Welcome, children of the night! This Blog is for fans of vintage horror films as well as those who are just beginning to discover the joy of these classic movies. I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Slumber Party Massacre (1982)

Slumber Party Massacre (SPM) is considered to be a cult classic by some.  I'm not one of them.  Here's why…First of all, the balance between horror and humor is off.  Writer Rita Mae Brown [Rubyfruit Jungle] wrote the script intending SPM to be a parody of teen slasher flicks.  Unfortunately, when she submitted the screenplay to producers, they filmed it as a serious horror flick.  BIG MISTAKE!  While some of the humor is still intact, it misses tons of opportunities to be funny.  Since SPM cannot possibly compare to teen horror classics such as Halloween (1978) and Friday the 13th (1980), a more humorous approach to the subject would have worked much better.

Secondly, Michael Villella is awful as the driller killer Russ Thorn.  I know he tried to be menacing but I found his performance to be annoying at best.  Give me Freddy, Jason or Pinhead over this guy any day.  Again, if he was allowed to take a more humorous approach to this role, he might have been able to sell it better.  He's about as frightening as a new puppy on Christmas day.

Thirdly, most of the actors are adequate to bad.  Sometimes these kinds of performances can fall into the "so bad, it's good" category but not in this case.  Again, if they had been allowed to play their roles in a comedic way, they would have been more successful.  Instead, they look weak because they lack the ability to convey sheer terror.  [There is no Jamie Lee Curtis in this bunch.]

Fourthly, gratuitous nudity can NEVER make up for a bad acting.  There are more breasts in this film than at a Perdue chicken factory and more butts than at Hormel.  Don't insult my intelligence.  Give me a better film instead.

To its credit, SPM does show some moments of brilliance where the humor pokes through and scores a home run.  But. alas, these moments are few and far between.  SPM also has actress Robin Stille who plays the "new girl in school" Valerie.  Her performance in SPM is very good.  She stands heads and severed torsos above all the other actresses in the film.

God save us from the plethora of cheap, mediocre teen slasher flicks that were so prevalent in the 1980's.  This is one of them no matter what the critics on IMDB say.

RATING: Fair.

For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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