"THE PARTY BEGINS WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT!!"
directed by: Deborah Brock
starring: Crystal Bernard, Kimberly MacArthur, Juliette Cummins, Heidi Kozak, Atanas Ilitch, Patrick Lowe
(back of video blurb):
"The driller killer is back - and he parties for keeps !
The only sane survivor of SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE, Courtney, (Crystal Bernard) dreams of the drill murderer returning. She can't shake the horrible feeling that she and her friends will be viciously tormented and brutally butchered. Again and again the nightmare returns. Dazed, Courtney loses control. And her nightmare crosses into reality.
No one believes her, until it's too late. The driller killer returns reincarnated as an evil rocker. He methodically stalks them; then violently gores them to death .one by one. Mixing elements of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET with TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE , only the fittest can survive in SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE II!"
"Sunday's my birthday and I don't want to go to a mental hospital!!"
review by Erik Threlfall
As any horror fan will tell you, the late 80s weren't exactly chock a block with slasher classics, so I approached SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE II with low expectations. Part 1 was a decent enough entry, not quite hitting the highs of HALLOWEEN or FRIDAY THE 13TH but steering well clear of the horrifying lows of DON'T GO IN THE WOODS ... ALONE!. However, having viewed the trailer for Part 2, it looked as if I was in store for something akin to a Troma movie, which is high on my 'things to avoid' list, up there with 'being repeatedly kicked in the groin' (can't resist this pun, I find them Troma-tising ho ho ho! ). The trailer made it look like it was from the same 'look aren't we just so outrageous and funny' type of film making and thus I sat back expecting to see the 'anti-HALLOWEEN'. And whilst SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE II does fall well short of being a classic, it still manages to deliver a surprising amount of entertainment.
The film is really a sequel in name only. The solitary connection with part 1 is the character of Courtney (Crystal Bernard) who was the younger sister of the original films heroine, Valerie. The trauma of their ordeal has affected them in different ways. Poor Valerie ended up in a mental hospital, but even more disturbing, Courtney has ended up playing guitar in a 'Bangles' style rock band with her friends. (Unusually for films of this kind, the girls mime the parts well, actually moving their hands around the fretboards as the chords change, but the highly polished studio quality of the music takes away from the realism, oh my God, I can't believe I'm complaining about lack of realism in a slasher movie! Nurse !!!!).
Anyway, Courtney is plagued by nightmares of a greasy 50s style rocker who kills his victims with a large drill bit attached to the end of his guitar. I know what you're thinking, 'LSD or Marijuana?', but what I found even more bizarre is the fact that they didn't take the obvious route of modelling the killer after a spooky Marilyn Manson style goth, choosing instead to go for something along the lines of 'Shakin Stevens'! Eeeeekk, terrifying!!!
The minimalist plot has Courtney and the band packing up their instruments and travelling to a secluded house for the weekend. There's ditsy drummer Sally (Heidi Kovak, seen the following year in FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD), highly sexed lead singer Sheila (Juliette Cummins, also a FRIDAY femme in PART V) and the slightly more reserved Amy (Kimberly MacArthur). Once they arrive at their isolated location they quickly get drunk, eat corn dogs and dance as only 80s kids can. Juliette Cummins takes off her top for the third time in a slasher, having previously lost her blouse in FRIDAY THE 13TH: A NEW BEGINNING and PSYCHO III. She then proceeds to whip her friends with her bra (as you do) before the night descends into a slo-mo pillow fight.
No movie of this ilk would be complete without some boys invading the party to scare the girls and thus we have the misfortune to be presented with TJ (Joel Hoffman), Jeff (Scott Westmoreland) and Matt (Patrick Lowe, Rob's brother) who is the one who makes Courtneys loins quiver. TJ is the obnoxious one that everyone can't wait to see get killed. Jeff is a typical slasher nobody, written into the script just to up the bodycount. And Matt's function is to take off his shirt and let the girls ogle at his pecs.
Courtney's nightmares intensify and she starts having visions whilst awake of her friends being murdered. She sees a huge pimple manifest on Sally's face and then explode (as disgusting as it sounds), she sees a severed hand in her burger and gets attacked by a frozen chicken (prompting one of the gents to exclaim "Something in the fridge attacked you?!!!!"). When Sally goes missing, Courtney believes that her visions are coming true and calls in officers Krueger and Voorhees (no comment needed). However, we're treated to slice 'n' dice cliché no.177, the cops don't believe her and thus don't respond to any further calls for help later in the movie. Then, for no apparent reason, the insane rocker materialises into reality and starts drilling through the cast.
The absurdity of the film's premise is to be applauded, with its mixture of a typical sorority slasher with a pinch of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, however this doesn't disguise the films flaws. As with a lot of horror comedies, it is neither particularly scary nor particularly funny although I do admit to giggling a bit at the frozen chicken attack. The main problem is that the makers are deliberately trying to be daft and that automatically halves the fun for fans of all things dairy. It's so much more enjoyable when you know that the film makers set out to produce a GONE WITH THE WIND but somehow ended up with a ROLLER BOOGIE. The only real cheese on offer is provided by the general naffness of the band. I defy anyone not to chuckle at Sally's work in progress (presumably called 'Pie in the Sky') which is about as melodic as a vacuum cleaner. Still, to it's credit, the film does have a semi professional sheen and at a brisk 75 minutes it never outstays its welcome. The effects are well done and theres plenty of red stuff on offer for gore hounds, it's just a shame there isn't a bit more plot to go with it.
Imagine HALLOWEEN as a white chocolate Toblerone and THE DAY AFTER HALLOWEEN as a particularly rancid tomato and in the middle somewhere you'll find SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE II, slightly tastier than a rice cake. I have yet to view Part 3 in the series but I hear it's really good, apparently Kim Wilde haunts a group of nubile teens and goes around stabbing them with her spiky hairdo ..or maybe not.