Tuesday, March 15, 2011

SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE II (1987) - a nightie nightmare on Elm Street, or the Bangles stripped down to their Freudian slips

A girl is dreaming about a shirtless football hero, but her idyllic fantasy is interrupted by rapid fire clips of Slumber Party Massacre 1 and 2. It’s rare that a Corman production uses stock footage from its own film, but I guess it had to happen sometime. The lead girl doesn’t make the connection, and drives off to class with her friend. They’re in an all-girl band together, and we get a taste of their music when they bust into a rendition of “Tokyo Convertible”, which is somehow a metaphor for love. They are getting together for a slumber party practice weekend, and hopefully lead girl Courtney will get over the horrors of Slumber Party Massacre part 1 (and getting recast). Her sister, who also survived the first film, unfortunately does not have the benefit of the mental cleansing that comes with being able to express yourself within a slumber party pop band that sounds like a tone deaf Bangles, and, henceforth, resides in a loony bin.

Courtney continues to have stock footage filled dreams, as she is still trying to overcome her trauma (and also the movie is post-Nightmare on Elm Street). Included in these visions is a sub-Freddy Krueger, sub-Andrew "Dice" Clay rock ‘n roll greaser, with a ridiculous heavy metal drill guitar (ridiculous because a rockabilly guy would never use such a guitar; I’m not even gonna comment on it having a drill on the end). Eventually these dreams spill into hallucinations, as she starts seeing exploding zits and evil rubber chickens and the like. Eventually, they even call the cops on account of these hallucinations, and officer Krueger (figures) does the usual asshole pork routine, and runs off to Denny’s with his “partner”.

Well, the party gets off to a slamming start when these “17-year-olds” party down with twenty bottles of champagne, just in time for Rock ‘n Roll High School to play on television. This leads not to a lesbian orgy, but rather, the next best thing; a dancing montage leading in to a strip pillow fight. Of course, two boys show up to sneak a peek and eventually get drilled. I’m pretty sure it was worth it. Eventually, the greaseball manifests in the “real” world, cracking wise into the camera and even breaking out into a breakdance musical routine (he also kills people). The constant novelty of the dream sequences for the first two-thirds of the movie means that no suspense is being built up, but leaving all the murders for the end is kinda cool, although the inexplicable antics of the killer tends to bring things to a halt. Of course, there is an unintelligible dream-within-a-dream twist ending, there to shock those in the audience who have long since discarded any desire to follow narrative logistics.

There must be some reason why a rockabilly killer is shoehorned into the movie, and the answer has suddenly dawned on me. Courtney’s band may not be the emotional outlet it appears to be. Have you ever listened to a Bangles record for cathartic reasons? I rest my case. The rockabilly asshole is the trauma of a shattered innocence coming home to roost. The lesson here is, if you’re gonna commit to an art form, just be honest with yourself. Don’t re-shovel some pabulum about Tokyo convertibles. So, when you see a Honda Civic, it’s usually a hardtop. Once in a while you see one that’s a convertible. Who gives a shit?

On second thought, watching that clip, I feel a little better about myself and my position in life. Granted, it's probably just a temporary salve, but I'll take what I can get. So, maybe the Bangles CAN be cathartic, but a tone deaf Bangles absolutely cannot. Here's another clip that is probably irrelevant:

Now I feel GREAT!


  1. "Stripped down to their Freudian slips"

    Nicely done.

    Did you notice that Courtney had developed a Texas accent since the last film? I didn't, as I was too busy watching Heidi Kozak's jean shorts getting shorter and shorter as the film progressed.

    Interesting take on the use of rockabilly in the film. It's not the take I'm gonna take when I get around to doing my SPM2 entry, but it's interesting one, nonetheless.

    You should include that clip from The Allnighter in all of your entries. Dayum!

  2. @Yum
    Either way, the girls aren't into rockabilly, so forced-in rockabilly is an interruption of their comfort zone. You could also view it as "manly" music that penetrates the world of a feminine pop band.

    That Allnighter bit might be the hottest thing ever. If I get a decent GIF program, I'll do one of that so it can play on for eternity.

  3. I would say that the drill on the guitar is a phallic metaphor, but that's way too obvious.

  4. @9fingered
    Yeah, I think I mentioned that with the first movie, so I yeah, I left it alone as obvious.