Slumber Party Massacre (1982) — Not as awesome as the title suggests

“Hey, it’s not the size of your mouth, it’s what’s in it that counts.”

Kyle’s rating: For some reason, it’s absolutely atrocious (to me)

Kyle’s review: Slumber Party Massacre is just awesome. NOT. It’s actually one of the worst horror/slasher films I’ve ever tried to watch, and I seem to recall sitting through Evil Laugh once when it was on cable. But I can’t decide if it’s truly awful or if it just rubs me the wrong way. I mean, there are probably some people who think Halloween and Friday the 13th have no redeeming values whatsoever, and in fact get creeped out by them. There’s accounting for taste, right?

I felt, like, dirty and uneasy after watching this movie. For a whole variety of reasons, including the weird bug-eyed killer (whose identity is never really a mystery, though you don’t get a clear look at him until later in the film), a do-anything phallic drill as his main weapon, and never being entirely sure who the main character actually is.

And for a film that, like its two sequels, has the claim to fame that it was written and directed by women (which automatically gives it a “feminist” tag, despite all contrary evidence), Slumber Party Massacre sure seems to have a lot of misogynist undertones. Despite my reputation, that really isn’t what I enjoy seeing.

It starts promisingly, with nudity from potential lead girl #1, and reaches an astonishing zenith in the first fifteen minutes with a girls’ locker room scene where the camera not only carefully centers each nude girl in the frame but also pans down to show off each girl’s soapy behind. After the intial “this is awesome!” it just gets tedious. Plus, things are so brutal and lacking any kind of charm or passion (which has saved numerous slasher films before) that there’s no fun or excitement here. So all nudity just goes unappreciated. What a waste!

It’s stripped and lean. Agroup of high school girls are having a party after basketball practice, unaware that an escaped murderer has already killed in their vicinity and is now fixated on their little get-together. The girls’ slumber party is threatened by weird neighbors, no pizza, horny boys… it’s already under social siege, so when this wacko shows up with his battery-operated drill o’ death, it’s a downright massacre! See what I did there? Awesome.

This might be your kind of slasher movie. The girls could be charming to you (they weren’t to me), the humor might be dry and witty (I didn’t find it to be so), and the gore and thrills might be fabulously exciting to you (I didn’t think so).

This was actually one time, maybe the first time, where I didn’t get the charm of a film that somewhere a small contingent of critics and fans are rabid over. Usually I’m like “Oh, that was great! Why didn’t I see that before?” But this time: no, not at all. Very, very mean-spirited and lame. I’m glad I finally got it out of my system, because I had been reading and wondering about it for years. If you’ve found my taste in slashers to be similar to yours in the past, however, let me tell you: it’s just not worth it.

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