on 17 January 2011
Slumber Party Massacre: The Collection [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
I'm not really going to review the films. Usually these reviews are meant to be about the product itself, so here goes.
The SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE is a somewhat average fun low budget satire slasher.
SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE II heads more to the comedic theme. It was a so bad it's good film, filled with insanity and bad acting.
SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE III goes straight to serious horror. The story was actually the best of the three, but some of the acting and silliness brought it down, to being better than II, but not as fun as the original.
Now for the DVD set. You get 2 discs. One with The SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE, and the other with the two sequels.
The first two films are presented in their theatrical releases, however I get the impression that SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE II was originally shot in full screen. It still looks good in widescreen, and doesn't seem to lose much from the screen. All they've done really is crop the top and bottom to make it look widescreen. The third film is presented in its original full screen format.
There are decent extras where you get:
. An all new three part documentary called Sleepless Nights: Revisiting The Slumber Party Massacres. That talks about all three films.
. An audio commentary by the cast and crew for each film.
. A still gallery.
. Theatrical trailers for the three films.
Disk 1 - The SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE - Contains the actual film. The three part documentary. A still gallery. The trailers for all three films. An audio commentary by the director: Amy Holden Jones, the actor Michael Villella who played the killer: Russ Thorn, an actress Debra Deliso who played the blonde girl: Kimberly, a webmaster fan: Tony Brown, and a brief presence of Brinke Stevens the actress who played the girl killed in the school: Linda.
Disk 2 - SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE II + III - Contains the actual film. A still gallery. A poster shoot. And an audio commentary by the director: Deborah Brock, the producer: Don Daniel, and the webmaster fan: Tony Brown. SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE III contains the actual film. A still gallery. And an audio commentary by the director: Sally Mattison, an actress: Brandi Burkett who played Diane, another actress Hope Marie Carlton who played Janine, and the webmaster fan: Tony Brown.
on 20 January 2008
If the title hasn't already sold you, I doubt I'll be able to convince you that this film is worth a look.
The plot is a slightly tweaked and thinly veiled rip off of 'Halloween', but this movie doesn't take itself anywhere near as seriously as John Carpenter's classic shocker, and this is perhaps its saving grace.
Like all good horror movies of the period, 'The Slumber Party Massacre' aims to provide us with two things; mild titillation though its utterly shameless use of female nudity and cheap thrills though its corny murder moments. While the latter is hardly on a par with many slashers, it is a bit of fun. Some of the murders are quite inventive, if a little sparing on the gore.
As far as the nudity goes, the premise dictates a fairly abundant use of boobs and thighs. While some may consider this sexist, it is important to note that the director is actually a woman. Stick that in your feminist pipe and choke on it!
Happilly, not only is the film graced with some deliciously and flagrantly gratuitous breast exposure, but the owners of said breasts are uniformly gorgeous. Movies like 'The Mutilator' (which contained not just ugly but fully-clothed ugly women) could learn a lot from this masterpiece of schlock!
This is not to everyone's taste but, if you've read this far with a smile on your face, I'm pretty sure it's the film for you.
I) The five star rating is based upon the strength of the first film. The movie starts out with organ music, the type you would expect to see in a Vincent Price movie. The first nude scene comes quickly as Corman always shoots the all important scenes, such as young girls getting dressed first thing in the morning. What is most funny about the film was the choice of murder weapon, a battery powered drill. Anyone who has ever used one of these things on a human knows that it is okay for flesh, but as soon as you hit bone it stops or slows down and runs out the battery. Sometimes it spins back.
The movie contains several noteworthy scenes such as the "peeper" scene which carried over into the two sequels. This one also had the memorable shower scene (pass the soap please). For you youngsters, this was an era when 18 year old teens could legally buy alcohol. The Jim Jones and Kool-Aid reference was also of the era. Note the telephone color co-ordination of red and turquoise, all in the same model. BTW, the correct way to ease drop on an extension phone is to disconnect the receiver, unscrew the mouth piece and remove the diaphragm, reconnect the receiver then listen.
II) Courtney survived the first one and has bad dreams going into the second one. She is in an all girl band who go away for the weekend. They have a pillow fight and are spied upon by boys. Only one girl goes topless for the lone nude scene. The killer in this one is a greaser from Courtney's dream. He has more character than the killer in the first film, but this movie makes less sense and doesn't have the "fun" aspect of the first one.
III) This movie is the final installment as it starts out with beach volleyball. This time when the girls get together they play striptease until the boys walk in on them. More nudity than the second one, but the killer was more boring.
