06th Apr2014

‘Slumber Party Massacre’ Blu-ray Review (Scream Factory)

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Michelle Michaels , Robin Stille, Michael Villella, Brinke Stevens, Debra Deliso | Written by Rita Mae Brown | Directed by Amy Holden Jones


A mass murdering maniac escapes from prison and, armed with a power drill, begins to decimate the nubile high schoolers of a Los Angeles suburb during their slumber party. That’s it. Why mess with perfection and add a convoluted plot?

This is the 80′s remember, when the slasher movie was king and all you needed to make a film was a bunch of nubile girls willing to strip off on camera, some OK(ish) special effects, and someone to play the killer… No need forany real motivation, no need for any back story, just as long as there’s gore-a-plenty!

Initially intended as a parody of the slasher genre, scripted by lesbian-feminist author and activist Rita Mae Brown (Rubyfruit Jungle) and directed by Amy Holden Jones (who went on to carve out a hugely successful Hollywood career as a screenwriter penning hits such as Mystic Pizza, Beethoven, Indecent Proposal, The Getaway and The Relic), Slumber Party Massacre is remembered fondly amongst genre fans for introducing now-legendary scream queen Brinke Stevens to the world.

Let’s get one thing straight Slumber Party Massacre is not high art, nor is it the best slasher movie of the decade, but like many films of this ilk it is a lot of fun to watch. Most notable for taking the phallic symbolism of the knife typically used by the killer in slasher movies to somewhat of a ludicrous extreme, the killer in Slumber Party Massacre wields the largest power drill ever seen in a slasher movie, before or since, perhaps only topped in the ridiculousness stakes by the guitar drill of Slumber Party Massacre 2!

With a cast of ‘teens’ who all look to be in their twenties (but weren’t they all in the 80s?), the film features the standard tropes and cliches of the genre – scantily clad girls, no way to contact the authorities for help, a killer who has an almost supernatural ability to move about the environment and an almost super-human strength – but remember that Slumber Party Massacre was made in 1982 and at the time it was actually a pioneer of the genre, paving the way for the tens of thousands of slasher movies that followed!

One of the most successful of the 80′s slasher movies, Slumber Party Massacre spawned two immediate sequels, an unrelated movie – The Last Slumber Party, as well as Cheerleader Massacre, a 20 years later sequel which saw Brinke Stevens returning for an all-to-brief cameo as Linda.

The new Blu-ray from Scream Factory features a new 1080p HD transfer created from the original camera negative, which means that this 30-year old low-budget slasher movie has never looked better. Special features include the theatrical trailer, audio commentary with director Amy Holden Jones, and actors Michael Villela & Debra De Liso; and Sleepless Nights: The Making Of The Slumber Party Massacre featurette.

Slumber Party Massacre is out now on Blu-ray.


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