The Slumber Party Massacre - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Slumber Party Massacre Reviews

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Super Reviewer
April 7, 2012
The Slumber Party Massacre is a true '80s slasher classic. Refreshingly, the film doesn't pretend to be something it's not. It incorporates all of the usual slasher cliches, but with a healthy dose of humor. As a result, it's a lot of fun.

Interestingly, the screenplay was written by feminist Rita Mae Brown, who intended for her script to be a parody of the slasher genre. Instead, it was filmed as a straight-forward slasher, so it both follows and subverts the rules of the genre. The guys are weak and ineffectual, with serious manhood issues, and their onscreen deaths are more brutal than the girls'. Most of the girls are likeable, and they're not complete weaklings as they band together to fight back against their attacker. There's even humor to be found in the requisite nude scenes. The camera lingers just a bit too long on one girl's butt, and the dialogue includes "I think your tits are getting bigger," to which a chorus of girls excitedly ask, "Mine?" Another example, the boys answer the door expecting the pizza delivery guy. They say, "what's the damage?" On the other end you hear, "six... so far." "Six, even? Okay."
Super Reviewer
March 27, 2012
Ok, so the original Slumber Party Massacre is by no means one the great and legendary slasher films, but it doesn't really need to be. It's basically Michael Myers with a power drill, if you want to look at it that black and white. I kind of like it that no screen time is spent really explaining the killer. To me it makes the killer more menacing if you don't explain who they are and what they're all about, which is the major problem I have with every film in the Halloween series after the first one. You give the audience that tidbit of information about them, basically make them two dimensional, and you've got yourself a powerful force that seems to be acting on nobody else's impulse but their own. Not some convoluted backstory about a curse on the killer's family that caused him to be the way he is... I'm looking at you Michael Myers. This movie is not that deep. Nowhere near it. It's a generic 80's slasher with tons of boobs, blood and bad dialogue, and that's all that I really wanted from it.
Super Reviewer
October 15, 2011
For a film that was directed by a woman and written by a feminist, 'Slumber Party Massacre' is just as misogynistic as the slice-and-dice pictures executed by men. Glances between women can interpreted as latent lesbianism and a prurient shower scene pans up and down the female bodies like a voyeur. The women aren't entirely helpless though as they easily thwart the drill-obsessed killer (a machete severs the tip of his drill which is symbolic of his manhood). Most of the midsection is fraught with torpid scenes of girls gossiping about boyfriends and French-kissing. Even the spoof elements (the girls are oblivious to a body in the fridge and red is a primary color for the beverages throughout) can't enliven this shoddy B-movie.
Super Reviewer
½ August 3, 2011
The first of three slasher films involving a maniac with a power drill, The Slumber Party Massacre is basically an improved version of the classic "The Driller Killer". This is a surprising film, and watching it, I didn't expect it to be this good. I was pleasantly surprised at what I got. I thought the film was terrific, and in the long series of Halloween clones, The Slumber Party Massacre is a film that is memorable because of the fact the killer wields a mean looking power drill. This film has everything you'd expect from a good Slasher film. There's plenty of suspense and awesome kills on screen. What's surprising about The Slumber Party Massacre is that it was made by a group of feminists who would normally dismiss this genre of Horror as pure trash and making women look like victims. Well, I'm glad that even feminists were able to put aside those feelings and they ended up creating one entertaining Slasher film where everyone, not just women were the victims. That's what I loved the most about this film; everyone got power drilled to death by an escaped murderer. The kills were terrific, awesome, and with plenty of blood and gore on some occasions. This is definitely a film to watch with a group of friends to have a great time. The film is very good considering the many negative reviews it has received, and if you enjoy a really good Slasher film, this is yet another solid film of the genre, one that is underrated, but delivers awesome kills that every Slasher film fan will adore.
Super Reviewer
½ February 10, 2011
Slumber Party Massacre is enormously underrated. Initially written as a feminist lampooning of the slasher genre, the producers asked Amy Holden Jones to play it straight, which she more or less did. That doesn't change the subversive elements, amusingly daft sense of humor, and overall creativeness that makes this film a pretty rock-solid slasher. Its status as a woman-friendly horror movie has been challenged, since it finds just about any excuse it possibly can to get its heroines topless (hey, we're having a slumber party! let's take our shirts off). I choose to give Slumber Party Massacre more credit than this - of course it knows that this IS completely ridiculous, but you can't really roll with the big boys without playing by their rules first. How difficult would it be to joke about the genre without visually depicting its hallmarks?

