Director – Sally Mattison, Screenplay/Producer – Catherine Cyran, Photography – Jurgen Baum, Music – Jamie Sheriff, Makeup Effects – Die-Aktion, Production Design – Stephanie Lytar. Production Company – Concorde
Keely Christian (Jackie Cassidy), Maria Claire (Susie), Maria Ford (Maria), Hope Marie Carlton (Janine), David Lawrence (Frank), Brittain Frye (Ken), David Kriegel (Tom), M.K. Harris (Morgan), Lulu Wilson (Juliette), Wayne Grace (Officer O’Reilly), Garon Grigsby (Michael), Brandi Burkett (Diane), David Greenlee (Duncan), Devon Jenkin (Sarah), Yan Birch (The Weirdo)
Jackie Cassidy throws a slumber party with her girlfriends while her parents are away for the weekend. A group of guys who are interested in the girls sneak in. At the same time, a power-drill wielding maniac is lurking around the neighbourhood and enters the house where he starts killing the girls. As the bodies accumulate, the girls try to call the police for help, only for the dispatcher to think their calls are a prank. Left to defend themselves, the girls try to find which of the guys lurking in the vicinity is the killer.
The Slumber Party Massacre (1982) was one of the numerous entries among the slasher fad of the 1980s. Produced by legendary B movie producer Roger Corman, it was considered a feminist response to the slasher film due to the fact that it was directed and written by women. Whether this was the intent or not seemed immaterial to Corman who produced three sequels, all of them directed by women. The first of these was the ridiculous Slumber Party Massacre II (1987), which tried to warp the original slasher film into a dream horror copying the popularity of A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and sequels. Next was Slumber Party Massacre III and this would be followed over a decade later by Slumber Party Massacre IV/Cheerleader Massacre (2003). Slumber Party Massacre (2021) was a remake of the original..
Slumber Party Massacre III abandons the efforts to copy the A Nightmare on Elm Street series that we had in the second film and is a return more to what the first film was. In fact, it adheres far more to what the well-established formula of the slasher film had become at that point than the first film ever did. There is the central slumber party locale that has remained through all the films of the series to this point. There are various gratuitous topless scenes – indeed, it is hard to keep thinking of Maria Ford as the waitress she claims to be and not keep thinking of her as a natural born stripper. There are all the supporting cast of men who are jerks, weird neighbours or creepy guys thrown into the mix as red herring suspects. Other than a repeat of the same ideas as the first film, there is no continuity connection between this and the other films.
As also was the mainstay of the other films, the killer goes through the film eliminating victims with a very phallic looking power drill. There are one or two other supplementary deaths – Garon Grigsby being impaled against the front door with a realtor’s sign hammered through his chest; and most amusingly a scene where Lulu Wilson gets into a bath and the killer electrocutes her by throwing a plug-in vibrator into the water.
The film is formulaic and predictable for the most part but the latter half rises to a reasonable all-out climax with the killer pursuing the surviving girls through the house with his power drill and eliminating most of the guys before the girls gang up and overpower him. Even then, the girls manage to seem somewhat clueless – rather letting down the film’s aspiration to a feminist message – it takes three of them to overpower the killer even when he has been blinded.
Director Sally Mattison had previously worked at New World Studios as a casting director before graduating to producer. Slumber Party Massacre III is the only film she has ever directed.