Admittedly, while we see a whole lot of television box sets out here, one thing we don’t see is box sets for cop shows from the eighties. Especially cop shows from the eighties with a little edge of humor. And that’s just what we’re going to get today with Sledge Hammer! The Complete Series, a copy of which Image Entertainment sent out for us to review.
Sledge Hammer! The Complete Series follows the cop by the same name, Sledge Hammer. And while Sledge’s way of life might have been appropriate for 1950–very law and order, a little misogynistic, quit smoking, drink your milk, that kind of thing–he’s also got some significant mental problems. He talks to his gun. He also sleeps with it. And showers with it. He has a rocket launcher in the trunk of his car. There’s a bumper sticker on the back of his car that reads “I Heart Violence”. And this guy is going to be set loose on the criminals of his city, with his newfound partner–a tough, smart lady with a surprisingly vicious spin kick who takes to Hammer right away–to protect the citizenry from the criminal element.
Heaven help the criminal element.
If you haven’t already seen this–which was a surprisingly popular show back in the eighties when it was on (about the only reason it went under was because it was up against big names like Miami Vice and Dallas)–then you’ll need to picture Frank Drebin from The Naked Gun / Police Squad, and make him a barely-restrained homicidal lunatic. Now you have a good idea of what we’re looking at here, and you can already imagine the possibilities. We have the Dirty Harry Excelsior model, the Smart And Tough Lady Cop, and of course, the Bellowing Captain. All the major archetypes are in place, and ratcheted clear up to eleven. The results are surprisingly fun and jammed full of laughs.
Yes indeed, laughs. I spent a lot of time laughing at Sledge Hammer; not only the jokes, either, but the sheer wild over the top antics in the plotlines (one episode features a reporter who goes on a ridealong with Sledge, and ends up with two broken arms which spend the rest of the episode in a pair of casts) that got, and kept, my attention.I spent a lot of time laughing at Sledge Hammer, and it’s not every day I get to laugh uproariously at television. This is one of those grand times.
The Screenhead Ten Scale, meanwhile, gives Sledge Hammer! The Complete Series a full ten out of ten. It’s a riot, and a sweet shot of history to boot. If you missed this one back in the eighties, then prepare to get a massive shot of comic cop glee to make your day.