After a group of construction workers rape a young woman a crazed killer wearing a motorcycle helmet starts killing them off with a nail gun. Is the killer the woman seeking revenge on those who wronged her, someone connected to her, or someone completely unrelated?
What do you get when you cross The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (use of a power tool), I Spit on Your Grave (someone seeking revenge for someone being raped), and A Nightmare on Elm Street (the killer spouting off corny one-liners before, during, and after killing someone)? You get the wonderful, fun cheesefest that is Nail Gun Massacre. I remember seeing it on VHS back when it came out in the 80’s and I totally loved it not only because it was so over the top and cheesy, but because there was a killer running around taking out people with a freaking nail gun! Honestly, how could you not a movie where the antagonist used such a cool weapon? I was a little nervous when I watched it again recently that it wasn’t going to be very good, but I had just as much fun with it this time around as I did when I first saw it twenty some years ago.
For reasons that I just can’t understand people just seem to hate this movie with a passion. If you look it up online the majority of the reviews for it are negative and a lot of people carry on like it is one of the worst movies ever made (which it isn’t). Yes, it is cheesy as hell and almost a little too silly at times, but I really don’t think that it is as bad as some people make it out to be. I personally think that the cheesiness adds to my enjoyment of it and if it wasn’t so damn corny at times it wouldn’t have been nearly as good as it is. It has a comedic tone and it is obvious that the filmmakers didn’t take it too seriously, so I am not sure why so many viewers feel that they have to do so when they watch it. I honestly believe that if it had been played with a more serious tone that it wouldn’t have stood out among the other slasher flicks of its time and would have been a movie that I watched and forgot all about years later because there was really nothing special about it.
One of the main reasons that the movie works is because the killer is a real hoot. I don’t want to give anything away because we don’t find out his/her identity until the end, but let’s just say that he/she is pretty unforgettable. Not only does the killer use a cool weapon, but he/she also enjoys using bad puns, horrible one-liners, and just terribly bad comments in general that make most of Freddy and Chucky’s sound brilliant.
My personal favorite has to be when the killer takes out a victim who has just taken a piss and he/she shoots him in the crotch with the nail gun and states “That ought to plug that up !” or when taking out a female victim and making a comment about how pretty she looks after having her “nails” done. Cheesy comedy gold right there, my friend. The killer isn’t only one who has hokey lines though, there is a scene after the murders start where a character reminisces about a simpler time when the townspeople could “sit outside without worrying about the mosquitoes and the killers” and delivers the line with a straight face.
The only downsides to the movie is that the acting is pretty bad, and for some reason the three people who I assumed were going to be the main characters (two guys and a woman who move to the town where the movie takes place) since we follow them around for most of the first half of the movie just disappear at one point without any sort of explanation. It is like they are just gone and no one mentions them again as if they never existed or anything. I don’t know if the actors playing the characters got fired or just quit the movie, but one minute they are all a part of the story and then they are just gone for no apparent reason. We don’t see any of them get killed, they don’t pack up their belongings and leave, they just disappear from the movie completely. I did some research and tried to find out what happened to them but came up empty, so the story behind what happened to them remains a mystery.
Nail Gun Massacre isn’t for everyone, and if you are looking for a serious, hardcore violent slasher flick with tons of blood and guts then you will want to look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you are looking for something just fun and cheesy then I think that this is right up your alley. Check it out, but keep in mind that if you are going to enjoy it you can’t take it seriously.
Nail Gun Massacre (1985)