You bring the pizza….I’ll bring the drill.
Fun 80s slasher directed by Amy Holden Jones. Stars Michelle Michaels as Trish, Robin Stille as Valerie and Michael Villella as Russ Thorn. Also stars Brinke Stevens as Linda, Gina Smika Hunter as Diane, Jim Boyce as John Minor, Andree Honore as Jackie, Debra De Liso as Kim, Pamela Roylance as Coach Jana, David Millbern as Jeff, Joseph Alan Johnson as Neil and Jennifer Meyers as Courtney.
A murderer called Russ Thorn has escaped and is on the loose. When her parents go away eighteen-year-old Trish is left home alone so she invites her friends over for a slumber party. Thorn is already killing people in the vicinity with his big power drill and is stalking Trish and her friends. The night of the slumber party arrives and the killer closes in. One girl, Valerie, well, there’s a bit of friction between her and the others as she’s the new girl and is better at basketball (?) so she stays at home across the street with her younger sister, Courtney. Coach Jana phones Valerie and asks her to take a look when a phone call to her from the slumber party ends in screaming (that’d be the pizza boy).
This is a cool slasher film, very 80s and not short on atmosphere or decent kills. It’s not overly gory, however, I read that there were some cuts totalling about a minute on the Thorn EMI VHS; one of the cuts was the title itself which was changed to ‘Slumber Party Murders'(??). Anyway, having been lucky enough to get hold of the uncut version, I’ve got to say that the cuts I’ve read about seem very unnecessary, although taking into account the hysteria of the time it’s not that surprising. The effects compliment the film nicely and should have been applauded not removed, but hey, the world’s full of idiots. I strongly disagree with removing the work (yes, work!) of special effects people who play such a huge part in these films; I only own the cut-to-fuck version of My Bloody Valentine (1981) thanks to idiots with scissors and it utterly destroys the film; such films should be put back together and redistributed at no cost to their creators as an apology to them and us. Special effects are a talent, something these self-appointed moral guardians wouldn’t know if it was sat on their faces.
Fans of 80s slashers are going to like this one in my opinion. It’s pretty standard fare for this kind of film but it does it well and doesn’t do anything particularly self-damning; you know, who expects Oscar-winning performances? There are the usual false jumps, yes a cat jumps out of something or other. So, if like me, you like Prom Night (1980), My Bloody Valentine (1981) or The Prowler (1981), for example, then you’re probably going to enjoy this. The killer doesn’t wear a cool costume like The Miner (My Bloody Valentine) or The Prowler (Rosemary’s Killer aka The Prowler), but he’s pretty damn creepy and does the job; I loved his big drill (Ooh Er, Missus!). There’s a bit of nudity but you know; what’s the big deal? Just tits and panties (I like that word; panties) and a bit of butt-crack, unless I missed something, in which case I’ll go back and check; I must be thorough. The dialogue is hilarious in places, “It’s not how big your mouth is, it’s what’s in it that counts.” Quality. Shakespeare missed the boat there.
I highly recommend The Slumber Party Massacre, especially to fans of 80s slashers. The version I have has reasonable video and audio, a long, long way from Blu-ray standard though; there’s a peculiar rhythmic humming on the audio which is a little annoying (I can still hear it, in my head). Anyway, did that guy really have to kill a real-life snail with a meat cleaver? That was just stupid asshole! Apart from that I loved it. At least it wasn’t a snake this time (Friday the 13th ’80, Bloody Moon ’81); adds nothing, leave it out. Anyway, highly enjoyable 80s slasher. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. And just for good measure… panties.