The third time is the charm in “Slumber Party Massacre 3,” because unlike the prior films, this is a slasher in the purest sense of the word. It delivers everything we have come to love in the genre, including an impotent drill-wielding serial killer, a decent amount of nudity, charismatic carefree over 20-year-olds playing high school teenagers and many red herrings.
This direct-to-video flick was a departure from the previous releases because “Slumber Party Massacre” one and two were trying new approaches to the genre. “Slumber Party Massacre” was penned by a feminist author trying to spoof horror movies but the end result was an unfunny slasher with not much to say. “Slumber Party Massacre 2” was an abysmal, but always entertaining entry. Crystal Bernard (“Wings”) led an all-girls band that is haunted by terrifying daydreams of a rock and roll driller killer. The killer comes off as a Fonzie reject that sings. So needless to say, low expectations on the third entry were inevitable. Somehow, the makers hit gold this time around.
A rough day on a baron beach playing volleyball introduces us to the numerous characters that are essentially a poor man’s cast of “Beverly Hills 90210.” At the beach, watching them play, are a stud and a weirdo. The teenagers quickly object to the weirdo being allowed to sit in the sand and watch them play and his odd stare set up the first of many suspects throughout the movie.
After the game, they partake in a joyride while listening to corny music that they rock out to. We are also given a glimpse at which characters are in love and the scene is set. The characters are nothing groundbreaking, but deep background character studies need not apply in the “Slumber Party Massacre” franchise.
While our humble hostess of the slumber party needs to get the house together before her guests arrive and some time to daydream about her new macho love interest, she stumbles upon a creepy neighbor in her house (Suspect #2).
However, the creepy neighbor teaches one valuable lesson and that is the pervert spying on women with his telescope is also a nice guy that will call the cops if a mass-murderer ever shows up.
Once the party starts, so does the unnecessary, but always crucial topless dancing, which is a great beginning to any slumber party. However, a funny, but mean-spirited prank played by the guys who finally show up leads to a house of unisex teenagers ripe for murder (and fun). The mini-romances and comedic interactions draw you into the entire experience of the picture.
However, when the movie is over, you may not remember anyone’s name. You may feel like you watched a violent episode of “Saved by the Bell.” With that being said for the genre, the acting is pretty good in that bubblegum, soap opera sense. It is easy to root for these teenagers because they seemingly perpetuate an ideal adolescent existence. (Minus the driller killer).
A special mention must be made of David Kriegel (“Speed”) as Tom, who is arguably the most likable of the teenagers. His character is slightly bumbling, yet somehow endearing through his comedic side. He essentially steals every scene he is in and even has a cute and naive romantic subplot. The other special mention must be made to the driller killer, revealing whose identity would spoil entirely too much.
Also, this picture adds in a cop that refuses to believe those crazy teenagers when they call for help. (A staple in the genre.)
But if you need more to sell you on a film of this nature, then the gore is truly gruesome in the unrated edition. Once the killing starts, the apartment becomes filled with courses and blood, leading to a pulse-pounding, nerve-wrecking finale.
“Slumber Party Massacre 3” is one hell of a night to remember because it may actually be the final great slasher. One can hope this genre gets revived, but all Hollywood seems to be doing is remaking everything that doesn’t need remaking.