The Slumber Party Massacre - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Slumber Party Massacre Reviews

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November 4, 2017
One of my all-time favorite horror slasher movies. It's the first movie which had Brinke Stevens in a speaking role. Campy and funny on purpose. It also has some good scares and suspense. Plus great gore.
½ October 31, 2017
With a title such as this you can't expect much classy filmmaking but it is fun, entertaining & trashy none the less.

A serial killer happens to hear the plan of teens having a slumber party which he plans to gatecrash with murder on his mind.

Ridiculous acting & situations you just got to go with it & have fun, encouraging to see the film was directed by a female. Often horror is a man's game but not this time.
½ July 29, 2017
So the first question of course: does the fact that women are behind the writing, directing and (most) producing duties of Slumber Party Massacre change things? Do we get any sort of feminist "statement" as if there's always some stamp of femininity that has to come whenever women come near something that (let's be honest though here) is a primarily male-dominated type of film? I have to wonder what might've happened had this come out just a little earlier, when Siskel & Ebert did their infamous "Women in Danger" special where they covered every sleazy, misogynistic piece of slasher movie garbage (whether any were of quality, aside from Halloween which, naturally, they praised as not those things, is questionable), since those were all made by hacks looking to score a buck off of women in houses or camps or wherever being slaughtered by total creeps. It's hard to see that those movies being made by men didn't have *some* kind of effect on what we are seeing, but does it suddenly make it kosher if women is writing/directing a scene where teenage girls (who are really like 30 years old, let's face it) are taking their clothes off as if that's just what girls do around one another (locker room besides)?

I think Slumber Party Massacre IS evidence of inclusion in the genre; women, clearly, can make just as tasteless and violent trash as the guys. Roger Corman, who helped produce the film, *was* someone who didn't see genre as any kind of barrier (I remember the first Corman movie I saw was Penelope Spheeris' debut, Suburbia, when I was an adolescent), and while he did ultimately take a script that was originally intended as a satire of slasher movies (by author Rita Mae Brown), there's some of that connective tissue poking fun and, really, revealing the sordid qualities as something to laugh at intentionally. And... sure, there's unintentional laughs as well. Or, to put it more simply, this is a lot of fun, regardless of who made it.

One other question: does it have a running theme that makes it stand out from the pack of things that would've wound up on Siskel & Ebert's shit list? In one respect, there's one that's hard not to see: everyone is wrapped up in their own world in this story, to the point where it gets a lot of people killed. Right from the get-go, the first murder that happens in the *school parking lot* (seriously, is no one else around at all, where's Groundskeeper Willie?), the idea is 'well, I don't need to turn back and look', and it makes what could be a movie filled with nasty, unlikeable people and, at least in some part, *about* how people don't help until it's too late. The other key example of this, among some others, is when one of the teenagers (one of the guys, no less) goes over to the house across the street where our quasi-not-really-sorta Laurie Stroud, Trish (Michele Michaels), is watching a horror movie on the TV while her "younger" sister is on the phone in another room. Just when Trish goes out to see what all the "HELP! HELP!" noise is from outside - hey, why look at it sooner, it's a dumb slumber party she's not been invited to after all - it's too late.

Oh, and of course there's the phallic imagery of the drill (one shot in one particular kill scene seems like the quintessential slasher-movie image outside of something from Halloween), though I'm not convinced that is intentionally some sort of comment. It certainly *could* be going that way, and if I find out later on a documentary or audio commentary how it was then I'll eat my words. But one of the things about Slumber Party Massacre to note is how it's clever AND not clever at the same time. There are too many jump scares in the first half (a cat? really?), and yet at the same time there's moments like when the sisters are in the house, one of them opens the fridge and a body is in there - she closes it, but opens it again, both times not seeing it as she's not looking (though we see it from the composition and placement of the frame).

