Sunday, October 4, 2020

31 Days of Horror: The Slumber Party Massacre Trilogy

The classics are well appreciated by me. I've partaken in the artistry of Welles, Kurosawa, Scorsese, Coppola, Kubrick, and participated in discourses on their work. I've spent untold hours and spilled countless words contemplating the deeper meanings buried within the frames of their films. They've made me reflect on the human condition. Between all that cinematic soul-searching, though, I gorge on cinematic junk food. And so, we have the most ridiculous explanation possible for my love of slasher flicks. And here is a trilogy of them, executive produced by shlock master Roger Corman, I felt like revisiting lately.

The Slumber Party Massacre

It's the old party while the parents are away routine. In this case, it's a slumber party, of  course. A few guys find out about the shindig and go the peeping Tom route before getting found out and...uh...invited in. As the title suggests, a psycho killer starts picking them off one by one. That's basically the plot of every film in the franchise so I'll speak no more of it. The first half of this one crawls by, which is weird because the whole thing only runs 77 minutes. Once it kicks into high gear, however, it is a load of fun even though our killer leaves lots to be desired. The most remarkable thing about this movie s that it was written by a woman who is an award-winning feminist author, Rita Mae Brown, and directed by another woman, Amy Holden Jones, who would find greater success with her own pen. She went on to write Mystic Pizza and Indecent Proposal among other things. Despite that pedigree it plays every bit like a pair of horny 12 year old boys made it. I know they were both early in their career, but still. Anyhoo, I sound like I hate it, but I don't. It's a good time as long as you don't think about it. At all.

Slumber Party Massacre II

By the time this sequel rolled around, Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees weren't just characters in successful horror franchises, they were genre legends and joined by a third, Having an easily recognizable killer was a must for slasher flicks. This film ditches the non-descript dude from the first movie and gives us The Driller Killer. If you're old enough to remember rocker Billy Idol, imagine him with a guitar that has a giant drill bit on the end. It's the most phallic thing he could possibly use without taking off his pants. Thanks to this, we get what's probably the most iconic sequence of the series - a 20 minute music video of The Driller Killer going to work. I mean, he's literally singing and dancing while laying waste to his victims. It is a sight to see. It overshadows the best acting of the series. The story still sucks, but what are you gonna do?

Slumber Party Massacre III

I watched and wrote about this one a few years ago and called it "so bad it's awesome." If I had watched it by itself again, I'd probably still feel that way. However, watching it right after seeing the other two brings its faults into such sharp relief, it's no longer that same level of fun for me. It's somewhat enjoyable in that way because it is very bad, but it's clearly the weakest movie in the bunch. For some strange reason, The Driller Killer is not included, so we go back to a generic nobody. The acting, writing, and even the gore, all take a nosedive. This is the entry most fans of the franchise tend to pretend doesn't exist, and with good reason.

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  1. I have not seen any of these films and I don’t think I will😁

    1. If you're not a fan of slasher flicks then yeah, stay far away. Far, far away.

  2. I haven't seen any of these films but I've always been curious about the first one at least. Hopefully I'll run across them some day.

    1. Fun for what they are, but don't expect anything too deep.

  3. These sound like my kind of films. I don't remember if I saw any of them but they look like so much fun to watch.