Friday, June 28, 2013
Friday Flashback: The Slumber Party Massacre (1982) : Drilling Its Way Back Into Your Heart...
After an opening scene in which the paper boy delivers a fresh newspaper divulging the fact that escaped killer Russ Thorn is on the loose, we focus on eighteen year old Trish Devereaux (Michelle Michaels), who has invited her basketball team friends over for a slumber party since her parents are leaving town for the weekend. Her parents have charged their neighbor, Mr. Contant, to keep an eye on the house (and the girls, of course!) while they are away, to which he readily agrees to do.
At school in the locker room (after steamy showers and lots of gratuitous T & A shots), Trish's bitchy friend Diane (Gina Hunter) cuts up the new girl on the team, Valerie (Robin Stille) and the other girls add in their hateful two cents as well. Trish wants to ask Valerie to the slumber party, but Valerie overheard the nasty comments and rushes out of the school.
Here's where I find myself having to mention what incredible bitches teenage girls are. Back in the day, it wasn't outright called bullying, and there was much less focus on it back then - but let's be frank when we say it most certainly was bullying, and this is a prime example. Just because someone is different (in this case Valerie was better than them at sports and is noticeably prettier) isn't a reason to be a cunt. Regardless, it happens all the time, and this film is true-to-life in that respect.
Finally making his way to the girl's party, Thorn proceeds to drill his way through the cast (which at this point include some peeping tom boys from school and the unlucky Mr. Contant) until there are only a few girls left - one of which is Valerie, the scorned girl from the gym who happened to live across the street from Trish.
No new ground is broken throughout Slumber Party Massacre, but humor abounds and the old-school feel of the film really reeks nostalgia. It's a fun 77 minutes, with no time lost on developing secondary story lines or explaining why Thorn has chosen the girls. It's just pure, early-eighties, slasher-film fun!
Jones, an ardent feminist, worked with both Scorsese and Roger Corman in her career, and Brown (an even more staunch feminist) has found great success as an author, in particular with a series of "cozy" mysteries starring a cat: 'Sneaky Pie Brown'.
If you've never taken a chance on it, I'd say you could do far worse, so give it a chance for some good old-fashioned 80's fun.