Slumber Party Massacre was a big deal in my life. I can remember exactly when I watched it (at a slumber party!) and I can remember every scene and every death. Of course, at the time I knew nothing about its feminist activist writer Rita Mae Brown and her intention that the movie play as a parody of the slasher genre. I noticed nothing odd about the cheesy acting and lines like “Your tits are growing” and “Are you gonna eat the dead guy's pizza?”. The fact that the supposed eighteen years olds were played by thirty year olds was not a problem for me, since at that age, eighteen did seem really old and mature.
All I knew was that I was scared. And that I was hooked on horror movies.
It's a classic of its kind and plays like the ultimate slasher pic, most likely to the dismay of Brown. There are exposed breasts within the first few minutes, two people are killed right off the bat, one in a locker room chase scene that had me particularly bothered as a young girl. There's plenty of time spent on classic slasher movie shots and very little time spent on character development (unless you count the part where one girl got French kissed and didn't like it as character development). Best of all there is absolutely no delving into the bad guy's past to see how he became a monster.
Why is it lately that every filmmaker lately whether telling the story of Hannibal Lecter or The Grinch thinks we need to see someone's inner demons and sympathetic past to be scared of them? This film should prove the opposite. The audience knows right away who the killer is, nothing is known about him except he killed five people before and he only speaks towards the end in a really genuinely eerie feat of acting. Michael Villella, who appears in very little else, is worth noting as the phallic 24″ drill-wielding maniac.
The Slumber Party series includes two sequels, each one different in tone, but also worth renting, especially for the coming holiday. All are out of print currently, but can be bought used from Amazon.