In 1981, exploitation king Roger Corman hired Amy Holden-Jones to produce and direct a script by "Rubyfruit Jungle" author Rita Mae Brown. The union beget THE SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE (1982),the world's first "feminist" slasher film. Its success led to a trilogy ('87/'90) and featured popular TV and b-movie film actresses Crystal Bernard, Brinke Stevens, Maria Ford and Hope Marie Carlton. 30 years later, cast and crew of the trilogy gather to discuss the ups-and-downs of independent film-making, the requirements of nudity, sex & violence, just how feminist the series really is, and what it was like to work for Corman during the decadent 1980s. Written by
Sleepless Nights: Revisiting the Slumber Party Massacres (2010)
*** (out of 4)
Those who bought the latest collection from Shout Factory will be pleased to find this hour-long documentary covering the production of the first three films. The directors from parts one and three return to discuss things as do various cast members including Brinke Stevens, Michael Villella, Sally Mattison, Debra Deliso and various others. Also on hand is Tony Brown who runs a website that pays homage to the series as well as others. If you look at the cast here and think to yourself that there's not a lot of people on hand then you're certainly correct but it's well-known that the people involved had an extremely hard time finding cast members who wanted to talk. Apparently the majority of the people asked were embarrassed by the films and didn't want to have anything to do with them, which is rather interesting and would make a nice documentary on its own. With that said, the documentary is broken into three parts with each one taking a look at a certain part in the series. For the most part the documentary was fun for fans since we get to hear some good stuff from Amy Holden Jones on how Roger Corman let her direct the first film and what she was trying to do with it. We also have a lot of discussion about the nudity that Corman required and how in part two you had people who had appeared in Playboy refusing to take their clothes off for a movie. Michael Villella, who brilliantly played the killer in part one, tells some great stories about him being a method actor and he goes into detail about everything he did to bring the part to life. When you hear it you'll see why he was so creepy in the film. It's too bad Roger Corman himself couldn't have been interviewed as it appears he would have some pretty wicked things to say about the films. The documentary really doesn't go into critical reception, box office take or various other matters but it's still a worthy watch for fans of the series.
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