Nail Gun Massacre (1985) – By Josh Samford

Before starting any form of review, perhaps I should read off the title of the film once more, in order for it to sink in: Nail Gun Massacre. That’s right, a massacre via a gas powered nail gun. Are you intrigued? If so, then you are now familiar with the position I have been placed in while frequenting my local videostore for the past few years. Up until the point when I started combing this videostore, I was blissfully unaware of this delicious treat in bad cinema. Forged from the burning flames of H-E double hockey-sticks, Nail Gun Massacre is up there with the absolute worst of all slasher films. As with most slasher films out there, young (and often times nude) men and women are killed off in at least every other scene, but what makes Nail Gun Massacre such a pleasant (ie: painstaking) experience is the simple fact that every character that inhabits it are immediately made to be morons. Now, nearly every horror film tends to have innocent victims making a simple mistake that inevitably leads to their death, but that’s not particularly the case with Nail Gun Massacre. No, there are no intelligent characters in the film…not even one. The cops, hot on the trail of the killer, were undoubtedly the type that took the little yellow school bus to school as kids. Is this the fault of a mysterious brain control device controlled from deep inside a cavern where our killer lays in wait? No, sadly it’s nothing near that entertaining, just bad scriptwriting. If, for some reason you are interested in what exactly the film is all about I’ll try my best to explain.

In the happy time introduction to the film we are shown a woman being brutally raped by about six construction workers. Don’t worry, it’s nothing disturbing and is over quickly. After this we’re thrown right into the plot with a killer who dresses in leather (with a motorcycle helmet over his head) killing many men with his nail gun, seemingly with no apparent motive. No need to worry though, because the generic Sheriff is on the case. He teams up with the local Doctor, “Doc” and the two are on the search for clues…but all they seem to do is stack up bodies.

That is all there is to know about the film, the majority of the 90 minute running time is just eaten up by scene after scene of someone being killed with a nail gun, usually followed the absolute worst one-liners delivered by a slasher movie killer in the history of man kind, and that’s saying a lot. The whole point as to why the film actually exists was lost on me, because after the first half hour I had given up hope on life and the existence of intelligence in the universe. To be blunt, I was a broken man. Shattered and beaten like a dog in the cold, I could take no more. After that I just grabbed a snack and all seemed fine. Nail Gun Massacre, for all of the obvious cinematic atrocities it committed is still an entertaining film, as much as it pains me to admit it. Obviously taking place in Texas, the film at least has a southern flare not all too frequent in this particular genre. Rocky Patterson, who plays the aptly titled “Doc” happens to be not only the most annoying character in the film, but also the most interesting actor to watch. Unlike much of the cast, he seems to at least deserve the credit of being titled an ‘actor’, and his bizarre Dr. Phil-esque accent gives him a condescending tone, even when the character obviously is not. This usually leads to some rather unintentionally humorous situations, especially with the given that the screenwriter wrote every character as an unabashed idiot. Just for example, in one of the latter scenes of the film Patterson’s character actually grows frustrated and nearly enraged with the sheriff (played by Ron Queen) who only wants to check up on a link to the case, one that also ends up breaking the case. The scene had me in stitches, not only because Doc’s rage towards the sheriff was completely unjustified, but also completely ridiculous in the confines of the script. I could also bring up such questions as why a local doctor is given so much importance in a homicide case, or where exactly are the deputies and other police officers in town – but the importance is nil, because I’m sure the writer didn’t give much thought to such questions either.

Overall, Nail Gun Massacre is absolute drivel, but it’s entertaining drivel. There’s plenty of nudity and violence (although the gore effects are ultra lame) so there’s no need to worry about a lack of visual fun, and to add to the mix, the film is perhaps one of the easiest and most ridiculous movies you could ever choose to mock whilst watching. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Where else are you going to find a man being nailed in the crotch? Or a sheriff who actually assumes two men were murdered via a hammer and a nail, rather than the obvious choice of the actual murder weapon, a nail gun? I know I perhaps sound a bit harsh with the film, but my ranting is mostly for entertainment value (as if anything so far has been remotely comical) and for pure b-movie purposes, Nail Gun Massacre actually does the job with gusto. If you like a cheesy as all get out slasher movies, then this movie is for you. It truly will make you feel smart. NGM is a bizarre and truly genuine depiction of sheer idiocy, and I for one will always hold the film in special regards for showing me that you can still mess up a cliché by-the-numbers slasher film.