The Slumber Party Massacre

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The Slumber Party Massacre
Slumbermassacre.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Amy Holden Jones
Produced by Amy Holden Jones
Written by Rita Mae Brown
Starring Michele Michaels
Robin Stille
Michael Villella
Debra Deliso
Andree Honore
Music by Ralph Jones
Cinematography Stephen L. Posey
Edited by Wendy Greene Bricmont
Sean Foley
Distributed by New World Pictures
Release date(s)
  • November 12, 1982 (1982-11-12)
Running time 77 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $250,000 (estimated)

The Slumber Party Massacre is a 1982 exploitation slasher film directed by Amy Holden Jones and written by Rita Mae Brown.

Plot[edit]

Trish Devereaux (Michelle Michaels), an 18-year-old high school senior, decides to throw a slumber party while her parents are away for the weekend and their neighbor Mr. Contant (Rigg Kennedy) is given the job of checking in on the girls during the night.

Trish wakes up to the sound of her radio, switches it to another channel, gets dressed, discards her old toys in a paper bag and puts it in the trash can, shortly before heading to school. Meanwhile, a mass murderer with a fondness for power drills, Russ Thorn (Michael Villella) has escaped from prison, kills a telephone repair woman (Jean Vargas) with a power drill and steals her van. Trish meets up with her friends Kim (Debra Deliso), Jackie (Andree Honore) and Diane (Gina Hunter) and the girls on her basketball team. The new girl, Valerie Bates (Robin Stille) is invited by Trish, but refuses after hearing Diane talking cruelly about her.

Russ Thorn watches the girls leave school from the van and a girl named Linda (Brinke Stevens) goes back inside the school to retrieve a book for a test, only to be locked inside and attacked by Thorn, who drills her right arm. She eventually hides in the shower room, but the killer somehow finds a locked door, drills it down and kills Linda offscreen. That evening, the party and the bloody decimation begins of the girls, as they smoke pot and talk about boys. Valerie lives next door and is babysitting her younger sister Courtney (Jennifer Meyers) while their divorced mother is away for the weekend. Diane's boyfriend John (Jim Boyce) and two other guys from school, Jeff (David Millbern) and Neil (Joe Johnson), arrive and spy on the girls undressing. Thorn kills Mr. Contant, drilling through his neck, and meanwhile, Courtney is begging Valerie to go crash the party, but Valerie protests. Diane begins making out with John in the car and after she gets out to ask Trish permission to go off with John, she comes back to find him decapitated. Diane tries to flee, but is murdered with the drill.

While the girls are on the phone with their coach, Mrs. Jana (Pamela Roylance), the pizza guy is discovered dead, with his eyes crudely gouged out. Coach Jana hears the girls screaming and calls Valerie to check on them and decides to drive over to the house to check on them. The girls try calling the police, but Thorn cuts the phone line before they are connected. The teens arm themselves with knives and Jeff and Neil try to run for help, but are gorily killed by Thorn. Russ gains entry to the house, murders Jackie and chases Kim and Trish upstairs. Courtney and Valerie go over to the house, but find the house empty and dark, unaware of the horror that has happened. Trish and Kim have barricaded themselves in Trish's bedroom. They hear Valerie, but ignore her, thinking she may be the killer's friend. Thorn enters the bedroom through a window and stabs Kim to death. Trish flees and hides.

Courtney and Valerie enter Trish's house and find Kim dead. Thorn attacks them and Valerie escapes to the basement while Courtney hides under the couch. Coach Jana arrives and seeing the killer, beats him with a fire poker but he quickly murders her. Trish manages to stab Thorn with a butcher knife, but this barely slows him down. Valerie runs up with a machete and chases Thorn out the back door, managing to cut off the drill bit, sever his hand and slash his stomach, forcing him into the swimming pool. A shaken Courtney, Valerie and Trish embrace but Thorn arises and attacks the girls. There is a struggle between the two, but Thorn lands on and gets impaled with the machete and dies.

