Interview with "Sledgehammer" killer, Douglas Matley

Written by SlasherIndex on 10/16/11

 

 

Me:
Thanks for taking the time to get in touch with me! How did you get involved with Sledgehammer?

Doug:
I was friends with Ted Prior at Gold's Gym, Venice, Ted was the reigning Mr. Maryland if I remember correctly. As a gay man I had a crush on Ted. He told me that I was the first gay man he met in So. Cal. Ted is heterosexual and very comfortable being heterosexual, so he was not afraid or uncomfortable around homosexuals. It was a joke on the set, here is a manic killer who wants to have sex with the star. I am 6'9" in height, trained at Gold's, and I was invited by Ted for the film. I was hired for my height. We filmed for one week, all the indoor shots, except for very few at the location where the cabin was, was filmed in Ted and David Prior's apartment. It was a two bedroom apartment not far from Gold's Gym Venice. We started filming at about 5am and worked all day, if I remember correctly it was a Monday. That following Saturday was the location shoot. I took a week off of work, I played Harp at a French Restaurant about thirty miles south of Venice, on the coast. I lived then in Manhattan Beach, Ca.

Me:
What was your deal with Nicholas Imaz?

Doug:
I signed a contract with Mr. Nicholas Imaz present. My income from the film was to be $900, which is three times my weekly salary from the Restaurant. After filming was done, I asked David Prior for my salary. I gave up my $300 a week from the restaurant to do the filming. When I signed the contract Mr. Imaz assured me I would be paid. David told me that Mr. Imaz returned to Lebanon with the film and did not pay anyone. Since I was on my own, not having the $300 was a great stress for me, for at that time I was just making enough to make it through each month. I kicked myself for being so naive.

Me:
What was Nicholas Imaz like? What was your first impressions of him? In retrospect, do you think he never planned on paying you guys?

Doug:
I first met him as Mr. Imaz and thought how odd that a Muslim was producing a film like this. Later I found out his first name which is a dead give away that he was christian. He had a short friend with him who took a picture standing next to me, he nearly reached my shoulder. When I asked him if I was going to be paid, I should have known intuitively that I would not. David said films like this are very popular in the Middle East and that it would do well.

Me:
What were your feelings about the film being shot on videotape? As you might know, Sledgehammer was one of the very first horror films ever to be shot on video.

Doug:
David Prior told me that is was cheaper to video tape the film than to film it on film, that later the transfer would be made to film.


Me:
Were you ever given a copy of the film on videotape? What was your first experience like watching the film?

Doug:
I was given a copy of the film on video, but did not at that time have a video player. I had planned to buy a video player with part of the money I received (the $900), which I did not receive. It was years later that I saw the film for the first time. David Prior, to my knowledge, did not have a viewing of the film or at least I was not invited. When I finally did view the film, I was not impressed, to me Ted Prior who is very talented, was over acting. I though the film moved far too slowly and did not care for the score. I am a big fan of well-done film scores (most of the DVD's that I have, have extraordinary scores, like John Williams, James Horner and the like). Of course I know the best that could be had for the money was produced.

Me:
Did you ever see the video in video stores?

Doug:
A priest friend of mine from Long Beach, also named Ted, told me he saw it in a video store and rented it. He said the film was fine and thats all. Personally I never saw the film in a video store, for I was one who would buy my films so I could watch them over and over again. I never rented. Do the same today with my DVD's.

Me:
Do you still have your VHS of Sledgehammer? Or any other props from the set?

Doug:
I do not have my video copy of Sledgehammer anymore or any props (I provided my own clothing for the film, all except the shirt).

Me:
Did you ever consider your role in Sledgehammer an embarrassment?

Doug:
Am I embarrassed with the film ? No, I found it a good experience. I'm embarrassed not being paid. Many people come to LA hoping to end up in some film. I came to So. Cal to train at Gold's Gym and hopefully find a lover. Ted Prior was as close as I came too, but of course Ted wanted a wife, I think.. I am very attracted to bodybuilders (male) and wanted to be one myself. At 6' 9" I do not have the genetics, but I still train 3 times a week at 24 Hour Fitness. Still hoping to meet someone.

Me:
Has anyone ever contacted you regarding the movie?

Doug:
Only my priest friend Ted and a few days ago on Facebook (someone) from New York City. He asked me for an autograph, but I do not have a regular post for him. He told me he worked on the film, but I checked on Youtube where all the credits are given for the film, and his name is not listed.

Me:
Have you been in touch with anyone involved with the movie since?

Doug:
I just tried a few days ago to reach Ted Prior, through David's website. No response as of yet. I You tubed David A. Prior and left a message for Ted on one of his other films, and buckanobanzai sent me David's website's address.

Me:
Are you aware that the film had recently been released on DVD?

Doug:
I did not know that Sledgehammer has been re-released on DVD. Would very much like a copy.

 

Special thanks to Doug for the interview.

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