Slumber Party Massacre (1982)
By: J.R. McNamara on October 3, 2005  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Umbrella Entertainment (Australia). All Regions, PAL. 1.85:1 (Non-anamorphic). English DD 2.0. 73 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: Amy Holden Jones
Starring: Michelle Michaels, Robin Stille, Michael Villella, Debra Deliso
Screenplay: Rita Mae Brown
Country: USA
AKA: The Slumber Party Murders
In 1982, mystery writer Rita Mae Brown wrote 'Sleepless Nights' as a satire of the teen slasher horror films that were abundant at the time, but her first draft was re-written and filmed as a straight horror. Amy Jones, the director who wrote Mystic Pizza and the Beethoven movies, can claim fame that she directed what was both touted as 'the first feminist horror film' and 'The First Horror Film Written and Directed by Women'. It is for these reasons that Slumber Party Massacre stands as a strange entry into the 80s slasher genre. There are still the usual misogynistic elements that were found in a lot of these movies, gratuitous nudity and the pursuit and torture of young women, but it's the men who are the bimbos, and the antagonist is armed with the ultimate phallic symbol - a two foot long power drill! Freud would have loved analyzing this film.

Slumber Party Massacre takes place in a small American town, where Russ Thorn (Michael Villella), murderer of 5, has escaped incarceration and is again on the loose. Oblivious to this is Trish Devereaux (Michelle Michaels), who, with her parents away for the weekend, but still under the watchful eye of neighbor Mr. Constant (Rigg Kennedy), decides to invite all her friends over for a slumber party (amongst them Debra Deliso and Andree Honore). Unfortunately some of the girls cannot go (horror fave Brinke Stevens) or do not want to go (Robin Stille) but those who do will regret it for the rest of their short lives…

This is not a bad entry into the 80s slasher fests, but there are certainly a lot of others I would add to a collection BEFORE this one. Enjoyable on a base level: boobies and blood, and worth a special mention for the appearance of Brinke Stevens, but by no means a critical addition to horror of the eighties.
Video
This 1.85:1 transfer is hardly what you would call a digitally re-mastered classic. The film stock has plenty of marks, hair and burns all over it, actually it looks like it has been transferred from an old video at some points, and also has moments of being far too dark, but it is still watchable.
Audio
Just Dolby 2.0 I am afraid, but still clear enough.
Extra Features
There is a trailer for Slumber Party Massacre (1 minute 51 seconds).

Horror Trailers are four trailers of Umbrella releases, including Maniac, I Drink Your Blood, Girls in Cages and Vampyros Lesbos.
The Verdict
Too 'horror' to be a parody, Slumber Party Massacre almost strikes all the right horror chords, but misses out when a humorous element appears which at times is quite out of place. Almost good.
Movie Score
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