I guess the danger present in watching Slumber Party Massacre is that of not being in on the joke, and since on the surface it reads as a fairly conventional slasher with some fun quirks, a little background information (or an especially astute eye) probably enhances this film significantly. This film warps the rules in surprisingly subtle ways, enough so that a seasoned veteran of the genre could spot and appreciate its in-jokes while people who are just looking for a straight horror film will be adequately entertained. On a brute force technical level, it's not much to write home about - it's obviously shot on the cheap, acted with varying degrees of proficiency, not lit especially well and featuring scares that only work sometimes - but the force of its ideas and the pervasive sense of sheer fun really make it worth watching.
Super Reviewer
March 11, 2011
A great slasher movie from the early 80s. Not only is it exciting, it's also funny and entertaining. The ending is extraordinary. I really liked it and highly recommend it.
Super Reviewer
September 8, 2009
Managed to get this one cheap and enjoyed watching it, but could be better.

In the same vein as Halloween (though not nearly as good) it manages to create that classic 80's suspense. The basic premise is that there is a slumber party and the teenagers begin to get picked off one by one - your pretty standard slasher affair. In terms of nudity we get a few decent glimpses of T&A and I would say thats OK, its not overdone.

Blood is sadly lacking I'm afraid. Although it picks up a bit at the end, it still leaves the film feeling a bit "bare". Halloween can enthral its audience with suspense and atmosphere, but as this film lacks a bit in this department, we're left with a gap to fill.

Complaints aside, it does the job pretty well, we have a houseful of satisfyingly terrified teenagers, lots of screaming and running and some decent music.

But yeah, if you're a slasher fan or a fan of 80's horror in general, I recommend giving this a view. Just to say you've seen it, and its a good Halloween substitute (I thought I could go a review without mentioning Halloween, but oh well).
Super Reviewer
½ March 30, 2007
A pretty decent 80's slasher, better than most low budget offerings today!
Horrific R.
Super Reviewer
January 4, 2013
A sexually appealing film, but beyond that? Well, this movie may hold some sort of record for it's amount of false scares. There are multiple times where the audience is supposed to mistake a friend suspiciously approaching another for the killer hunting. These false "scares" are cliche and not amusing, they really do a number on this film. As for the actual kills, which we do get to see quite a few of, they're just run of the mill. Pretty standard, not great but not too bad either. I did enjoy the bit of the film when there was one girl's body stuffed in the fridge, and it took them a while to actually notice it. Overall, this was a boring film with nothing in particular going for it other than some breasts and butts. And you can find that anywhere.
Super Reviewer
½ April 3, 2012
Classic title to popular slasher film that spawned two sequels and sadly does not live up to either accolade. Truly terrible musical cues and more false moments of danger than any 5 other horror movies combined sap most attempts to build tension. Some of the lemons are so ridiculous - a drill comes through a girl's bedroom door, but wait! It's a carpenter putting in a new peephole! And a butcher's knife rises above another girl outside carrying firewood, but wait! It's the next-door neighbor out cleaving snails because they get in his garden and "this is the only way to kill them"! Man, they sure could've used an internet back in 1982.

There are 3 moments of inspiration: a woman banging on the window of a van as two students walk away, blood trickling under a door giving away a girl's hiding spot, and a body not quite discovered in the refrigerator. The rest is mostly routine mayhem with poor acting, a vanilla killer, and so-so effects on a tiny budget. Interesting factoid that this was directed by a woman, which is rare in the horror genre, but you won't recognize any feminist slant to it.
Lord Naseby
Super Reviewer
October 7, 2010
I was doing so well. I actually managed to find 2 slasher films in a row randomly (as opposed to looking to see which ones were good or knowing beforehand) that I really liked and that I thought were well done. well, doing that twice is difficult but three times is next to impossible as shown here.

