The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)

R | 77 or 78 mins | Horror | 10 September 1982

Director:

Amy Jones

Writer:

Rita Mae Brown

Producer:

Amy Jones

Cinematographer:

Steve Posey

Editor:

Sean Foley

Production Designer:

Francesca Bartoccini

Production Company:

Santa Fe Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The actor who portrays “Trish Deveraux’s” boyfriend, “Mark,” is not credited onscreen, and his identity has not been determined. The 12 Nov 1982 NYT review suggested that “Kim’s” full name is actually “Kimberley Clark,” although she is never referred to as such onscreen.
       End credits and contemporary sources indicate that the film’s U.S. Copyright holder is Santa Fe Productions, Inc., but the Library of Congress Copyright Office lists the company Local Color Productions, Inc. The latter may have been a subsidiary of Santa Fe Productions. The Library of Congress record also indicates a seventy-seven minute runtime.
       The 17 Sep 1982 LAHExam reported that, despite her dislike of the horror genre, feminist author Rita Mae Brown hoped to learn the fundamentals of screenwriting and composed a script, originally titled Do Not Open the Door, as one of two projects for Roger Corman’s New World Pictures. The 12 Dec 1979 DV stated that the project was budgeted at $1.5 million and intended for release 15 Jul 1980. 6 Nov 1979 and 12 Feb 1980 HR briefs claimed that Corman considered casting Tatum O’Neal and Nick Nolte, respectively, while the latter item indicated that Bobbie Bresee was originally cast as “Trish.”
       According to the 17 Sep 1982 LAHExam, film editor Amy Jones had been hired to work on E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982, see entry), but instead opted to make her directorial debut with The Slumber Party Massacre. In order to convince Corman to hire her for the job, Jones independently shot a seven-page prologue to the film. Production took place over twenty days in ... More Less

The actor who portrays “Trish Deveraux’s” boyfriend, “Mark,” is not credited onscreen, and his identity has not been determined. The 12 Nov 1982 NYT review suggested that “Kim’s” full name is actually “Kimberley Clark,” although she is never referred to as such onscreen.
       End credits and contemporary sources indicate that the film’s U.S. Copyright holder is Santa Fe Productions, Inc., but the Library of Congress Copyright Office lists the company Local Color Productions, Inc. The latter may have been a subsidiary of Santa Fe Productions. The Library of Congress record also indicates a seventy-seven minute runtime.
       The 17 Sep 1982 LAHExam reported that, despite her dislike of the horror genre, feminist author Rita Mae Brown hoped to learn the fundamentals of screenwriting and composed a script, originally titled Do Not Open the Door, as one of two projects for Roger Corman’s New World Pictures. The 12 Dec 1979 DV stated that the project was budgeted at $1.5 million and intended for release 15 Jul 1980. 6 Nov 1979 and 12 Feb 1980 HR briefs claimed that Corman considered casting Tatum O’Neal and Nick Nolte, respectively, while the latter item indicated that Bobbie Bresee was originally cast as “Trish.”
       According to the 17 Sep 1982 LAHExam, film editor Amy Jones had been hired to work on E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982, see entry), but instead opted to make her directorial debut with The Slumber Party Massacre. In order to convince Corman to hire her for the job, Jones independently shot a seven-page prologue to the film. Production took place over twenty days in summer 1981, and cost only $220,000. The article also stated that Jones was forced to hastily add an “exploitative” shower scene. In addition, the film was temporarily titled The Sleepless Night prior to release.
       Although the project was initiated at New World Pictures, neither the studio nor Roger Corman are credited onscreen. An advertisement in the 10 Sep 1982 LAHExam indicated that the film, with the copyright Santa Fe Productions, Inc., opened that day in Los Angeles, CA. Despite poor box-office grosses there, the 17 Sep 1982 LAHExam alleged the film had performed well in other cities across the country. A 31 Mar 1982 Var review indicated that The Slumber Party Massacre had been released at drive-in theaters in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, earlier that month.
       Although opening credits reflect the theatrical title, The Slumber Party Massacre, the film’s DVD release packaging reads, Slumber Party Massacre. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
12 Dec 1979
p. 1, 26.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Nov 1979.
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 Feb 1980.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Sep 1982
p. 3.
LAHExam
10 Sep 1982
Section D, p. 9.
LAHExam
17 Sep 1982
Section D, p. 5.
Los Angeles Times
15 Sep 1982
p. 3.
New York Times
12 Nov 1982
p. 8.
Variety
31 Mar 1982
p. 23.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Prod mgr
Asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
Co-prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op/2d unit cam
Asst cam
Gaffer
Best boy
Key grip
Best boy
Stills
Stills
ART DIRECTORS
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
SET DECORATOR
Props asst
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
Prod mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Titles and opticals
MAKEUP
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Post prod supv
Post prod coord
Asst to the dir
Prod asst
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Don't Open the Door
The Sleepless Night
Release Date:
10 September 1982
Premiere Information:
Ft. Lauderdale, FL opening: March 1982
Los Angeles opening: 10 September 1982
New York opening: week of 12 November 1982
Production Date:
summer 1981
Copyright Claimant:
Local Color Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
6 July 1982
Copyright Number:
PA0000143938
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Prints
Deluxe
Duration(in mins):
77 or 78
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
26526
SYNOPSIS

