Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE (Scream Factory Blu-ray) - Long Shower Scenes, Long Drill Bit

There's a box set of the Slumber Party Massacre series out there that I had consider picking up, but the minute I heard Scream Factory was tackling the original movie I pretty much decided that I'd save that for time when I needed my 1950's, giant red guitar/drill fetish fix. Having watched the original movie in the last couple of years with friends and realizing that we really more or less turned it into a giant riffing session, I actually didn't expect to enjoy it quite as much as I did with friends stowed in the sleeping bag. From the fresh transfer job to the luscious, unending shower scenes to the extras that just won't quit, I am deeply impressed with Scream Factory's ability to create content that the audience will find entertaining while preserving a classic slasher film with a perfect synth score.


When Trish (Michele Michaels) decides to invite her high school girls’ basketball teammates over for a slumber party, she has no idea the night is going to end with an unexpected guest– an escaped mental patient and his portable power drill – crashing the party in the cult classic, The Slumber Party Massacre.


Most of us watched The Slumber Party Massacre for the plot, right? How about the kills? The outlandish, uncanny, expert effects? How about the score? Maybe we watched it because the cover displays amazing, bra-clad beauties with phallic drill bit protruding from the crotch of an unknown driller killer (no relation to the Abel Ferrera killer)? That's it right? Since we were kids, we rented The Slumber Party Massacre for exactly one reason: the cover art/image. This is totally acceptable by 80's standards and speaks to an older time where we judged movies, not by their poorly created trailers, but by the cover art that may or may not allow us a glimmer of what might be inside.

Truth be told I was skeptical before this most recent watch but pleasantly surprised. I watched this with a girlfriend and when I was a kid, and well... we ended up making out through the entire movie. The Slumber Party Massacre hasn't always been held in high regard by yours truly. While there are moments of pure cheese and boobie watching galore with bad dialogue and some terrible effects, there are moments of tension that actually work. Add a well placed jump scare and a killer who actually looks a little damaged with a weapon that looks like it'd stand a chance to kill you, and you might have a moment where you grab your own breasts to stave off the fear.

The Slumber Party Massacre looks very good with a nice new transfer from the original camera negative though I imagine the source material wasn't exactly shot in the Red One camera.  It's a product of it's time period and budget, but the transfer preserves feel. The sound quality is good especially the gorgeous synth that is the equivalent of a nudie cutie beauty (as if this movie needed more of those*). The audio is DTS-HD Master Audio Mono. Picture is 1080p HD Widescreen 1.78:1.

The special features actually shocked me. I guess I didn't expect a movie of TSPM's caliber to be this full of goodies. They included Sleepless Nights: The Making of The Slumber Party Massacre, an audio commentary with Director Amy Holden Jones (less we forget that this skin fest was directed by a lady), Michael Villela and Debra De Liso as well as the Theatrical Trailer.  Scream Factory used the extras from the DVD set for this release, but I wish they could have grabbed the sequels and maybe thrown it into a cheap box set (even if you release the sequels on DVD along with the Blu-ray). I can say with certainty, having rented the DVD that it looks really great none the less. A good upgrade for Blu-hounds.

I suppose you have to look at The Slumber Party Massacre as a cautionary tale that forces you to either stay off the basketball team (because they throw really shitty parties) or find a suitable counter weapon/shield to a large drill with a long bit. This is a great release of a classic piece of slasher cinema history with the camp, cheese, low budget perfection and T&A (much better T&A than its budget would suggest was possible). Definitely take a look at the alternate cover art/stills they've chosen for the inside. This is a special release.

The Slumber Party Massacre hits 3/18. You can order your copy now!

-Doc Terror

*Trick observation. You can always use more nudie cuties.

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