Movie #48 in my 31 Nights of Terror.
Slumber Party Massacre III
I couldn’t tell you what happens in the first two Slumber Party Massacre movies. I imagine a lot of girls were drilled to death by the Driller Killer, who presumably got away each time. This second sequel involves some chicks who decide to have a slumber party where they order pizza, bake cookies, and do strip teases for each other. A few boys crash the party. Creepy people populate the neighborhood. Oh, and a psychosexual killer with some sort of bullshit drill terrorizes everyone. This movie was clearly made for the home video market – only by 1990, when this movie was released , there was too many other choices available on basic cable. This movie is infinitely lazy. The acting is atrocious. The kills are unconvincing as the camera regularly cuts away in a manner that distracts and shatters any modicum of illusion. The boobs are few and far between. And the dialogue is indecipherable. However, the movie is moderately amusing in just how idiotic it is. When the girls discover a dead body upstairs in the bedroom, no one bothers to suggest that they should, you know, leave the house. Instead, they lock all the doors and windows. And when the killer does start killing everyone in sight, the girls are literally stumped by how to get out of the house. (My favorite failed escape involves three girls trying to figure out how to climb out a window that chest level. They ultimately give up.)
The direction is absolutely jaw-dropping in its incompetence. During one scene, the killer proceeds to fondle and sexually assault one of the girls. After this long, uncomfortable scene, the camera cuts back to reveal that her friends have been standing around watching rather than a) helping or b) escaping. I will admit that once the killer is revealed, it is a bit of a shock and surprise, but then the rest of the film left everyone asking, “Really? He’s the killer? Really?” It doesn’t even make sense looking back. Not one fucking bit. The absurd symbolism is overt and fundamental (the drill represents his penis. Get it?!). And what little gore there is looks elementary. Interestingly, all of the Slumber Party Massacre movies are directed by women. Figures.
Body count: 11
But while Slumber Party Massacre III is a fun movie for a room full of sarcastic assholes to watch, Guinea Pig is not. I’m afraid to even Google this movie and find out what year it was made. It is purposely shot in a manner to make it feel one act removed from a snuff film. The “premise” involves a girl who is repeatedly tortured by unseen men in various rooms. She’s faked slapped, fake hot water is poured on her arm, a fake knife cuts into her fake arm, etc. And while most of it is unconvincing, the purpose of the movie is deeply unsettling. The ending, however, is totally convincing in all its disturbing intentions. A needle is inserted through the girl’s face, and then comes out their eye as her eye socket fills with blood. Oh, god. It was rough. So rough. Not scary. Just disturbing.
Full disclosure: much of this movie was watched in fast forward.
Body count: 1
The Stone Tape
A BBC production from the early seventies. A nice sci-fi take on ghosts and hauntings. It’s a BBC production, so the filmmakers’ resources are pretty limited. But it’s still a creepy, eerie, and smart sci-fi thriller. The story: a group of scientists doing research in an old mansion discover that one room in particular is haunted by the ghost of a flickering woman who gives a blood-curdling scream seemingly on cue. They research the room and discover that the stones themselves have recorded and event from the past and are replaying this event over and over. More research is done, and something more sinister is discovered. If I have any complaints, it’s that the lead woman is a bit too hysterical. It seems to be typical to write female characters as overly sensitive to the supernatural, and once they get poo pooed by the men, they turn even more unhinged than they already are. The movie sets this up almost immediately when she loses her shit in the parking lot cause there are two trucks backing into her. Te fucking parking lot, for Christ’s sake. This character is a researcher. She really should be able to hold it together better when faced with a g-g-g-g-ghost. Regardless, she doesn’t come off as stupid, and the dudes hear and or see the apparition soon enough. And yet, the dark, sad, haunting ending is played perfectly. An absolutely excellent find.
Body count: 1
Total body count: 410.