills here. The IMDB's trivia page says the screenplay was drastically cut from eighty to twenty-five pages which is damn hard to believe. Someone always seems to be talking while usually stating what's screamingly obvious to the viewer. Each "twist" is played up as a revelation, which brings some laughs, but nothing is ever surprising in the slightest. Neither there's talk or the same omnipresent music playing...and playing...

Rocky Patterson as Doc, the lead doctor/coroner, is a terrible portrayal of either character example. More concerned with looking '80s hick badass, Doc spits out more obvious jewels in an explaination that the killer uses nails to kill and most of the deaths were from blood loss. No shit Sherlock. That's another thing, the nail gunner's victims fold after one nail wound, with special attention to usually either nailing hands together or to hard surfaces. I know if it were my life or ripping my nailed hand off a wall to escape; the latter would be the clear choice. Not to mention, even with the pain, killing a person by nail wouldn't be as easy as seen here on-screen. The conclusion also kinda rips off William Lustig's Vigilante.

I can see Nail Gun Massacre working on a nostalgic level with those who saw it when young, but even trash lovers would be well advised to tread cautiously in a first encounter. At least the bodycount is highish and there's one mega set of boobs in the beginning, thank you Mr. Lofton. Concerning this tape, any bad vibes after this flick were immediately expunged because whoever put this recording together included the trailers for Boardinghouse, One Armed Executioner, The Gates of Hell, Funeral Home, Just Before Dawn, and Hotwire before Silent Night, Bloody Night began. I then shat a literal brick of joy and mounted it on my wall.

1 comment:

The Goodkind said...

Nailgun Massacre is a very very special piece of work, and one I drag out on second dates only on rare occasion. One of my favorite parts is the fact that the killer has the stature and curves of a woman the entire film, yet when unmasked is a man. Alas I too only have a home recorded bootleg, minus all the Paragon trailers. you dare tread upon the staircase?

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