The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)

slumber party massacre poster 1982 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Some clever writing that sets it apart from other slasher films

Still turns into a rather typical slasher

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Slumber Party Massacre

Studio: Santa Fe Productions

Genre(s): Horror

Release Date(s):  September 10, 1982 (Premiere)/November 12, 1982

MPAA Rating: R

slumber party massacre andree honore debra deliso michelle michaels

Trish, your slumber party kind of sucks.

Trish (Michelle Michaels) is throwing a slumber party for all her basketball friends.  When an escaped killer (Michael Villella) targets Trish’s home, the horror ensues.  Meanwhile across the street, new girl Valerie Bates (Robin Stille) and her younger sister Courtney (Jennifer Meyers) are wondering what is going on at the party.  Trish’s girls’ only party is about to turn into a slumber party massacre!

Directed by Amy Holden Jones, The Slumber Party Massacre is a slasher horror film.  The movie was released to mixed reviews but over the years has gained a cult following.

Oddly enough, I never saw The Slumber Party Massacre and never knew much about it.  I remember the VHS at our local video store and thought it was a cheap, cliché looking movie.  When I started to watch The Slumber Party Massacre, I immediately could tell something was off about this film.

slumber party massacre pizza man killed

Pizza with a smile….

The movie started out as a parody of slasher films, but it was turned into a traditional slasher film.  Despite this, the “humor” of the film still exists and the film is oddly layered.  The movie was written by feminist Rita Mae Brown and you can tell the character (while still stock horror movie characters) don’t really act like typical horror movie characters.  The women in the film are more like the classic jock men of ’80s horror films while the men are rather wimpy and easily killed.  The characters actually seem to think a bit more than women in other horror films from the period though the results are pretty much the same.

The cast is rather bland which isn’t unexpected.  It could be one of the problematic aspects of this movie is that there are a ton of girls and they are all rather “generic ’80s” girls in appearance.  Michael Villella is a rather dull killer, but I give him credit in that he is unrelentingly ruthless, and the character is unapologetic in his actions.

slumber party massacre drill killer russ thorn michael villella

I hear you need something drilled?

The movie has some rather low-budget slasher effects.  It is the nature of the movie however that also makes this movie odd.  It seems a bit high-brow to analyze the killings, but it is also rather obvious that the choice of a drill was pretty intentional.  The phallic symbol even gets chopped off at the end by the scream queen, and the killer’s reign is pretty much over then.

The Slumber Party Massacre was better than I expected.  I went in with low expectations and received a slightly better than average slasher film (which is impressive for a jaded horror fan).  The movie bolsters itself with its core writing and change up of the gender roles of the typical ’80s horror movie (and at less than an hour and a half, you can’t go wrong).  The Slumber Party Massacre was followed by Slumber Party Massacre II in 1987.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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