O.H.M.A.D. Day 11: The Hackers (1988)

This is a film that has to be seen in order to be believed.  Pa Hacker and his sons Arnie and Eldon run a home improvement company where their clients pay….WITH THEIR LIVES!  There isn’t much plot to speak of as AJ Hacker and Son’s Home Improvement Company basically drive around Michigan getting into misadventures.  

One minute into The Hackers, you’ll know exactly what you’re in for.  A hitchhiker has his thumb out as the Hackers drive towards him.  One of the sons stick a knife out of the truck window, and slicing  the thumb off.  The hiker then holds the bleeding hand up to the camera and screams for ten seconds straight in an unconvincing manner before the movie’s theme music hits:  “Just whack ’em, hack ’em, and sack ’em!”, the singer croons, over a theme music seemingly played on a Casio keyboard.

hackers2The Hackers is an riff on the killer family movie left in the wake of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.  I give them points for at least doing something original with the idea. Having a family run home improvement company as the lead baddies is a pretty funny idea, and something that could only work on a feature this cheap.  The two sons are seemingly inspired by Ike and Adley, the two man children from the original Mother’s Day.  With their prosthetic buck teeth, bandanas, glasses and silly metal plate masks, they are very silly characters that reminded me a lot of the mama’s boys from that film.

The Hackers was shot on location in Michigan by Camelot Studios.  Its founder served as director and used friends and family in it for it’s cast.  The actor playing Pa Hacker was a building foreman that the director once worked with. Surprisingly, Camelot Studios is still in business and specializes in commercials for local businesses.

Most of the scenes in The Hackers are just filler where the company got away with shooting locations that were public or family owned.  This lets us get a scene where the Hacker brothers play on a play ground for about six minutes of filler.  The last ten minutes or so gives us an actually pretty suspenseful stalk and chase scene with the Hacker’s latest client.  Clocking in at a little over 70 minutes, The Hackers is a lot of fun for people who can stand obnoxious low budget films.


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