The Slumber Party Massacre brings gory fun and female empowerment to a slasher party.
The Slumber Party Massacre is a slasher that subverts gender roles and empowers the female victims by turning the mayhem against the male serial killer. With some humor, a bit of nudity, some brutal bloody gory kills and smart, brave girls who fight off the killer, this is an unusual slasher especially for its time. This time all the great roles are saved for the women and girls who in fact do scream but also don’t do stupid things by just being the body that has to be slaughtered. This is a slasher made by and for women with some cheesy but nonetheless powerful images and and a great finale.
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Trish and her friends have turned eighteen and are leaving school and for old times sake she throws a slumber party for just the girls. Kim, Jackie, Linda and Diane are her closest friends but Trish also wants to invite new girl Valerie who also lives across Trish’s house, but she overheard them talking about her and declines. While Jeff and Neil aren’t invited they do stop by, to spy on the girls and to scare them bit. But that day serial killer Russ Thorn has escaped prison and roams the neighborhood and has laid his eyes on Trish and her friends. And the slumber party turns into a deadly massacre.
Why you should watch it
The Slumber Party Massacre has a very cheesy title but the plot isn’t so cheesy as you would have expected. Of course the kills are cheesy and the serial killer is a cheesy madman, but the girls are anything but. This slasher empowers the girls instead of letting them scream and die the most horrible deaths while being nude, or after having sex. This movie reverses the roles into an unusual slasher.
It starts with the telephone guy who isn’t a guy but a woman. The girls play some awesome basketball and their female coach is a cool woman. Coach Jana’s handyman is a woman. While the girls take a shower of course the camera lingers too long on their naked bodies, and it shows that the five girls don’t talk nice about Valeri who overheard, but Trish thinks Valerie is neat, and she does want to invite her.
Then when Linda goes back to retrieve a book, the killer already singles her out for his second kill for the day. But Linda is smart enough to hide, to soak up the blood with a towel, but despite her efforts, she’s drilled to death, just like the telephone woman whose car serves as a great disguise. Then when Diane is walking home she is seemingly attacked but she executes a great judo throw and her boyfriend is on the ground. So that already shows that these girls aren’t easy to mess with and can defend themselves. And they acts like ‘boys’ smoking marihuana, drinking beer, even checking out playgirl and wearing sports outfits as comfort wear.
While they get attacked by Russ they prove once more, that they are tough and brave. Although there are some pretty cheesy things going on, like Kim being so hungry that she eats the ordered pizza off the dead pizza delivery guy’s cold body. Meanwhile Valerie is at home watching a horror movie, while her sister Courtney is secretly reading playgirl, but both are soon dragged into the mayhem when coach Jana calls Valerie to check in on the slumber party, because on the telephone she heard something disturbing. Even though Valeri wasn’t invited, she goes looking rather reluctantly, which is a great example that women should help each other even after some bad things were said. It shows that coach Jana is concerned and that she comes to the girls’ aid.
And don’t forget the two boys Neil and Jeff who also do know how to scream and are brave enough to go get help, while the leftover girls barricade themselves inside the house. Nobody does anything stupid. They think and then act, they don’t go alone, find lights and weapons and help each other. That distinguishes this slasher from other slashers who can be misogynist with dumb screaming girls. Even the coach Rachel Jana is a tough girl who comes to their rescue.
All these kills aren’t the most suspenseful ones, but because all of the characters are very likable and we get to know them, makes their deaths more gruesome. But the most differentiating part is that there’s no final girl. There are more than one who together defeat the killer. And it’s all about the how they defat him. He kills with a drill. A very phallic symbol and even one shot shows his drill between his legs from a viewpoint that is a big euphemism, while he is about to kill one of the girls. So when during the final battle Valerie hacks off his drill with a machete, she emasculates him also in a very symbolical way. It’s great fun and highly satisfying, and a bit cheesy too.
My favorite part
I really liked how the girls were presented in this movie. They all were smart, brave, strong and not helpless screaming victims. And the boys and girls were treated alike. The boys did scream and were afraid but brave and also very considerate and gentlemanlike to the girls. The girls were cool and did everything boys do at that age with the same interests and curiosities and subverted the gender roles in a very natural way. Not the most conscientious or prudish girl survives screaming, but the smartest, strongest and bravest did who also were the most likable and treated other women and girls nicely.
Gore factor: ★★★☆☆
Popcorn factor: ★★★★★
Gruesome factor: ★★★☆☆
Entertainment factor: ★★★★☆
Cast and crew
The Slumber Party Massacre is directed Amy Holden Jones and written by Rita Mae Brown. It stars Michelle Michaels (Trish Devereaux), Robin Stille (Valerie Bates), Jennifer Meyers (Courtney Bates), Gina Smika Hunter (Diane), Debra De Liso (Kim), Andree Honore (Jackie), Pamela Roylance (Coach Rachel Jana), Joseph Alan Johnson (Neil), David Millbern (Jeff), Rigg Kennedy (David Contant) and Michael Villella (Russ Thorn).
Duration: 76 minutes. Music: Ralph Jones. Cinematography: Stephen L. Posey. Edited by: Wendy Greene Bricmont, Sean Foley. Produced by: Amy Holden Jones. Production company: Santa Fe Productions. Distributed by: New World Pictures.