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Slumber Party Massacre (Entire Series)

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  • Slumber Party Massacre (Entire Series)

    I was looking through my stack of discs I've yet to watch and noticed I had picked up the Slumber Party Massacre II / III double feature on blu-ray at some point. I still own the triple feature release for the unedited commentaries, but the blu-ray release has extra footage for both movies. Rather than make it a double showing, I figured I'd go for a triple and re-watch the first film as well.

    When it comes to Slumber Party Massacre, I've never been let down. It never wastes time getting to the trope you expect -- blood and tits. At under 80 minutes, it never drags. It's not a character study as everyone is mostly what they appear on the surface. However, it's a fun movie to dissect if you want to examine the gender reversals. Even if not, it's difficult to ignore how the movie pokes fun at the slashers of the golden age through the use of weapons as phallic symbols and how utterly useless the few men are in comparison to the women. The weakest part for me is Robin Stille's character and her sister. They mostly just banter back and forth unconvincingly although their scenes do lead to a surprise cameo by Sylvester Stallone.

    Slumber Party Massacre II is like A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge or Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Every time I watch it, I enjoy more and more. Make no mistake, it's a low budget New Concorde release and it certainly shows. Yet it's the unique angle on the slasher genre that draws me to it with the lead female summoning a killer who represents her fear of her first sexual intercourse. Having the killer based on a 1950's rock and roller, the music genre to symbolize sex, danger, and death, is perfect although it may be more appropriate for when the movie came out as rock, even if glam, appealed to women more so than today it seems. More strange than any of that is Crystal Bernard as the lead in a horror movie. I can't wrap my head around it. Where it fails is trying to be a sequel to the first film. The impact of the events Courtney went through feel lacking and is summed up as "she has nightmares". It's a cheap way to create a catalyst for her mental instability which leads to the film's theme.

    The blu-ray has the option of viewing a longer cut of the film. It was nice to see, but it's only worth it once. Most of the footage is more of what's already there such as the girls driving in the car or making the awkward dinner conversation between Courtney and her mom become more of a commercial Dinty Moore Beef Stew. Sometimes they help with the transition such as when Courtney is picked up by her friend and they drive to school. It actually shows them arrive at school. Normally the scene cuts to later in the day at Sheila's (I think) garage for band practice. As for gore, there's an additional shot of blood in the bathtub and during Sally's pimple problem. It's mostly of the girls sitting / standing / driving / talking / fantasizing in extended footage of what's already in the film. There is one short sequence that is worthwhile. After a nightmare early in the story, Courtney wakes up, walks over to her wall, tears up a poster of Atanas (the killer), and tossed it in the trash. It explains why her fear of sexual intercourse is represented by a rockabilly. The extended version is interesting as a curiosity piece, but I'll stick with the traditional cut. The extended version is just under 90 minutes and feels padded out as it slogs through a few sections unlike the 77 minute version.

    That leaves Slumber Party Massacre III. Before tonight, I've only see the full frame version on triple feature DVD release. Seeing it in the correct ratio plus a few seconds of extra material (gore from what I could tell) was a step up. It would be easy to say this is the weakest in the series, but I think it holds up alongside the first two for different reasons. It somewhat follows a similar narrative as the first movie with less T and A, but it's a different film once the killer starts his chase. Rather than the killer picking off the girls one by one, the would be victims work together to foil several of his attempts. When one girl (played by Maria Ford) is cornered, another knocks the killer out from behind. There are other sequences like this which makes it feel fresh in a genre that, even by 1990, has a seen-it-done-it feel. This makes one scene in which the girls watch for several minutes as one of their friends desperately tries to survive by seducing the killer seem poorly conceived. Despite the extra moments of gore, the movie is more tame than the earlier entries if only a tad. On the other hand, it has an entire cast that I actually like. That's a rare feat for a slasher movie!

    Anyone else enjoy these films or the other various (loosely) connected movies?
    People hyping up latest comic book movie to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen Bigfoot rip off a man's dick before in 1980's Night of the Demon."

  • #2
    I have the images in my head of the hundreds of trips down the isles of mom and pop video stores and then Block Buster later when I was a kid. I probably picked up the case of Slumber Party Massacre and Slumber Party Massacre II many times and just never rented them. Its funny how those cool movie covers from back then can stick with you. I will add them to my list.


    • #3
      The image of Slumber Party Massacre II cover is burned into my mind. I used to see the VHS all the time at our local video store and at the Hollywood Video. I remember purchasing the first DVD release of it as a gag gift for a buddy of mine that thought it looked incredibly stupid. Right around the time it went OOP and people were paying big bucks for it, I asked him if he still had it. Turns out he had just sold it off to a used movie / video game store and received a mighty $2.75 for it. Oh well.

      Try them out and see what you think. They each have their own unique traits to them underneath the slasher tropes you expect to see.

      Every year during the summer time, I re-watch Married with Children once or twice and every time I see this one girl that seems especially energetic in the 4x20 episode titled Peggy Made a Little Lamb. She's always had a familiar look about her, but I could never place her in anything else. Turns out she's Keely Christian, the lead girl in Slumber Party Massacre III. Here she is in the red shirt:

      People hyping up latest comic book movie to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen Bigfoot rip off a man's dick before in 1980's Night of the Demon."


      • #4
        I love, LOVE The Slumber Party Massacre. Easily one of my top 5 favorite slasher films. Maybe top 3 even? Great soundtrack too. The third one is fine for what it is, but probably not something I'll feel the need to revisit in the future. The second one though, man, I just can't. I've tried a couple times and just hated it. Not sure I ever managed to finish it to be honest.


        • #5
          Totally understand the reaction to part 2. I had the same feeling for years. Then every time I watched it, it got a little better due to the themes. Plus, some Juliette Cummins and Kimberly McArthur go a long way.

          Oh yeah, the soundtrack for the first film is great with that early synth score with its gothic sounding vibe. Speaking of, when watching Don't Answer the Phone last week, it's score stands out. I especially like the title track played during the opening title sequence.
          People hyping up latest comic book movie to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen Bigfoot rip off a man's dick before in 1980's Night of the Demon."