All In A Day’s Work: The Carpenter (1988, directed by Daving Wellington)

Alice Jarett (Lynne Adams) has problems.

She’s recovering her latest nervous breakdown and her husband, Martin (Pierre Lenoir) is having an affair with one of his students.  Martin and Alice have just moved into a new house that was never actually completed and the construction crew that they’ve hired is made up of lazy nogoodniks who all have mullets.  Alice’s only relief is the carpenter (Wings Hauser) who materializes in the house every midnight and who, unlike the construction crew, carefully and lovingly works on the house while talking about the value of doing a good day’s work.

Even though she comes to believe that the carpenter might be the ghost of a murderer, Alice still falls in love with him and he seems to fall for her too.   Want to get on the carpenter’s bad side?  Just try to hurt Alice or the house.   When a member of the construction crew attempts to rape Alice, the carpenter chops off the rapist’s arm with a radial saw.  When two other construction workers break into the house, the carpenter kills them too.  In fact, the carpenter kills a lot of people and what gives this movie a new wrinkle is that Alice seems to be okay with a lot of those murders.  Is the carpenter real, dead, or a product of Alice’s fragile mental state?  No one knows but the carpenter himself.

The Carpenter is all about Wings Hauser, who was practically the patron saint of straight-to-video exploitation films in the late 80s and early 90s.  The movies tries to keep us guessing as to whether the carpenter is a real person or a ghost but all that matters is that he’s Wings Hauser, giving one of his most crazed performances.  Wings Hauser could make any otherwise bad movie watchable and that’s the case with The Carpenter.

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