Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Scary Movie Month, Day 30

The Slumber Party Massacre

Rita Mae Brown is the author of a series of "cozy" mystery novels featuring a sleuthing cat named Mrs. Murphy. Her credited co-author on the series is her own cat, Sneaky Pie Brown. There are, to date, 21 novels in the Mrs. Murphy series which means that somebody must be reading the things. The reason I bring this up is because it thoroughly fascinates me that the writer of the detecting cat novels popular with grandmas nationwide is the same person who wrote this movie, a thoroughly sleazy and gratuitous wallow in depravity.

I mean "wallow in depravity" in the nicest respect, by the way. The movie follows a group of 30-year-old teenage girls who have a beer-and-pot-fueled slumber party and are (of course) stalked by an escaped lunatic with a phallic power drill. Brown originally wrote the movie as a parody of the then-current slasher craze, but producer Roger Corman (who else?) decided to take her screenplay and have it shot as a straightforward slasher flick. It's still mostly funny, you certainly won't find much (if anything) in the way of tension or scares but there's plenty of gore and nudity to keep the audience captivated for the scant 77 minute runtime.

I like the tone of the movie. While it's not the comedy it was originally envisioned as, it's still got a pleasantly subversive streak running through it along with an infectious sense of fun. There are two sequels (natch) and I'm looking forward to checking those out soon, I hope they're as odd and fun as this one. It's notable that all three movies in the series were written and directed by women (different women each time, too) which is an extreme rarity in any genre, much less one so often dismissed as misogynistic as horror. It's a refreshing change in theory, but in practice it only seems to inform us that women can write and direct sleazy exploitation just as well as men.

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