By the late 1980’s, the golden era of the slasher movie was coming to an end. Slashers like Intruder and Cheerleader Camp leaned more towards camp than pure horror. Of course, diminishing prospects wasn’t deterring producers. Certainly not when the next horror franchise was just around the corner. Though Slumber Party Massacre was only a minor slasher entry from 1982, legendary producer Roger Corman dusted it off anyways for a belated sequel. The result was one of the most mind-boggling horror sequels ever made. Is Slumber Party Massacre II just a bad movie? Or is it ‘so bad, it’s good.’
Slumber Party Massacre Part II Has A Premise Straight Out of Leftfield
Based on any technical standard of quality, Slumber Party Massacre Part II is a bad movie. Glaring continuity errors pop up here and again. For instance, a bloody, gore-dripped drill appears perfectly clean in the very next scene. Victim injuries magically change from scene to scene. People stand still and scream while ‘The Driller Killer’ slowly stalks them. But that’s not even the worst.
There’s no time to explain when you need to fit in ‘rock and roll’ dance numbers.
Arguably, the sequel is best remembered for its completely illogical plot. For this sequel, writer and director Deborah Brock reincarnates ‘ordinary’ psychopath into a leather-clad ‘rockabilly’ greaser. His drill has inexplicably been replaced by an electric guitar with a rotating drill on the neck. Why? One character mentions something about dreams and projection. How does ‘The Driller Killer’ go from being a recurring nightmare to a living, breathing threat. Who cares? There’s no time to explain when you need to fit in ‘rock and roll’ dance numbers. Yes, our ‘Driller Killer’ takes time out to dance and sing in between kills.
Slumber Party Massacre II a Bonkers Mix of Drill Bits and Exploding Zits
In spite of everything I listed above, I’m going to say something that might be rather controversial. Slumber Party Massacre Part II is a very watchable horror movie. I saw it about 30 years ago at, yes, a sleepover in the late ‘80’s. While we may have howled at it, we didn’t turn it off. Now watching years later, I can honestly say it’s better than a lot of low-budget horror getting churned out today. For starters, Slumber Party Massacre II is never boring. At a mere 77 minutes, it never pauses too long for its utter bizarreness to prompt you to turn it off.
The movie’s highlight, an exploding zit, encapsulates the mix of intentional and unintentional humour and gross-out effects.
For a B-movie 80’s horror flick, there’s also some decent DIY effects. Drills impale bodies with bits of gore and flesh flung about in glorious detail. The movie’s highlight, an exploding zit, encapsulates the mix of intentional and unintentional humour and gross-out effects. Though it’s never scary, Brock captures that odd midnight movie vibe reminiscent of other VHS B-movie classics like Sleepaway Camp. With a generally likeable cast, Brock keeps you invested as the movie descends into increasingly strange territory. And it wouldn’t be an ‘80’s horror movie without multiple, surreal fake-out endings.
Rock and Roll Can Never Die
The best part of Slumber Party Massacre II is Atanas Ilitch. We all know the slasher heavyweights – Jason, Freddy Krueger, and Michael Myers. Then you have the next tier of slasher villains – Chucky and Pinhead. As the movie’s titular ‘Driller Killer’, Ilitch is pure B-movie gold. He’s up there with Leprechaun. Clearly influenced by Freddy Krueger, ‘The Driller Killer’ is a wise-cracking killer played by Ilitch with a manic energy. It’s a ‘lightning in a bottle’ performance that Ilitch was sadly never given a chance to repeat. The Driller Killer may be one of the most underrated killers in slasher movie history.
Slumber Party Massacre II Still Buzzes
Take my word for it, Slumber Party Massacre II is the right kind of bad movie. Its plot is so crazy you just have to see it to believe it. When the intentional comedy misses, the unintentional humour hits the mark. And the movie’s rock and roll musical bits actually kind of work. Waxwork Records needs to get on producing a vinyl copy of the soundtrack. Thought it’s hard to find, if you’re a fan of bad movies, you need to see Slumber Party Massacre II.