My History With the Film:
In the mid 1990’s, I developed a pretty hard crush on Crystal Bernard, who was famous for her role on Wings. One of my favorite things to do back then was look up a particular actor or actress in my handy Blockbuster Guide to the Movies and then rent all the movies they had acted in. I had watched the complete filmographies of Arnold Schwarzenegger and John Travolta and I decided I wanted to see what else Crystal Bernard had acted in. The one film that jumped off the page to me was titled Slumber Party Massacre II since I was cultivating my love for horror around the same time.
I remember renting Slumber Party Massacre II and loving it. Recently, I decided to revisit the film and I wouldn’t use the word love to describe my experience.
What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
A group of girls have a slumber party at a condo when their evening is wrecked by a psycho wielding a giant guitar drill.
What I Liked About It:
-That poster is iconic. It’s so friggin 80’s and so friggin cool!
-This was obviously a brainless slasher, one of what seemed like hundreds released in the 1980’s. The film seems to know this and never aspires to be anything more. In fact, by the end, it begins dabbling with almost parodying itself which is makes it interesting.
-I wouldn’t say any of the cast particularly impressed, but they were all very serviceable in their roles. The Driller Killer (Atanas Ilitch) was particularly committed to the role. He really seemed to embrace the insanity of everything going on and just ran with it. So I definitely tip my hat to him.
-I loved the condo set. I don’t know why. I think because it was so bare it felt like a cheap set or a cheap condo they couldn’t afford to furnish and that reminds me of so many low budget 80’s movies and I loved that about it.
-The runtime is only seventy-seven minutes and for a film like this and that is perfect.
What I Didn’t Like About It:
-Horror, comedy, musical…. what is this movie supposed to be?
-It’s so bad in some spots. Between musical numbers and synchronized dancing… it’s just bad.
-I still not even sure whether the killer actually existed or not or where he came from.
-Many of the character’s names were homages to other horror movies. The police officers were named Voorhees and Krueger. Courtney’s last name was Bates. The neighbors were The Craven.
-Former Playboy Playmate Kimberly McArthur refused to do nudity after having done so in previous films. She was attempting to distance herself from such roles.
-The soundstage where the condo set existed was also used for another Concorde picture, The Nest (1988). Because of this the cast and crew were forced to deal with a roach problem. Production was shut down for a day for fumigation but it didn’t fix the problem.
-The dead pigeon used early on was an actual frozen dead pigeon supplied for the film.
-The VHS was one of the top sellers at the time it was released and it even won a coveted Gold Videocassette Award.
The mistake I made going into Slumber Party Massacre II was thinking this was a more serious slasher than it actually was. I was expecting something cheesy but relatively on the up and up, but what I got was something that was at times so bad that it had to be intentional. Dance sequences, musical numbers, and a very cheap looking drill are all featured throughout this film and if you go in expecting that, I think you can have a lot of fun.
I found myself playing on my phone through a good portion of the film and I really didn’t enjoy it all that much. But when I sat down to write this review, I realized that I had a lot more fun that I thought I had. The movie is ridiculous and not very good, and I think if I had mentally prepared myself for that I probably would have had a great time.
My rating is going to be a two out of five, but it could be higher if you are a fan of super cheesy 80’s slashers or want to watch something that is so bad it’s good.