Slumber Party Massacre III (USA, 1990)

The drill is back in this third film that serves as a more thematic sequel when compared to the original two films.

After hanging at the day at the beach with her friends, Jackie decides to hold a slumber party as her parents are away to find a new home. She invites her friends Diane, Juliette, Janine, Susie, Maria, and Sarah. However, when Sarah tells the girls she will meet them there, she is killed by a mystery figure who appears in the backseat of her car. Jackie even begins to get creeped out when her neighbor Morgan, plans to buy her family’s home when they move. Nevertheless, Jackie and her friends decide to have their fun.

During the slumber party, the girls find themselves startled by Frank, Tom, and Michael. Juliette even invites her boyfriend Ken to the party. When Juliette is murdered in the house after she and Ken have an intimate moment, Maria discovers the body and the entire group freaks out. Soon enough, as Tom and Ken search to find help, Ken reveals his true colors. He is the killer who has been wreaking havoc and he promises to make this another slumber party massacre.

In the tradition of the franchise, this third installment was written and directed by female filmmakers. In this case, we have Sally Mattison directing from Catherine Cyran’s script. In an interesting notion, this was originally unintended to be a part of the franchise but more of a “reboot” (something Roger Corman loved to do with his films) called Night Light. It ultimately became the thematic “third” and final entry in the franchise. While the original 1982 film is groundbreaking and a cult classic, the second one was a fun taut horror film with one of the most fun-loving killers imaginable. So how does this third one stand out? It doesn’t stand out, despite a bit of a twist involving our new killer’s background.

The film is definitely an essential reboot with the addition of some creepy supporting characters and again, the required T n’ A of Corman’s influence. The casting of the film is similar to the first two films, some actors known for their required nudity and whatnot, so it’s nothing new here. The only thing it has going for it is a nice twist involving the revelation of the killer, in this case, Brittain Frye’s Ken, whose dark secret becomes the trigger for his madness.

The only other thing it has going for it is the kill scenes. Once again, we are treated to the traditional power drilling killing, and a few stabbings. There is also an electrocution and even the use of a chainsaw in one portion. There is a very uncomfortable scene involving Maria Ford’s character attempting to lure Ken because it is the trigger that ultimately leads to the predictable.

Slumber Party Massacre III acts more like a rehash of the original film despite a nice twist involving the killer’s backstory. The kill scenes are still pretty good, so it will please horror fans either way.

WFG RATING: C-

A Concorde production. Director: Sally Mattison. Producer: Catherine Cyran. Writer: Catherine Cyran. Cinematography: Jürgen Baum. Editing: Tim Amyx.

Cast: Keely Christian, M.K. Harris, Maria Ford, Hope Marie Carlton, Lulu Wilson, Brandi Burkitt, Marie Claire, Brittain Frye, David Kriegel, David Lawrence, Garon Grigsby, Yan Birch, Marta Kober.

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