[review by Joseph Henson]
NAIL GUN MASSACRE opens with a horrific rape sequence that genuinely disturbs the viewer into a state of cold shock. A beautiful young woman is savagely brutalized by a gang of scary construction workers who force her to the ground so that they may have their every sick, carnal desire satiated. As she screams and begs for help, her cries fall on deaf ears, and the gang of thugs continue to desecrate not only her vessel, but her very soul.
Later, someone is out there, dressed in camouflage and doing away with the denizens of a small town - mainly, anyone who wanders too close to a small parcel of land where the rape took place. The psycho's weapon of choice? A pneumatic nail gun, which fires 137 nails in a split second, so you know the gore quotient is going to be astronomical. That is, in fact, one of Nail Gun Massacre's stronger suits; it is a relentlessly bloody motion picture that defies the logic of practical FX work; bodies are covered in nails, guts are spilled, and the blood pours like wine, and all the time the audience is left wondering, how did they manage to make it all seem so real? The effects in Nail Gun Massacre make the likes of Tom Savini and Greg Nicotero seem like amateurs.
But, as I alluded to in the first paragraph, NAIL GUN MASSACRE has a surprising human element to the madness that not many movies can aspire to. We follow not one, not two, but FIVE lead characters who all, in their own way, end up ensnared in the killer's grand scheme of revenge. First, there's a lonesome sheriff, who spends his days cleaning up the highways of litter and junk cars. He likes to talk to himself, but it's an emotional tick that mirrors said loneliness. And then there's the town doctor, who spends the entire movie trying to break the stigma - or shackles - that bind him. He refuses to dress like a regular doctor, and he has good reasons, which we learn in a surprising revelation at the end of the movie. Finally, we have a trio; a woman and two men, who move into a small, cute little house near the dreaded property; they don't have much money but they do have an abundance of heart. As the lives of these individuals fade in and out of the picture, it soon becomes clear that each one possesses a specific key to unmasking the killer and putting a stop to his reign of terror once and for all.
Finally, NAIL GUN MASSACRE personifies suspense. There is one sequence inparticular, where a couple of construction workers are trapped in an unfinished house by the killer, and as they desperately try to escape, the killer finds ways of keeping them trapped inside.
After all is said and done, it is writer/director Terry Lofton we have to thank for such a stunning miracle of slasher movie trappings. He refuses to let cliches bind him; he breaks molds that only the Bob Clarks and the Tobe Hoopers before him could shatter. There is not a false moment in how he calls the shots, and this could not be more evident in the final revelation of the killer, and especially how he genuinely bamboozles the audience into questioning the killer's physical build throughout the entire motion picture, only to shatter our allusions in the final moment.
Truth be told, NAIL GUN MASSACRE is a really shitty movie, and I'm sure you already knew that. It fails on almost every level: suspense, scares, production values, gore. However, it reaches a sort of zenith with its unintentional comedy, which I hope my false review effectively mirrors. If you want to see a movie where a diminutive nutjob runs around threatening people with possible tetanus while wearing gaudy camouflage and spouting one-liners that would make even Freddy Krueger cringe, well, this is your movie.
If I had to genuinely rate the movie, out of five, I'd have to factor in the entertainment values and the production values and the effort put into it all, and well, it's just not really worth it. I'll just end this review with my fake rating and say take from this movie what you will. I always get an assortment of laughs from it, and that's enough. What say you?
female:5 / male:11
1. Male nail-gunned
2. Male nail-gunned
3. Male dismembered with chainsaw and nail-gunned
4. Male nail-gunned
5. Female nail-gunned (offscreen)
6. Male nail-gunned
7. Female nail-gunned
8. Male nail-gunned
9. Male nail-gunned
10. Male nail-gunned
11. Male nail-gunned
12. Female nail-gunned
13. Male nail-gunned
14. Female nail-gunned
15. Female nail-gunned
16. Male falls to his death