The first film is worth owning as a cult classic. The other two leave something to be desired. Unless you can find the first film at a decent discount, you might as well get the 3 pack with the commentary.
on 26 May 2016
My love for this film is bound what i would have thought as when i first saw it i wasn't that impressed and then i watched it again. After awhile any true horror fan will see how this film is poking fun at traditional slasher films the way they use soft porn to degrade women so when its time to kill them off your not bothered. In this movie one of the final girls (Yes theres more than one girl that survives) bares her naked flesh in the first 5 mins of the film. Of course this was a movie made by a woman and you can feel the difference between male slashers and this one. I'm a horror geek so lets talk about the music as well which i think is really old school and reminds me of the universal monster movies which i love. The music adds a nostalgic feel to the film and a real fun element as you felt like me when your a kid first getting into horror and how cool it was that you had to watch more horrors to satisfy your desires. Loved the humor in this without giving to much away watch out for the pizza being ate by a nervous girl who needs to eat when under pressure! I cant believe i got this film for £1 i wish more horrors like this was on the market.
Given all of the gratuitous nudity and clichéd storyline in evidence during Slumber Party Massacre, you would never know that the film was written and directed by a pair of feminists. If there were ever a slasher film where a girl victim actually finishes the killer off once she has him down, you would think it would be this one. You would be wrong. You won't find any of the girls in this movie singing "I am woman, hear me roar" because they're too busy dropping their weapons and running away like almost every other female victim in every other slasher film ever made.
When her parents go away for a few days, Trish (Michelle Michaels) decides it's the perfect time to kick it old school with a good old-fashioned slumber party with the girls. No one seems to know there's a killer in their midst - an escaped prisoner who murdered five people back in 1959. After twenty-plus years of not killing, Russ Thorn (Michael Villella) eagerly starts killing people in broad daylight (although no one notices) long before the slumber party even begins. Truth be told, it isn't much of a party - only four girls are there, and they barely get a chance to start drinking and smoking weed before the fun begins - although they do find time to titillate a couple of high school boys by changing clothes in front of an open window. Then the killer shows up, at which point all the girls turn into stereotypical slasher victims. Meanwhile, the hot new girl in town, Valerie (Robin Stille) - who lives next door but wasn't invited because some of the girls are jealous of her--and her annoying younger sister begin to wonder what is going on at the party. Needless to say, they eventually find out.
There's nothing particularly special about this movie, but it's a prime example of the classic slasher films of the 1980s. There's no mystery to the identity of the killer, nor does he possess any sort of superhuman traits. It's just young women in nightshirts versus an insane but very human killer. In a sense, it's formulaic - but in another sense, it is one of the films that helped define the slasher formula to begin with. It does have a few goofy moments, though (ostensibly because it was initially written as a parody). Seriously, why is Trish's weird neighbor out killing snails with a huge knife at night? And why does no one wonder what happened to Linda (scream queen Brinke Stevens in one of her first credited roles) when she never shows up at the house? My favorite goof, though, comes when Trish picks up the coffeepot she left on a hot burner without getting burned.
Some professional reviewers have actually tried to put this film in the feminist blender and analyze the results, yielding a lot of hullabaloo over the killer's "big drill," but that's all a bunch of hooey, if you ask me. Maybe if Martina Navratilova had jumped out of the shadows and bashed the killer's head in with her tennis racket, they might have some ground to stand on - but no, even Val, the paragon of beauty, talent, and guts that she is, cries when she gets her feelings hurt. Let's all just enjoy this film for what it is - a classic, old-school 80s slasher film.
on 4 March 2006
Yes, this film is quite bad. but, if you absolutely LOVE cheesey 80's American horror, like me, you'll fall in love with this movie pretty quickly! Definately get it!
on 27 June 2012
In 1982, Roger Corman decided to muster up his own spin on the emerging slasher trend. With his New World studio backing up-and-coming director Amy Jones, the first feminist slasher film was born--Slumber Party Massacre. Rather than making a straight up slasher, Jones reworked Rita Mae Brown's spoofy script (originally titled "Don't Open the Door") into a straight faced satire of the entire cinematic movement. The film, featuring a killer wielding an oversized electric drill who stalks a group of teenage girls during their slumber parties, became a major success for Corman, who followed it by green lighting two sequels and a series of spin-offs (Sorority House Massacre and its sequel; Hard To Die, Cheerleader Massacre, and more). This collection from Shout! Factory is a great way to rediscover these great 80's slasher films. Now I know that some viewers who might be tired of the cliched and formulaic style of these slasher films, but what the series does is make things more interesting and much more creative. The girls aren't you're typical slasher film victims, some of their stupid acts are usually done intentionally as a wink at the horror genre, which makes things more fun and they do usually fight back.
In Slumber Party Massacre (1982) an escaped murderer Russ Thorn (Michael Villella) targets a girls basketball team on the night of their big slumber party, as hosted by the popular-girl-with-a-heart-of-gold, Trish (Michelle Michaels). What does he bring to the party, you ask? A giant electric power drill and a taste for the Grand Guignol. As the body count rises and the girls become cognizant of how 'screwed' they really are (heh), the shy girl next Valerie (Robin Stille) and her bratty little sister Courtney (Jennifer Meyers) decide to crash the party. Despite being directed by a female director, the film surprisingly has a lot of nudity including a long shower, and the gore scenes were terrific not to mention the great humor including the scene with the dead girl in the fridge. Sure, there's some poor acting and plot holes involved in this film, but that just adds to the B-movie fun, and makes this film the most enjoyable of the series.
