Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5
USA, 1982. Santa Fe Productions. Screenplay by Rita Mae Brown. Cinematography by Stephen L. Posey. Produced by Amy Holden Jones. Music by Ralph Jones. Production Design by Francesca Bartoccini. Costume Design by Janet Scoutten. Film Editing by Sean Foley.
The concept is simple, but Amy Holden Jones’s ironic direction and the visually inventive scenes of murderous mayhem make it one of the more delightful entries in the genre of exploitative slice-and-dice movies. Trish (Michelle Michaels) is excited to have her girlfriends over for a slumber party on a night that her parents are going away, inviting her friends to her house but leaving out next door neighbour Valerie (Robin Stille), who overhears the girls speaking ill of her and opts to stay home. Novelist Rita Mae Brown, who wrote the script as a parody of murder-by-numbers horror films (and maintained that the finished result was not the flavour of humour she intended) has her characters participate in what a movie usually made from a male gaze thinks women do when left to their own devices, including getting into their lingerie and comparing their perfect bodies with each other by a cozy fireplace. Lovely, sexy fun, but unfortunately the slumber party coincides with the recent escape of a mass murderer from a local penitentiary who makes his way to their neighbourhood, breaks into the house with his power drill and invades their bodies in a manner that Freud would have a great time analyzing. Stylish, shallow and wholly unimportant, the film has a healthy bounce to it as it moves from one fresh kill to the next without ever trying to be deep or meaningful, and as a result the surprises pack more scares than you usually get from the more uninspired films of its kind.