Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Slumber Party Massacre II (1987)

Remember Courtney? Yeah, I didn't either but she was the younger sister of Valerie from the original who is now all grown up and looking to do some slumber partying of her own. Also, she has been recast with TV's Crystal Bernard who would shortly after this begin a long mediocre reign on the sitcom Wings. I will try not to hold this against her.

Meanwhile, Valerie is at a mental hospital as she apparently still has the Russ Thorn in her side and Courtney isn't exactly right in the head either. See, she keeps having these dreams that start with a shirtless hunk but end with premonitions of what will prove to be a bloody weekend at one of her friend's dad's condo...I guess. To be honest, the whole movie is kind of a mindfuck and not in that good way. Courtney has lots of visions/hallucinations/whatever throughout the run time all of which feature our brand new killer, the leather clad Psychobilly Dream Rocker with a power drill at the end of his rather elaborate axe. He struts his way through the kids (after an excruciatingly long set up) all the while spouting off one liners that mostly just reference famous rock songs.

I was kind of enjoying the lax approach taken early on as SPM II is clearly as interested in humor as it is horror, but it got old pretty fast. This is not to say that there aren't inspired (though maybe unintentionally) funny moments. The raw chicken attack holds up nicely as do some of my new favorite song lyrics, "I just want to be your Tokyo convertible(?)." The horror aspect, on the other hand, is basically a complete failure. There is nothing charming or frightening about the killer. The movie actually got considerably worse once he finally showed up which is not an easily accomplished task for a slasher.

SPM II isn't shy about wearing its influences on its sleeve either. Aside from the fairly blatant A Nightmare on Elm Street comparisons during the dream sequences, a number of characters are named after horror notables (i.e. Officers Voorhees and Krueger) and even going so far as to rename the family whose home was invaded in the first one to 'The Cravens.' Really, if you are going to do this, I say go all out. Like, "Cindy, have you met our new neighbor, Ted Leatherface?," or "Maybe we should invite the new girl." "You mean, Suzy Creature from the Black Lagoon? I don't know, she has really unfortunate skin." Maybe that's just me. I do know it is probably not best to remind your viewers they could be watching a far superior slasher than your own.

And after all this, my favorite thing about SPM II is actually the back cover which prominently features an action shot from the film that is obviously the stunt double for the killer. It's a straight shot of his tumble over the edge of a building engulfed in flames complete with fire mask to protect his head and what is definitely not the tight ass leather outfit the killer sports the entire movie. Genius.


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