Slumber Party Massacre II (1987) we pick up with Courtney (now played by Crystal Bernard) on the eve of her 17th birthday. She's being plagued by awful nightmares, and with her band (yes, she's in a cheesy new wave rock band now) going off to a condo for the weekend, she decides to ditch visiting her hospitalized big sister in favor of partying on her big day. Of course, things go awry when her dreams of the now 50's rockabilly Driller Killer (Atanas Illitch who likes like a reject from Grease) start spilling over into reality. Things go pretty much how you'd expect, only this time there are more musical numbers and the drill doubles as a sweet electric guitar. The film did have a couple of corny scenes (the rockabilly songs were awful), it was probably the weakest film in the series and barely delivers and has no connection with the first film!.
Slumber Party Massacre III (1990) tries to bring back the respectability of its origins, but ditches the sense of humor completely, replacing it with a sort of stark mean-spiritedness that might alienate fans. The murder mystery angle orients itself toward the type of rough misogyny commonplace in rape/revenge Grindhouse greats Last House On The Left and I Spit On Your Grave, as filtered through the structure of the original Friday the 13th (which was itself an Agatha Christie-esque plot). I won't spoil the big reveal. It's pretty obvious from the get-go, but slasher fans might have a fun time playing Guess Who with all the red herrings. When the big reveal finally comes, it shifts the film from playfully cheesy early '90s slasher, to an extremely brutal assault on the glossed-over tropes of the genre. It was a good slasher, don't get me wrong but it's no where near as fun as the first film.
Shout! Factory has given these three films some love with newly remastered transfers for the first two films. The first film is presented in 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen and looks to be the best of the set. There's some minor print damage, but it's not too bad. Overall, the movie looks very good. For SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE II, the 1.85.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer also looks quite good. Sadly, the third film is presented in 1.33.1 fullframe, and doesn't quite have the same care as the other two. All three films each get a feature-length commentary. For the first film, we get an commentary featuring moderator Tony Brown, director/producer Amy Jones, actor Michael Villella, and actress Debra Deliso. Brown also runs the SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE fansite, The Old Hocksetter Place, and knows his stuff regarding the series.
The big extra is the all-new documentary on the making of all three films in the series entitled Sleepless Nights: Revisiting The Slumber Party Massacre. You know this one's going to be good when you start off with home video footage of a kid opening his presents on Christmas morning, and discovering that he's been given Slumber Party Massacre, much to his delight. This documentary interviews all three directors - Amy Jones, Deborah Brock and Sally Mattison. Finally, there are trailers for each film, and Image Galleries featuring original artwork and rare behind-the-scenes shots. As an extra bonus, Shout! Factory have done up an excellent retrospective essay included in the DVD liner notes by Jason Paul Collum recounting his history with the series, and kept the transparent keepcase for a double-sided cover art.
on 23 May 2011
80s slasher, girls are having a party and they get stalked and killed by a psycho with a drill. Its not bad at all, dark humoured at times and pretty atmospheric and the bad guy does a good job of being creepy. The girls are mostly hot (as they usually were in that era in horror films). Theres not alot of gore except near the end and its not suspenseful or scary to be honest but it is entertaining. Theres no story (the title is the story), no originality, no character development or plot twists, and theres no mystery about the killer as he is shown full face at the start. The acting is also so-so at best.. Still there is something endearing and likable about this and its well worth watching.
Also RIP the late Robin Stille who played the gorgeous girl next door Val.
on 16 March 2012
Slumber Party Massacre is a so so typical cheesy American horror film from the 80's. The first twenty minutes are pretty good, but soon after the pace of the film grinds to a halt. Throughout this terribly acted film there is zero police presence even though the serial killer has escaped and gone back to his old town.
So the acting is very poor but what is worse is the umpteen false momets during the film. Really you will lose count how many times someone creeps up from behind or pretends their dead, only for them to be joking around. Once is acceptable, a second time is pushing it, hell even Friday the 13th only tried this once.
I should be giving this movie 2 stars, but I will opt for 3 as I enjoyed the climax. Also there are a few clever scenes thrown in, including a murder that plays along to a movie on the television.
Enjoyable (just about) horror trash from the 80's.
Originally intended to be a feminist parody of the slasher formula that was running rife post Halloween, The Slumber Party Massacre was tampered with so as to make a serious horror movie. So how come it's still hilarious then?
Plot for what it's worth finds a bunch of teenage girls throwing a slumber party only to get menaced by some psycho with a power drill. Cue an excuse for nudity, tight fitting pants, some gore, a bad actor guy living next door, an awful 80s score that sounds like Harold Faltermeyer belching, and the killer's drill lamely portrayed as a penis extension.
Devoid of shocks or suspense, film plays out as some ludicrous exercise in bad amateur dramatics. Even it 1982 the reliance on false scares were getting boorish, while the inability to not hide what is obviously coming around the corner in the next scene is just poor directing from Amy Holden Jones.
Generic and predictable tosh that only succeeds in making you treasure the likes of Black Christmas and Halloween even more! 2/10