"Seven California co-eds are dressed to kill ... and a murderer is, well, dressed to kill. He's an insomno-maniac looking for luscious bods to bore and it looks like he'll find them at the SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE. The DRILLER KILLER is back in PART III of the classic horror fest. This time Jackie, Diane and Martia are three high school girls who love a good time. When they party, they bust out of their bikinis and break out the brews - but the driller killer's out for a thrill with his drill ... and he's ready to kill!"
After a frankly surreal PART II (where 80s teens battled against exploding zits and a killer musician with a guitar cum giant drill) this entry into the series takes a turn into altogether darker territory (well, after an apocalypse of cheese to get things going).
Jackie (Keely Christian), the archetypical Malibu Beach brat – blond, bronzed and cute as a button, is home alone whilst her mother is away visiting relative. Of course, being in a teen horror movie, Jackie can’t resist organising a sleep over party and has invited a bevy of busty, big haired over-aged teens to dance to bad rock music and indulge in impromptu strip bump 'n' grind sessions. And, of course, being a teen horror flick – and one in which driller killings feature heavily – pizza stains on the carpet were always going to be the least of their problems …
Ahead of the party, Jackie and her friends play an energetic game of volleyball on the beach – and attract the attentions of not only a mysterious bug-eyed 'weirdo' (Yan Birch) (who’s dressed in black and stares intensely at all those bouncing breasts), but also the ‘hunky’ and mysterious Ken (Brittain Frye), who is apparently back from medical college. One of the beach bunnies, Juliet (Lulu Wilson), takes a shine to the floppy-haired Ken and invites him to that night’s party.
However, as the group breaks up – and most of them drive through the Californian sunshine in open top cars body-popping around to soft rock pap – one hapless teen is drilled to death as a killer waits for her in the back seat of her car (yes, that old chestnut – and the first of many hoary old slasher clichés getting an airing). And talking of clichés, it’ll comes as no great surprise to all but slasher movie virgins that when the slumber party gets into full swing a carload of teenage boys turn up wearing Halloween masks, with the intention of giving the girls a jolly good scare.
It also goes without saying that one of the guests has more than lingerie, potato chips and kegs of beer on their mind – and soon bubble permed hair, chiffon and nubile flesh meets the sharp end of a screaming drill …
To add to the healthy roster of clichés, there’s an embarrassment of red herrings – including a sweaty-lipped neighbour who hyperventilates over Jackie; plus a spectacularly useless police department, who ignore the ever more hysterical phone calls from the partygoers – even after the first body turns up stuffed in the airing cupboard! Ostensibly, it’s a whodunit for the first 20 minutes or so (the killer is seen with a black hood and white mask), but if you want it to remain a mystery don’t look at the back cover of the New Concorde DVD, as it carelessly gives it away. Incidentally, none of the other photos on the back are from this film – and seem to come from the seemingly interchangeable SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE 2 (also 1990).
Just like the first film, SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE PART III rejects the single final girl ending and pits two thirds of the cast against the mad DIY’er. Although it’s a blatant retread of the first part, this switch-around of the subgenre’s internal rules pays great dividend. Up until that moment, the film meanders along in an agreeably cheesy way (how many films have death by dildo and someone sporting a bra as a hat?), but the bloody and sudden gate crashing of the killer sends things into a much darker and tenser realm. Really, the only thing better than having a cat and mouse chase is having a cat and many mice (dressed in skimpy lingerie) doing the SCOOBY DOO peekaboo runaround. However, the intention to turn things darker are clear from some of the dialogue (“God, I feel like I’m in a Concentration Camp waiting for the Gestapo to come and choose who is going to die next!”), as well as the killer’s motivation (child abuse) and a seriously sleazy scene where the killer rips off a squirming victims’ bra before drilling her to death in front of her friends.
Like the other two entries to the series, SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE PART III is directed by a woman – not that you’d actually notice. The jiggling breasts are all present and correct (especially during a striptease session that seems to go on for an eternity) – and it’s one of those films where men appear to have sex with their trousers on! However, like the first film there’s the de-rigeur ‘feminist’ retribution towards the end.
It’s amazing that a slasher flick of such relatively meagre vintage looks so deliriously dated (the hair alone looks like it escaped from a maximum security salon in the late 80s). Although it was made in 1990, way after the subgenre's heyday, and despite the smorgasbord of clichés, SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE PART III still throws enough curve balls to keep you guessing (and is refreshingly free of the self-referential treatment that became so popular later in the decade).
Eagle-eyed slasher fans may also notice that the pizza girl is played by none other than Marta Kober (Sandra in FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 (1981)).
SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE PART III is a mixed bag: occasionally quite grueling, whilst still laying on a the cheese with a trowel (it scores points in the unusual weapons stakes, with both death by real estate sign and a battering with a polo mallet!). Considering this was made in the slasher movie’s wilderness years you could do much, much worse.
female:6 / male:6
1) Female drilled through back
2) Male impaled on real estate pole
3) Female drilled through chest
4) Female electrocuted by dildo in bath
5) Male has legs chain sawed off
6) Male found dead
7) Male gutted with drill
8) Male hit in the face with drill
9) Female drilled to death
10) Female drilled through chest
11) Male drilled to death
12) Female stabbed to death