Monday, February 22, 2010

Slumber Party Massacre (1982)

I think we can add 'better security measures at mental hospitals' to the list of things the 80s were severely lacking in. So many escaped psychopaths out there and yet the girls of Slumber Party Massacre turn the dial every time their local news tries to warn them in favor of a generic (and copyright free) guitar muzak solo on another station. Not that they seemed to be the brightest of stars seeing as early on the cattier ones insist that Valerie not be invited to the party when she is standing about three feet from them and then act surprised when she bolts from the locker room in tears. Lo and behold, we learn a short while later that she just so happens to live right next door. Cold.

Meanwhile, if anyone had bothered to listen to all those red alert radio broadcasts, psychopathic murderer Russ Thorn is loose and somewhere in the city. Worse yet, he seems to have found himself a portable power drill with a surprisingly long battery life. The problem with Old Russ, God bless him, but I just did not want to see that much of him. Way too much killer, not enough You can pretty much put me in the camp that believes it is almost always better to give us passing glances and heavily shadowed figures rather than heavily-lit old men in snazzy jean jacket/pant combos. Seriously, look at this guy.

Sure, anyone can be a little scary blood-covered and stroking his power tool, but Russ looks like the only thing he could even try to kill are those big city car dealer prices. And what's so wrong with the standard issue buttondown pajamas, slippers and slighty mangy bathrobe that all movie mental patients traipse around in? It is a bit cliched but its not like this movie was breaking any new ground anyway. He's dressed like your dad is trying to be hip.

Anyway, I will not bore you with the plot as I am sure you've got it pretty well nailed down. There were a lot of great fake outs, I will give it that. From the neighbor guy wandering around at night with a butcher knife (to kill garden slugs?) to the drill that comes through the door only to be greeted by a handywoman ("Oh, hi, just putting your peephole in."), to the party crashing boys whose pranks are straight out of the mass murderer playbook (pulling the fuses), its all gold.

As it stands, second tier slasher. (This came off sounding more negative than anticipated.)


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