Failing total recall for 1982's "Slumber Party Massacre," this reviewer retains the memory of a darkly humorous vision and a breathtaking pace in the no-budget slasher written by Rita Mae Brown and directed by Amy Jones. "Slumber Party Massacre II" (selected theaters) proves "II" can be made as cheaply as "I"--and for a fraction of the creative investment. It's not particularly the kind of achievement for the record books.
Not strictly a sequel of the earlier film, the new outing reflects the current popular strains in the genre. It most noticeably echoes the "Nightmare on Elm Street" pictures by keeping us guessing as to whether we're seeing the film's reality or the heroine's imaginings. While the original played it relatively simple by making its maniac a mental institution escapee, the new offering casts him as a demonic leather-clad rock star (Atanas Ilitch) sporting a guitar complete with a lethal rotating drill.
The film's heroine (Crystal Bernard)--from a tragic, cloud-shrouded home--dreams of this apparition's carnage but her girlfriends pass it off as mere hallucinations. What's uppermost in their minds is an out-of-town sleeper with their boyfriends. That's when the nightmare becomes a reality . . . or does it?
Writer-director Deborah Brock simply fails to give her film style or wit. The grisly shenanigans are as inane and illogical as the rationale behind making this effort. "Slumber Party Massacre II" (MPAA-rated: R for nudity, language and graphic violence) is only slightly livelier than a good snooze, but being alert only begs the question: Why do we care about another senseless celluloid slasher?