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Film / The Slumber Party Massacre

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This started out so fun...

Close your eyes for a second... and sleep forever.

A Slasher Movie from the year 1982, which was originally scripted by feminist writer Rita Mae Brown and directed by Amy Holden Jones (who wrote the first Beethoven film).

A bunch of girls decide to have a Slumber Party with all that comes with the territory; skimpy clothing, booze, pot and perverted guys crashing it. Unfortunately, a maniac has escaped from a mental institute, and seeks to continue the deadly work that he started over a decade ago by carving them up with a power drill...

The film spawned two sequels: Slumber Party Massacre II in 1987, and Slumber Party Massacre III in 1990.

The trilogy also had several pseudo-sequels/spin-offs, such as Sorority House Massacre, Cheerleader Massacre, and Hard to Die.


This massacred party has examples of:

  • Achilles' Power Cord: Hiding in the basement, Valerie picks up a portable circular saw and tries to run with it upstairs to confront Thorn, but it comes unplugged before she manages to get to the top of the stairs.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Trish, Kim, and Jackie eavesdrop on Diane calling her boyfriend, and much to their amusement, find out that she calls him "Booboo".
  • Behind the Black: As the slumber partiers change their clothes, they completely fail to see Neil and Jeff staring at them from behind the window, simply because the five of them are never in the same shot.
  • Between My Legs: The movie poster, as seen above. Also, notice the placement of the drill. The same shot (drill hanging between the legs) is done during one of the actual murders of the girls as well in the film.
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  • Big Bad: Russ Thorn, the escaped mass murderer who likes to kill people.
  • Cat Scare: Cleaning up the mess she made in the kitchen, Jana hears a strange scratching noise in her house. She goes to investigate, and pinpoints the source to a closet. She opens the door, and a screaming cat leaps out. How did it get locked in there? Nobody knows. The film then proceeds to do the same with pranking teens and a neighbor killing snails with a meat cleaver. At one point there is a streak of seven consecutive false scares before the killer shows up.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: Just before the end credits roll, police sirens can be heard in the distance.
  • Cut Phone Lines: After making his presence known to the partiers, Thorn cuts the phone line to the house just as they try to call for help.
  • Dead Man's Chest: Thorn hides Kim's body inside a fridge. Courtney discovers it when she's going to snatch a beer from it.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Thorn briefly pretends to be the pizza guy behind the door of the slumber partiers' house. When they ask about the money they owe for the pizzas, he answers with his current body count.
    Jeff: What's the damage?
    Thorn: Six, so far.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Trish, Kim, and Jackie are barefoot. The trope is downplayed however, since they're iat a slumber party.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Before he attempts to kill Trish, Thorn takes some time to fondle his drill and say things like "I love you" and "I know you want it".
  • Dramatic Thunder: Thunder rolls in the background as Thorn comes inside through the window, and starts creeping towards the unsuspecting Trish and Kim.
  • Executive Meddling: The original script was meant to be satirical of slasher movies but was rewritten to be more serious (as well as generic). Roger Corman financed the film and insisted on a large amount of nudity being added.
  • Eye Scream: After the pizza boy rings the bell, the partiers gather money to pay him and open the door. To their horror, an eyeless corpse falls inside.
  • Fanservice: A huge amount of it with nudity, short-shorts, women playing basketball in said short-shorts, and slumber party Vapor Wear.
  • Final Girl: Averted with Valerie who is a typical good girl, but isn't the only survivor in the film.
  • Foreshadowing: The girls read the horoscope for Scorpio, which is Diane's sign, which states that she's going to "get ahead" with the opposite sex. She later finds her boyfriend decapitated.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Russ Thorn has no personality, or backstory that would give him some sort of motivation for the things he does. He's just some psycho who killed people in the past, got locked up, escaped and is now killing again. Some of his dialogue implies that he might be a sexual sadist, but that's it.
  • Gory Deadly Overkill Title of Fatal Death: The title tells everything what the potential viewer needs to know about the film; that it has gratuitous fan service and plenty of death.