Valerie and Trish break down into tears upon killing Thorn. Courtney looks on as police sirens are heard in the distance.

Cast[edit]

  • Michelle Michaels as Trish Devereaux
  • Robin Stille as Valerie 'Val' Bates
  • Michael Villella as Russ Thorn
  • Debra Deliso as Kimberly 'Kim' Clarke
  • Andree Honore as Jackie
  • Gina Smika as Diane
  • Jennifer Meyers as Courtney Bates
  • Joseph Alan Johnson as Neil
  • David Millbern as Jeff
  • Jim Boyce as John Minor
  • Pamela Roylance as Coach Rachel Jana
  • Brinke Stevens as Linda
  • Rigg Kennedy as Mr. David Contant
  • Jean Vargas as Mary/Phone Repairer Woman
  • Anna Patton as Mrs. Devereaux
  • Howard Purgason as Mr. Devereaux

Production[edit]

Written by author and feminist activist Rita Mae Brown, the film was intended as a parody of the slasher film. Producers filmed it not as a parody, but a straight genre film. Because of this, the film contains more humor than other slashers of the time period.[1]

Amy Holden Jones wanted to direct and asked Frances Doel for advice. She gave Jones a number of scripts one of which was Don't Open the Door. She saw the first eight pages had a dialogue scene, a suspense scene and a violent action scene, and decided to film them. Her cinematographer husband Michael Chapman got some short ends of film for her and they borrowed some equipment, hired some actors and shot the scenes at their house over a weekend for $1,000. She showed the result to Corman who agreed to finance the film. Jones had to turn down a job editing E.T. as a result.[2]

Release[edit]

The film was given a limited release theatrically in the United States by New World Pictures in November 1982. It was later released on VHS by Embassy Home Entertainment.[3]

The film has been released on DVD three times in North America. The first release came from New Concorde Home Entertainment in September 2000. Extras included actor bios along with trailers for Slumber Party Massacre, Slumber Party Massacre II and Sorority House Massacre II.[4] The company subsequently re-released the film on a double feature DVD alongside Slumber Party Massacre II in July 2003.[5] These versions are both currently out of print. On 5 October 2010 Shout! Factory released Slumber Party Massacre, Slumber Party Massacre II and Slumber Party Massacre III on a two-disc special edition DVD set.[6]

In the UK the film was originally released on VHS under the name Slumber Party Murders, but was then released with the Massacre title on DVD. In the UK it has had two releases to DVD, with both editions not containing any special features. The most recent edition was released by Matrodome Entertainment under the company IN2Film.

Reception[edit]

The Slumber Party Massacre received generally negative reviews, with a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 30%,[7] but has received better audience approval.

Sequel[edit]

There have been three sequels to the movie: Slumber Party Massacre II, Slumber Party Massacre III and Cheerleader Massacre. The film is included on the Massacre Collection DVD, which also includes Sorority House Massacre, Sorority House Massacre II and Hard to Die.[8] Jason Paul Collum directed the documentary Sleepless Nights: Revisiting the Slumber Party Massacres (2010).[9]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084695/
  2. ^ Chris Nashawaty, Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen and Candy Stripe Nurses - Roger Corman: King of the B Movie, Abrams, 2013 p 184-5
  3. ^ "Company Credits for The Slumber Party Massacre". imdb.com. Retrieved 2011-04-12. 
  4. ^ "The Slumber Party Massacre (DVD)". dvdempire.com. Retrieved 2011-04-12. 
  5. ^ "Slumber Party Massacre/Slumber Party Massacre II (DVD)". dvdempire.com. Retrieved 2011-04-12. 
  6. ^ Shout! Factory Bringing Home the Slumber Party Massacre Collection!
  7. ^ "The Slumber Party Massacre Rotten Tomatoes Rating". rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  8. ^ The Slumber Party Massacre Collection
  9. ^ 'Slumber Party Massacre' DVD Series Getting Re-Released

External links[edit]