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Bad Movie Tuesday: Slumber Party Massacre II (1987), a raunchy sequel to the raunchy original, only much gorier and much dumber.

March 15, 2022

MY CALL:  A bit dumber in premise, but much better produced than the original. If you want a goofy killer concept with a demonic guitar offering better death scenes than 1982’s original, you’ll get it. Just keep your expectations low.  MORE MOVIES LIKE The Slumber Party MassacreOther than the original The Slumber Party Massacre (1982), I’d say fans of this movie might turn to other 80s rock’n roll horror like Black Roses (1988), Trick or Treat (1986), Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare (1987), Hard Rock Zombies (1985) and Rocktober Blood (1984).

Right out of the gates this feels better made than its predecessor. Perhaps, just a function of budget. But it’s a welcome feeling. In the spirit of The Slumber Party Massacre (1982), this sequel was also written and directed by a woman: Deborah Brock (Rock ‘n Roll High School Forever). But like the 1982 original, the non-male influence is not so obvious unless you’re looking for it—e.g., note how idiotic the male characters are.

The younger sister of Valerie from The Slumber Party Massacre (1982), Courtney Bates (Crystal Bernard; Wings, Happy Days, It’s a Living) suffers ongoing nightmares after surviving the murderous ordeal in 1982. When her all-girl band mates decide to spend the weekend in a family condo with no adult supervision, it’s nothing but drinking, boys and partying for Courtney, Sheila (Juliette Cummins; Psycho III, Deadly Dreams, Friday the 13th: A New Beginning), Sally (Heidi Kozak Haddad; Friday the 13th Part VII) and Amy (Kimberly McArthur; Malibu Express).

Clearly parasitizing the success of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise (with NOES III released in February 1987, well before SPM II in October), this sequel makes routine plays at nightmares, teens being recognized as “tired” by their parents, and mentally unwell institutionalized teens. More precisely learned from the NOES movies, Courtney explains her troubling nightmares of her rock ‘n roller driller killer… how her dreams feel too real. And when people start dying, she talks about her dreams like everyone should have believed her from the start.

The dream sequences are beyond ridiculous. Courtney envisions horrors, blood appears here and there, and the rockabilly phantom of her nightmares scores a lame solo with a demonic guitar that is in no way phallic. Why a rockabilly killer with greaser hair, snazzy leathers and a drill affixed to this murderous guitar? No particular reason. Maybe this movie was just embracing its cheesy nature.

Something this sequel has that part 1 lacks is actual special effects. The huge mutant zit scene is disgusting and hilariously satisfying for gorehounds. But as the movie progresses, like most movies of its type, we find the special effects biased to the final 30 minutes. Only here, unlike part 1, there’s actual on-screen gore and kills.

As conceptually stupid as this phantasmal rocker driller killer is… I guess I’m enjoying his antics. I don’t even understand the criticism these movies endure. I mean, as soon as a pillow fight starts in my house, I don’t know about you, but I take off my top. Pillow fights are either topless, or they are wrong!

We see more and better gore in one drill-through-the-chest death scene than everything gore-wise in part 1 combined. And like a NOES sequel, the driller killer has somehow transitioned through Courtney’s dreams into the real world to do some real killing.

The last 30 min feels like a totally different movie. Interesting, and a rather unwarranted change from its source material, I’d give this a soft recommendation to fans of 80s movies and slashers.

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