  • I'll Kill You!: Screaming in pain for getting his hand chopped off, Thorn starts screaming this word for word at Valerie before she slashes his stomach open.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Thorn is finally killed when he jumps on a machete held by Valerie, and is impaled by it.
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: Thorn kills Mr. Canton, who is busy killing snails that threaten his garden by drilling through the back of his neck and lets go of it, just to show Canton's corpse to the audience.
  • Indecisive Parody: Confirmed by Word of God. The writers wrote it as a send up of slasher movies with its foul-mouthed, sexually active cast who are stalked by a straw misogynist. The directors treated it as a normal slasher movie, however. It was also complicated by the fact Roger Corman insisted on both the title as well as an addition of numerous nude scenes.
  • Knife Nut: The slumber partiers arm themselves with kitchen knives once they learn of Thorn's presence. Unfortunately, it becomes the undoing of one of them when they accidentally leave it behind.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang: After they find the body of the pizza guy and the phone lines are cut, Jeff and Neil make a break for the neighbors' house to try and get help while Trish, Jackie, and Kim stay locked in the house. Jeff doesn't make it past the garage and Neil makes it to Valerie's house, only to be ignored until it's too late.
  • Machete Mayhem: The saw failing her, Valerie picks up a machete in the basement to confront Thorn with.
  • Male Gaze: There are lots of shots of female backsides and undressings.
  • Man Bites Man: Neil desperately attacks Thorn with a knife. As they struggle on the ground Thorn bites him, takes the knife and proceeds to stab him repeatedly.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: All of the men in the film die horrifying and ignominious deaths. This was part of the parody element intended by the author.
  • Not Quite Dead: Mortally wounded, Thorn falls into a pool and as a relieved Valerie hugs her sister Courtney, he rises from it to attack them once more.
    • After being stabbed with a drill and stuffed within the car with Thorn's other victims, Jeff manages to live long enough to weakly drag himself to Trish's front door. Unsure if it's him or the killer, the girls don't let him in and hear him being finished off by Thorn.
  • Off with His Head!: Diane leaves her boyfriend John for a moment in his car. When she gets back, she finds his corpse with its head put back on top of it, ready for a scare and a scream.
  • Once Is Not Enough: As Thorn attacks Trish and Kim inside the room that they barricaded themselves in, Trish manages to momentarily knock him out with a baseball bat. She and Kim then start removing the makeshift barricade, ignoring the unconscious killer lying helplessly on the floor.
  • Peeping Tom: Two of the boys engage in this behavior and provide the audience a look.
  • Peek-a-Boo Corpse: Jeff tries to make a break from the house besieged by Thorn through the garage, but finds the backdoor locked. Then Diane's corpse drops from above and as he screams, as Thorn attacks him from behind.
  • Punk in the Trunk: Thorn hides the bodies of his victims inside a car trunk in the Deveraux household's garage.
  • Shout-Out: After the lights go out, Kim and Jackie mimic The Twilight Zone theme when Trish tells them that the fuse box is in the (possibly spooky) garage.
  • Shower Scene: An extended shower scene takes place after a ladies' basketball game.
  • Slashed Throat: Thinking that help has arrived, Jackie rushes to open the door and has her throat cut with a swing from the power drill.
  • Slashers Prefer Blondes: The first victim is a blonde repair woman and he later kills Kim.
  • Spoofed the Ironic Film Seriously: The film was written as a satirical jab at the slasher genre for its victimization of women and excessive nudity. Its directors took it seriously, filming it as a straight example of the genre, resulting in an Indecisive Parody.
  • Stealth Parody: The original screenplay was a parody of slasher films, but the director Amy Holden Jones filmed it as a straight slasher, so the parody elements are muted.
  • This Is a Drill: Thorn picks up a power drill from the telephone van where he commits his first onscreen murder, and uses it as his Weapon of Choice for the rest of the movie.
  • Token Minority: Jackie is the sole African American member of the cast.
  • Vague Age: Courtney is Valerie's younger sister, but exactly how old she is isn't clear. She acts and is treated very much like an Annoying Younger Sibling, behaving very childishly such as playing pranks on Valerie and is spared any Male Gaze shots unlike the rest of the female cast, but she looks just as old as the rest of them.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: All of the women in the movie even when not playing basketball.


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