Brooke, an adult content creator, receives a sensitive package in the mail. Upon arrival, it’s clear that the package has been tampered with – a recurring issue with her parcels.

After filing another complaint, Brooke is contacted by the perpetrator, a mailman with an unsettling interest in her. A corrosive urge to retaliate takes hold as Brooke plays out her reprisal to its unexpected climax.

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Director’s Statement

For me, Sledgehammer is about loss. The loss of self, loss of agency, and maybe most importantly, loss of control and the grief one experiences in its aftermath. In making this film, I wanted to focus in on how Brooke internalizes and contends with an invasion of privacy and an abuse of power. As a male, I realize that I approach this film without experiencing the patriarchal oppression that Brooke does. However, I deeply relate to Brooke’s story, particularly the numbing loss of identity that Brooke is faced with after her retaliation.

-Kyle Marchen

Writer’s Statement

I’ve long been fascinated by the idea of what defines a strong woman. When I was a girl, I had the notion that was what I needed to become, but didn’t have a clear idea of how to get there. Was strength infallibility? Fearlessness? Independence? I remember being told by my mother that I wasn’t allowed to wear a bikini, because of the “message” this would send and how it would somehow counter who I was supposed to be. This annoyed me at the time, because I didn’t fit in with my friends, but it frustrates me more now. Shouldn’t a woman with strength be one in control of her own body?
This is why writing Sledgehammer became so important to me. I wanted to share a story of a woman who lives on her own terms and makes choices about her sexuality that work for her. I think the catalyst of the film is that when Brooke is violated, it’s because her agency in what she shares about her body and personal life is taken away from her. This violation is doubled when she begins to entertain the idea of revenge, because it’s her, not the perpetrator, who must contend with the emotional fallout.

-Heidi Dienesch