“I can’t get no…satisfaction.”
Finally after months of anticipation I saw Slumber Party Massacre II. To really understand the absurdity that is Slumber Party Massacre II, I watched it twice. I’m not 100% certain what’s going on in this movie. I get the basic plot: Courtney (Crystal Bernard from Wings), a survivor from the first Slumber Party Massacre is now in high school; she’s having dreams about a serial killer; the serial killer has a drill mounted on a guitar head. After that I’m not so sure. Is the killer real, or a figment of her imagination? Is the whole thing a psychotic dream? Should I really care?
The brilliant (or possibly deranged) mind responsible for Rock ‘n Roll High School Forever brings you this Roger Corman produced film – a shining example of filmmaking gone awry. I’m certain Deborah Brock is insane and was fortunate enough to have somebody fund her insanity. Slumber Party Massacre II is a rock ‘n roll musical slasher film. It aims at comedy, but it’s not funny because it’s well written – it’s funny because it’s so inane. In the same vein as Troll 2, Slumber Party Massacre II is a leading contender for the stupidest film ever.
The film begins about four years after the original. Courtney and her friends travel to a condo somewhere in the desert, hoping for a weekend of fun, excitement, boys, and band practice. A series of bad dreams and hallucinations plague Courtney, rolling over into everybody else’s fun. Eventually the driller killer (Atanas Ilitch) comes to life and kills Courtney’s friends, delivering rock ‘n roll lyrics (Light my Fire by The Doors; Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones and more) and dancing his way into murder. I’m not joking about the dancing – the killer actually has a dance solo. He also rocks out on his massive guitar drill, playing hot licks at various points in the film. The killer from the original Slumber Party Massacre is an escaped mass murderer; this killer is a bad late ‘80s rock star stalking Courtney. The box states that the killer from the original film possesses a rock star but the film never expands on this. Personally I think it’s somebody trying to rationalize Brock’s nebulous film. Either way, the film delivers 70+ minutes of insanity.
Brock’s style is definitely unrefined. Sometimes her shots are unnerving, almost having a David Lynch quality, but without the talent and sometimes they follow filmmaking standards: they’re acceptable but nothing new. The film meanders for a while in the first two acts, where the driller killer mostly appears in dreams – sometimes rocking out, break dancing, or maniacally laughing – and we’re given an unnecessary back-story involving Courtney, her friends, and her love interest (a hunky football player who looks about 30). Most of Courtney’s dreams begin with slow-motion shots of her boyfriend running shirtless and catching a football, ending with the killer acting silly. This happens for about 45 minutes, with the dreams and hallucinations becoming more intense: a chicken attacks Courtney when she opens the refrigerator and a friend’s zit morphs into a hideous deformity, popping and blowing up her head. It sounds stupid (it is) but it’s comical, bringing to mind a tame version of Lloyd Kaufman’s Troma films.
The teenagers aren’t really that interesting (even though Courtney’s insanity is humorous), but the driller killer is. After he comes to life and starts killing the teens in quick succession he’s followed by various lights (mostly red) and emanates smoke automatically. It really makes no sense and your best bet when watching Slumber Party Massacre II is to discard any hope for reality and go along for the ride. His penchant for quoting lines from old rock songs kills me (I’m still quoting them to my girlfriend and other pals who’ve seen the movie) and his music video poses, where he rocks out in-between murders, is great.
Brock may have created a new kind of film, reminding me of outsider art. She attended UCLA film school and has a mediocre resume (she produced Honey, I Blew up the Kids and Gallo’s Buffalo 66), but I’m convinced she’s a bit off mentally. I understand her desire to make a cheesy film, but Slumber Party Massacre II is way off the radar. Partially an MTV generation product, part low-budget horror film, and part television commercial: all nonsense. Brock created an alternate America, where most things mimic the reality of the late 1980s but are completely exaggerated, creating a parody of that era. The teenagers of Brock’s film are caricatures of American teens – they exhibit the desires of adolescents but voice them in completely ludicrous ways.
Like the first Slumber Party Massacre, this sequel features a feminist subtext. However, Brock’s take on feminism is laced with preposterous happenings and obscures any critique. The first Slumber Party Massacre contains female characters able to think outside the conventions generally assigned to women in slasher films – many times running from the killer and fighting back instead of falling down and crying – and also features male characters assuming the traditional female roles. The men are incapable of rationality, generally weak and stupid, and can’t stand up to a slasher to save their lives (literally). Here’s where the Slumber Party Massacre films defy horror film conventions; these movies exchange gender roles, doing what very few slasher films do. I think this is a good thing, since the heroine’s in most slasher films are either weak or predominately masculine – this isn’t the case in the first two Slumber Party Massacre films. For all their insipidness, these films contain progressive subtext, wrapped in the trite traditions of slasher films.
I’ve been recommending Slumber Party Massacre II to everybody I know, telling them it’ll change their lives. It was a life changing experience for me – I have now seen the two best worst movies of all time in one year (Troll 2 and SPM II). This film is truly a benchmark in the annals of crap, deserving a place in the DVD collection of every fan of camp. As a time capsule of the late ’80s, the film exhibits all the bad trends of the time and shows the fashion mistakes we should never repeat; as a piece of quality cinema, Slumber Party Massacre II is the Citizen Kane of shit.
Here’s the trailer