Acting: I've run out of ways to say this. Cardboard cutouts of teenage stereotypes. All the actresses need to know is how to scream. That and they know how to die in a dramatic fashion. that's all anyone in these movies know how to do (except for the killer obviously) if you come right down to it. Some just know how to do it much better than others. this one was on the lower end of the scale. 2/10

Plot: *sarcasm* Killer killing girls. Original. Girls being killed alone in house with no parents at night. Original. Girls just sit there while killer slices them up after the killer finds them hiding in a place where there is no way out. Original. Even in those brief moments where the girl might have a drop on the killer she still does something stupid. That's original. *sarcasm ends here* Just take all of the stereotypical horror stuff and it's in here. although, the Killer and the signature weapon are original I suppose. That helps some but not a lot. But really, the second you finish meeting all of the characters, you knew who was going to die, and frankly you knew what minute of the movie. It was that unoriginal. 2/10

Screenplay: whatever. I've run out of negative things to say here. .5/10

Likableness: well, it's a different kind of killer slicing up girls in a sort of original way I guess. But it was still same old same old. 4/10

Final Score: 8.5/40 21% (S)

TRIVIA TIME: Rita Mae Brown wrote a screenplay for a parody of teen/slasher flicks and titled it "Sleepless Nights". However, when she submitted it to the producers, they filmed it as if it weren't a parody and retitled it "Slumber Party Massacre". As a result, the movie displays a lot more humor, both intended and unintended, than others of this genre.
Super Reviewer
½ May 22, 2009
Despite poor word of mouth, surprisingly smart and incisive.
Super Reviewer
½ November 29, 2008
Cheesy and nothing great of quality but it is entertaining enough all to watch. Mainly by the last minutes.
Super Reviewer
April 29, 2008
Four friends decide to have a slumber party while ones parants are out of town what they didnt expect was a escaped killer on the loose looking to drop by armed with a drill he pretty much lays waste to half the cast in what i think is one great B movie slasher pic really worth a watch for fans of classic 80's horror
½ January 4, 2016
SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE has long been a favorite of mine, and I was over the moon to see Amy Holden Jones, the director and uncredited re-writer, speak in person about making the picture and her place in the industry at Cinefamily recently. I have written a slasher myself and think this picture balances terror, violence, humor, and nudity perfectly. You're welcome to disagree, but I even lobby that this is better than HATCHET and other silly slashers that came later. Not that they're not good and entertaining, but SLUMBER PARTY deserves a place in the official cannon.

So why doesn't it have a place? While doing my research on slashers for THE BIG THREE ARE AFTER ME, this incredibly well done, extremely low budget Corman factory production is hardly mentioned. I'll add that my personal favorite slasher - MY BLOODY VALENTINE with the gore added back in (thanks, MPAA!) - is also not high on the list. Is it because the plots make sense and the characters aren't being idiots? Because the female characters have agency and the ability to fight back? Quite possibly, and SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE is also based on a script by feminist Rita Mae Brown (who kept screenwriting credit) and directed by Amy Holden Jones. Obviously women. (Shhhh - there's sort of a feminist message in it. AVERT YOUR EYES)

Amy Holden Jones said that after this movie, which went around the world and apparently netted her zero residuals on the buckets of money it made for Corman's company, she was unable to get an agent, a manager, and, presumably, meetings. She talked Corman into funding her next writer/director project, an arty film called LOVE LETTERS with Jamie Lee Curtis. Let's just meditate for a moment on the fact that a woman with seemingly no love for slashers, who had not even seen HALLOWEEN, made a slasher that is not only great but is also respectful of the genre (boobs! blood!) and of the characters (brains!).

After LOVE LETTERS, Holden Jones directed two more movies, but she said that just slipped away eventually since she never had regular opportunities. She doesn't even think about directing now. Holden Jones has had a great career as a writer (MYSTIC PIZZA, BEETHOVEN, created the tv series BLACK BOX), and for this I'm glad. But how many great writer/directors have we missed out on because they're female, minority, or LGBT? We're silencing more than half of our cultural collateral, and this is just wrong.
½ August 24, 2011
I am finally happy to cross this one off my list of slashers that I somehow missed, and would have to say that the first film in the series is definitely the strongest.

An escaped psycho stalks a group of girls having a (duh) slumber party, intermittently broken up by boys crashing the party.

Good stuff, well worth a rental if you have the chance.
May 11, 2014
The Slumber Party Massacre is painfully predictable and unoriginal. Nonetheless it spews enough comedic elements and gore to be an entertaining ride.
March 28, 2014
The acting was decent in The Slumber Party Massacre. It had some good moments that make you jump or get surprised. The killer truly looks psycho in this one but he doesn't have have that presence like Jason or Michael Myers. It was still enjoyable...and the refrigerator scene was awesome!!
½ February 23, 2014
A must see for horror fans! While most people aren't going to care it was written by a feminist, the film exemplifies the 80's slasher genre, making it an even more important cult classic.
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