It's remarkable how Amy Jones' "Slumber Party Massacre," released at arguably the height of the genre in 1982, still feels like a post-modern send-up of the slasher movie. Watching it, I was also struck by how accurately it captures what I remember of my own 80's and 90's childhood: gaudy interior decorating, a steady diet of junk food, and school kids being unnecessarily cruel to each other and their siblings.
I can't be help to enjoy the slyness of the flick. On the surface, just an average slasher flick but to look deeper, there is clever subversion of the genre at play. Its like going to a haunted house ride and seeing that there is actually care put the coffin that the Dracula knock off just came out of.
Delivers what the title would suggest: a cheesy, sleazy 80s teen slasher. Apparently written as a parody but shot straight, a bit of irony only seeps through at the climax. Decent entertainment for cult movie fans, but nothing special.
3.5 A much more important slasher than it gets credit for. It's obviousness, both in it's use of the sexualized killer and nudity, is part of what makes it work. That it was written and directed by women ( as were its sequels) also has to be considered. Pretty damn interesting film.
Asks then answers the question of 'what's so sacred about hiding the identity of the serial killer in a slasher/horror film'? Not only is the madman in Slumber Party Massacre not hidden by shadows, disfigurement, a mask, or camerawork that obscures, he's just another Joe Schmo albeit with serious, serious issues. I don't see this film as 'dumb' at all.
On paper, Slumber Party Massacre is a dumb teen slasher. Take a group of air-headed teenage girls, one maniac with a drill, a cosy middle American suburb and let the camera do the rest. But as a parody, the horror is written with mucho silliness, often filmed in an ironic deadpan effect with the gratuitous shower scenes, dead pizza boy delivery and finale all being best examples of this. It's a fun, if short, movie.
Cheap, and so much fun. A feminist semi-comedic slasher, it critiques the male invader. Rather than typical censorship, silencing or refusal to debate, the feminist angle here rightfully recognizes that the genre is not inherently misogynist. The males (as per usual) are useless and the "faces of the survivors/victims" ending remind us how this is a serious situation, not just in the murders but the rape correlation.
3.5 stars. Notable for being the first installment in a horror film series whose films were directed by women, SPM was a pleasant surprise. Rita Mae Brown's script was shot as a normal horror against her wishes, and I wonder what it would have been like in its original form. Very deserving of its cult status, however, because it's everything a cheesy 80s slasher is supposed to look like.