[Review] The Slumber Party Massacre

Director: Amy Holden Jones | Writer: Reta Mae Brown | Released: 12 November 1982

The Slumber Party Massacre is completely off the rails bonkers. It’s told over the course of an evening, and takes place at both the school and a teen’s house. The parents are flying out for vacation and she has the house all to herself. Instead of throwing a party, she hosts a slumber party and invites her basketball teammates.

From the first scene you know the body count is going to add up pretty quickly. I can’t believe the first victim’s classmates didn’t hear her struggling in the van. She was slapping the glass really hard. And within the first ten minutes the ladies are in the showers naked. It’s not an 80s horror film without boobs. I’m glad we’ve gotten past that trope in horror films these days. Not long after the shower scene, another teen is killed, this time in the gym. no one was around to hear her scream either. Convenient or well planned on the killers part?

As the night progresses, the fun transitions to the slumber party. The teammates decide to watch a basketball game on television, but soon after a scary movie graced the screen. The director sort of uses the film to propel the plot. As the killer drills his way to the final girl, the film plays in the background. Along the way there’s a snail hunt and a hotdog placed on a black eye. I have no clue what that is about. I felt like I missed out on an inside joke or something. It was awkward.

The acting wasn’t that great. The dialogue wasn’t fluid. It all just felt really clunky. As for the killer, he doesn’t say too much. I think it would have probably been better if he didn’t say anything at all. It made his character less scary. The audience already knew he was crazy from the jump, but his reasoning felt forced. The director leaves some mystery to the killer, though. And that is with his motivation or his why. It’s fairly obvious he likes to prey on teen girls. And why use a cork drill of all things? He’s either disguised as an electrician or handyman. I didn’t really give it much thought because I wasn’t that invested in the killer.

At some point you have to make your audience care about the characters. I didn’t really care for any of them. They were paper thin with no real depth. Overall, the kill scenes weren’t that bloody. I was pleased as punch with the body count. But given the title massacre, I would have liked more blood splatter. And there’s only a few scenes where you get to see the special effects.

For what it’s worth, the film made me want to wear a jean jacket. I will definitely catch the other two films to see which direction the trilogy went. I wanted more from this film. It didn’t deliver the goods for me.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

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