The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)

Trish (Michelle Michaels) decides to take advantage of her parents being away to hold a slumber party for other members of her high school's girls' basketball team.  However, new girl Valerie (Robin Stille), despite her skills on the court, decides that instead of a tense evening with the girls that she'll just spend the night looking after her younger sister, even though she lives just right across the street from where the party is happening.

As always when a bunch of 18-year-old women get together to hang out in sheer nighties, their sex-crazed boyfriends also tend to show up for a little action.  However, they are not the only ones who decide to show up.  Russ Thorne (Michael Villella) decides that he is bored with his stint as a guest of the state mental institution and decides to add to his previous score of five kills by penetrating the young women with his extremely large drill, which he gets right down to without hesitation (although he doesn't mind slipping it into their boyfriends a bit either).

Valerie becomes more and more concerned about what may be going on at Trish's house, and it eventually becomes up to her to render the killer impotent.

The Slumber Party Massacre is famously known as the "feminist slasher film," written by activist Rita Mae Brown as a joke that those who later retooled the script seemed to take seriously, leaving almost all the over-the-top nude scenes and rape metaphors intact.  Unfortunately, like most things with a hidden political agenda, the idea and the story behind the film are funnier and more entertaining than anything that happens in it.  It does have its moments, and is definitely not among the worst of the genre, but largely it follows the conventions by rote, and the point it is trying to get across is in no way subtle (again, that was the original intention, but whoever produced this didn't seem to get it).

The high point is Michael Villella's portrayal of Thorne.  He's in the end just a crazy who escaped from the asylum and not a supernatural force.  I do give some credit to the makers of this for not having one of those teleporting, omniscient killers.  When he no longer has the element of surprise (or his weapon of choice), he is on an equal level with his victims.  The little that Villella gets to do with him is effective and, surprisingly, a bit humanizing, as it is quite obvious that he is barely in control of his actions.

The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)
84 minutes
Starring: Michelle Michaels, Robin Stille, Michael Villella
Director: Amy Holden Jones


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