The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Slasher Film, Satire  |   Run Time - 84 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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This once-controversial entry in the slasher film cycle of the early 1980's looks like a period piece by modern standards but still has a charm all its own for fans of trashy horror flicks. Screenwriter Rita Mae Brown, better known for her feminist fiction, intended for her script to be played as a satire but director Amy Jones instead plays it straight. As a formula slasher film, it's not bad. Characterizations tend towards the formulaic but Brown shows a better understanding of female relationships and banter than her male counterparts usually do. The young female leads are pleasant but mostly interchangeable: the standout performances come from Jennifer Meyers as an amusingly bratty kid sister and Michael Villella as the sweaty, bug-eyed killer. Jones imitates a lot of the stylistic tics John Carpenter displayed in Halloween (prowling camerawork, an ominous synthesizer score, using suburban settings to ironically creepy effect) and builds a decent amount of suspense. She doesn't shy away from sleaze (a gratuitous shower scene is taken to self-parodic extremes) and creates an effectively tense and bloody finale. In short, The Slumber Party Massacre isn't likely to interest anyone outside the horror movie fanbase but those fans will find it to be a solid little programmer.