The Slumber Party Massacre Blu-Ray Review
Blu-Ray Review- The Slumber Party Massacre
Distributor: Scream Factory
Street Date: March 18th 2014
Technical Specifications: 1080P Video, DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, Color, 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Runtime: 77 Minutes
In 1982, Amy Holden Jones made one of the most memorable Slasher films of the decade, The Slumber Party Massacre. She even turned down an offer to edit E.T. The Extra Terrestrial to do it, believe it or not. After filming a short segment of the script with her husband and some friends at her house one weekend, she gave the final product to famed Cult producer Roger Corman, who quickly offered her the job. It’s a bit ironic that in a seemingly male-dominated genre, a female director gave Horror fans exactly what they craved in 77 minutes: blood, guts, nudity, and plenty of humor. The film did well enough to warrant three sequels, but none of them have gone on to obtain the cult following of the original.
As the film begins, we meet High School basketball star Trisha (Michelle Micheals) as she plans a fun slumber party with her friends for the weekend while her parents are away. Meanwhile, mass murderer and escaped mental patient Russ Thorn (Michael Villella) has killed a telephone repair woman and taken her power drill. If only the poor girl would have taken that young man up on his offer for a date! Russ quickly hones in on the girls’ weekend plans.
What follows is exactly what you came for: voluptuous women in various states of undress, gouged-out eyeballs, power drilling through flesh, and even some late night swimming (not what you’re thinking). The script is corny yet smart, as it was originally intended as a parody of the burgeoning slasher drama, but filmed “straight” by Director Amy Holden Jones. The acting is exactly what you would expect from the genre, sub-par and cheesy, which just adds to the fun. Like the original Halloween (1978) and it’s “Babysitter Murders”, this was another great concept that turned out to be a cult success, albeit not as stylish as that Horror classic.
I had a fun time revisiting The Slumber Party Massacre, drill bits and all, and absolutely recommend it. Over twenty years later, it still holds up.
Working from a brand new 2K transfer from the original film negative, Scream Factory has put together a quality transfer that retains fine detail, authentic film grain, and nice color reproduction. There are moments toward the beginning and end of the film that feature slight print damage or pops that are likely inherent to the original negative source material. To be honest, it just adds to the nostalgia factor for movies like these. The second you have a perfectly beautiful print on your hands, is the same moment you should question if Digital Noise Reduction (DNR) has been overly applied, and luckily Scream Factory has kept things authentic. There are no signs of edge enhancement or manipulation to speak of. Scream Factory had a wonderful transfer to work with.
The DTS-HD Mono track adds a very authentic feel to the film. While it’s not going to wake the neighbors, the high-pitched drill revving, screams, blood drips, and gut splats all sound good in HD Mono. Dialogue comes through clear and clean. Well done!
As fans of the series know, Scream Factory previously released a DVD set of the first three Slumber Party Massacre films. This brand new Blu-Ray edition of the first film carries over the wonderful Sleepless Nights: The Making of the Slumber Party Massacre documentary and adds a commentary track and trailer to boot. The documentary, produced before the Scream Factory line of Shout! titles came to be, foreshadows the “above and beyond” attitude towards special features that Producer Cliff MacMillan and team have come to be known for. Not only do we get to hear from the original cast, crew, and fans on the documentary, but we also get a great commentary from the filmmakers. Both features add a lot to the experience and provide incredible insight for fans. The original theatrical trailer rounds things out on this great disc.
As you can see from the “Unboxing” pictures below, this Blu-Ray Combo Pack comes with nice cover art featuring the original theatrical poster design for the film. This is the same art that was utilized for Shout’s previous release of the trilogy. Being that this isn’t one of their Collector’s Edition releases, there is no slipcover or reversible artwork included here. What you do get are some fun behind-the-scenes photos and artwork to complete the inner sleeve.
If you’re a genre fan like me, and this movie somehow evaded you during those late-night rental store odysseys of your childhood, you absolutely need to seek out Scream Factory’s new Blu-Ray edition. Available March 18th, fans of the series will appreciate the near-perfect video transfer, authentic mono track, and well-produced special features. Another great title to add to the Laboratory shelf!
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