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April 3, 2011

Movie Review: Nail Gun Massacre (1985, Synapse Films)

Directed By Terry Lofton

Synapse Films

Buy  Nail Gun Massacre on DVD

Around the early 90's when I was an impressionable 14 Year-old I would peruse the horror video walls of the local "Mom 'N Pop" video store. It was called Video + and this place was always on top of getting the wildest most graphic horror films available. Magnum Entertainment at the time was distributing this nasty little splatter flick called Nail Gun Massacre that immediately caught my eye. With that title, who wouldn’t?

After a brief limited-edition run on DVD by Nail Gun Massacre director Terry Lofton, Synapse Films saw that it would be fitting to get this little film the deluxe treatment. If you're just discovering Lofton's this is the perfect place to start. After a gang rape on a young woman at a construction site, the construction workers involved and various other unlucky folks fall victim to a motorcycle helmeted, fatigue wearin', nail-gun spraying vengeance seeker. It's all up to the local sheriff (Ron Queen) to track this monster down. Unfortunately he's even less effective as the morbidly obese lawman in Jim Bryan's, Don't Go in the Woods. Nail-Gun Massacre is all about kills and gratuitous nudity. An early love scene gives viewers a wonderful view of a fairly sexy woman sporting some shapely mounds of joy. On the flip-side there is a lingering, unflattering shot of man-ass gyrating against a naked female. What happens to the couple after, more than makes up for it - and follows with one of several ridiculous catch-phrases.

The body-count in "Nail Gun" is thankfully pretty high. It does live up to its name. If you're picky about having "Savini" type realism in your FX you may be slightly disappointed. The FX are super cheap but for me it just helped the comedy factor as there is intentional humor in the film. One scene that had me giggle involved a male victim urinating on the boots of the "Nail Gun" killer. Yeah, it's the lowest common denominator of humor but I'm part of that demographic so it brought some enjoyment to the fourth-grader trapped in my doughy frame.

If you're fascinated enough by the feature you'll be pleased to know that Synapse has provided some extra features that lend some insight into the production of Nail Gun Massacre. Nailed is an informative little featurette that includes an interview with director Lofton where he goes over some of the origins of the story. The script was actually inspired by nail gun fights that Lofton observed at a local constructions site. Another wild fact, the "script" was originally 80 pages long but only 25 pages were shot. This unfortunately led to a lot of ad-lib. Some deleted scenes and some impressive liners are also included to round in the extra features. Synapse's version is a nice overall improvement on the limited edition DVD release - sporting re-mastered picture and sound that will make that version and other releases of Nail Gun Massacre obsolete. If you're hankering for one of the funniest low-budget slashers of the 80's,look no further then Nail Gun Massacre.

(Screencaps provided by

1 comment:

  1. Nice write-up Jeff! This was one of the films that was a pseudo-legend with me and my best friend in junior high. (That and the "one-minute wonder" in ROCK AND ROLL NIGHTMARE.)