Saturday, July 4, 2015

Slumber Party Massacre 2 (1987)

Review: Slumber Party Massacre 2 (1987)

Writer: Michael Sarago

Slow motion pillow fights with drunk nude girls, a leather-clad Elvis wannabe who sings and dances while killing with his guitar-driller, a crazy headless chicken and a giant face-covering zit that explodes with oozing puss…I dare you not to be interested…The original cult classic film is one of my personal favorites of the sub-genre. Written by feminist Rita Mae Brown, The Slumber Party Massacre put a bit of a satirical spin on the typical female role in horror films, creating a dark and atmospheric slasher that also had a fun and humorous side to it. This sequel, however, decided to ditch the atmosphere and any feminist viewpoints to concentrate (strangely enough) on Rock ‘N’ Roll.

Picking up a few years after the events of the first film, we learn that Valerie Bates has been institutionalized as a result of her trauma, leaving the starring role to her younger sister Courtney, now in her late teens and part of a garage band with a few of her gal pals. She has been having terrible (if not funny) dreams of a mysterious rock and roller with some kind of guitar/drill hybrid that he obviously intends to do some harm with. When she decides to spend the weekend at a bandmates vacation home to practice their music, the dreams start getting worse and eventually (removing all logic in the process) take a life of their own as the killer is somehow brought to the real world to shed some blood. Although sticking to the typical slasher movie formula, Slumber Party Massacre 2 basically plays out like a teen comedy on crack. Instead of trying to compete with the endless amount of slashers that were released at the time, writer/director Deborah Brock decided to drop the scare factor completely and purposely make the plot as silly as possible to entice nothing more than laughter and fun. By spoofing A Nightmare On Elm Street (not only by lifting it’s basic premise of a dream manifested killer but also by naming two characters Krueger and Craven), it allowed for plenty of surreal dream manifestations which helped this film succeed as one of the strangest slashers I’ve ever seen. On numerous occasions, I began to wonder if I had accidentally inhaled some kind of fumes and was just hallucinating it all.

Cheesy and ditzy are two characteristics that the 80’s couldn’t live without, and there’s absolutely no mistaking this for anything but an 80’s film. There’s a strong MTV vibe throughout as we get to witness band practices as well as some musical montages of the crazy teen goings-on. And then of course there’s the killer, who is surely unlike any other killer you’re used to seeing in a slasher movie, and also quite annoying. Dressed like a Greaser straight out of the 50’s, he sings and dances to old rock songs as he stalks and slashes his victims in an almost music video fashion. And even though this slice of cheese may be a bit much for some to handle, I still thought it was just as yummy as the cheese found in any other slasher of the decade and I couldn’t help but love it.

The acting was surprisingly good enough for the most part, but of course there’s the requisite dumb blonde that may sadly need a stronger word than “dumb” to describe her. As soon as she opens her mouth you know you’re in for a bit of a giggle. There’s even a similar male character who could have been a relative of Bill & Ted and I thought he was just plain hilarious. The amount of bloodshed is barely decent at best but there is one particularly disgusting scene that made the overall lack of gore acceptable. And surprisingly enough, there was only one nude girl in the entire film. And not so surprisingly enough, the nude girl ended up being Juliette Cummins (of Friday the 13th: A New Beginning and Psycho III).

It’s too bad this film is mostly overlooked. With just an extra helping of gore and someone like Linnea Quigley to spice things up, who knows what kind of status this film might have had with slasher fans. Slumber Party Massacre 2 is no doubt an odd and brainless movie but still a pretty funny and entertaining popcorn flick and I enjoyed it in all it’s cheesy glory. So if you like your slashers with a bit of cheese and some Rock ‘N’ Roll to boot, then this is for you as long as you’re willing to shut off your brain for an hour and a half of fun. But beware, it’s definitely not for everyone…unless everyone is heavily intoxicated.

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