I think, ultimately, regardless of gender, the filmmakers know in some part what they were doing throughout this, and it's a movie that gets to (mostly) have its cake and eat it: it's both a shameless rip-off of Halloween while being kind of a tribute to it, poking some fun at the cliches of a killer with... issues stalking girls (and men too, he's not discriminating, he just, as he notes at his villain monologue, finds them... pretty), and the girls in the cast are all game and only a couple of them are genuinely not good, like the "younger" sister (seriously, she looks almost as old if not *older* than the older sister!) The climax may try to bite off a little more than it can chew, but by then if one is already in, then it's still an entertaining ride.

In other words: can women direct and write slashers? Well... duh.
½ July 29, 2017
Horror movie about girls at a slumber party killed by a maniac. This is not a good movie. Terrible acting. Terrible everything. Really just a T&A flick for teens.
July 26, 2017
Las chicas del poster no son las mismas de la película,maltrato animal real, desnudez sin sentido y el asesino muy común y corriente.
June 15, 2017
Bad acting, goofy killer, and a huge drill!
I loved it!
½ February 25, 2017
A silly '80s slasher with enough T&A and laughs, intentional or not, to get you through the nonsensical story.
October 9, 2016
Playing with an overdose of silliness in pacing, performances, Edition and writing, this slasher flick falls in absurdity, which is why is no surprise it's considered a cult classic from the 80s.
July 29, 2016
Despite a deliberate effort to be a bit cheekier (both humor and buttocks) than other slashers, The Slumber Party Massacre comes complete with all the clichés, including indistinct characters, lacklustre story, and bare breasts.
July 13, 2016
This overlooked and underestimated slasher flick is a piece of ironic feminist commentary in disguise. The camera work is almost sarcastic, lingering over the teens' bottoms in the showers for an absurd amount of time, highlighting the absurdity of the teenage shower scene horror movie staple in the first place. The killer with his phallic murder weapon and creepy refrain of "You're so pretty" comments pretty overtly on the eroticisation of violence against women in slasher flicks. Wry, clever meta-horror.
July 12, 2016
80's sleaze... they just don't make them like this anymore. This is the perfect example of how 80's trash is made perfectly. Deserves to be up there with the greats of the 80's era.
January 24, 2016
Pretty entertaining little horror from 1982.
Independent and stylish for its time.
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.
November 16, 2015
For an 80's slasher this movie is great. Don't expect any real explanations from the killer as to why he is using a ridiculous drill to take out pretty college co-eds.

I was impressed by the decent female characters, something most horror movies lack. The male characters, however, were all pretty bad.
½ October 6, 2015
One of the better Halloween disciples. Slumber Party Massacre takes its cue directly from Carpenter's film, however it is decidedly more brash and gory. However it has its own ideas too and rather than simply ape what came before it, Slumber Party Massacre subverts the already established conventions of the slasher sub-genre. The blatant symbolism of the killers choice of weapon is perhaps the most overt product of the female writing/directing team. However there is feminist subtext is throughout, albeit with a wry sense of humour. SPM is undeniably rough around the edges but it can be viewed as something of a gem.
½ September 27, 2015
Typical early 80s slasher flick. But there is enough female nudity to keep me watching.
½ September 25, 2015
I do like the idea of the 18 year old girl having a slumber party. More movies should be based on this premise.
½ August 9, 2015
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.
February 11, 2015
"It takes a lot of love... to do what I do."
If you're taking about sitting through this movie, drill wielding maniac Russ Thorn, then yes, I fully agree.
½ January 3, 2015
I saw this movie over a decade ago and remember being pleasantly surprised. It was genuinely entertaining, despite low expectations. My recent revisit has made me question why I enjoyed it previously.

It's not the worst slasher, that's for sure. It goes for some humor, though the jokes fall flat and miss the mark in my opinion. There are some decent kills and okay suspense, though it's funny how so many people can get stuck in a house in the middle of a suburban neighborhood without getting away or finding help. Maybe that was part of the humor.

The girls are all attractive and have very lovely... assets. This was released by Roger Corman's studio, so that's to be expected. It has the blood, the nudity, and a fairly unique killer, but it's kind of forgettable. The ending is great, but there are long stretches where your patience may wear thin.
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