One Friday morning, a Venice, California teenager named Trish Deveraux dresses for school and throws away various childhood toys while listening to a radio report about escaped murderer Russ Thorn, responsible for killing five girls in 1969. Outside, Trish’s parents leave for a weekend trip, and someone steals Trish’s doll from the garbage can. At school, a student named Jeff flirts with a telephone repairwoman, who laughs at him and returns to work. As Jeff walks away, Russ Thorn attacks her in the back of her van. Later, Jeff and his friend Neil watch the girls’ basketball practice and cheer for Trish’s new neighbor, transfer student Valerie Bates. In the showers, Trish compliments Valerie’s playing and invites her over for a party that evening, despite her friend Diane’s protests. Having overheard Diane’s rude comments, however, Valerie declines Trish’s offer. As the team leaves, a studious girl named Linda turns back to retrieve a textbook from her locker, but gets trapped inside the school. Thorn chases her through the halls and kills her using an electric drill with a long corkscrew attachment. Outside, Diane’s football player boyfriend, John Minor, unsuccessfully tries to persuade her to skip Trish’s party. While home alone, Trish hears a noise and locks the front door. She turns around and finds her friendly neighbor, David Contant, standing behind her, offering to stay until her friends arrive. After Kim and Jackie turn up with alcohol and marijuana, Jeff and Neil plan to scare the girls while hiding outside. Meanwhile, next door, Valerie reads magazines with her younger sister, Courtney, when she hears their dog knock over the trashcan in the driveway. After cleaning up the mess, Valerie ... +


One Friday morning, a Venice, California teenager named Trish Deveraux dresses for school and throws away various childhood toys while listening to a radio report about escaped murderer Russ Thorn, responsible for killing five girls in 1969. Outside, Trish’s parents leave for a weekend trip, and someone steals Trish’s doll from the garbage can. At school, a student named Jeff flirts with a telephone repairwoman, who laughs at him and returns to work. As Jeff walks away, Russ Thorn attacks her in the back of her van. Later, Jeff and his friend Neil watch the girls’ basketball practice and cheer for Trish’s new neighbor, transfer student Valerie Bates. In the showers, Trish compliments Valerie’s playing and invites her over for a party that evening, despite her friend Diane’s protests. Having overheard Diane’s rude comments, however, Valerie declines Trish’s offer. As the team leaves, a studious girl named Linda turns back to retrieve a textbook from her locker, but gets trapped inside the school. Thorn chases her through the halls and kills her using an electric drill with a long corkscrew attachment. Outside, Diane’s football player boyfriend, John Minor, unsuccessfully tries to persuade her to skip Trish’s party. While home alone, Trish hears a noise and locks the front door. She turns around and finds her friendly neighbor, David Contant, standing behind her, offering to stay until her friends arrive. After Kim and Jackie turn up with alcohol and marijuana, Jeff and Neil plan to scare the girls while hiding outside. Meanwhile, next door, Valerie reads magazines with her younger sister, Courtney, when she hears their dog knock over the trashcan in the driveway. After cleaning up the mess, Valerie becomes frightened by strange noises and runs inside. Back at Trish’s house, Neil and Jeff watch as the girls change into their pajamas. Upon her arrival, Diane collects firewood outside and says hello to David, who is hunting for snails in his garden. Once she leaves, Thorn drills through David’s neck. After noticing a figure lurking outside, Trish finds her doll wedged in the windowsill, covered in blood. Realizing that Diane left the garage door unlocked, Trish returns to secure the latch, but Thorn is already inside, hiding in the shadows. Later, Jackie, Trish, and Kim eavesdrop on Diane speaking with John on the telephone when the electricity suddenly cuts out. The four girls retreat to the garage to flip the circuit breaker, where they find Jeff and Neil hiding. Sometime later, John stops by the house to pick up Diane, who instructs him to wait in the garage. He pressures her to have sex in his car, and Diane tells Trish she is leaving the party so they will not get caught. Once in the garage, however, she finds John’s decapitated body before Thorn kills her. Although Trish’s blender drowns out the commotion, Courtney hears Diane’s screams from next door and becomes concerned. As Kim telephones Coach Rachel Jana to ask about a recent baseball game score, a pizza delivery boy arrives with his eyeballs gouged out. Hearing the girls’ shrieks, Coach Jana telephones Valerie, asking her to check on them. Although she refuses, Courtney offers to go instead. Trish telephones the police, but Thorn cuts the telephone line. Armed with a kitchen knife, Jeff searches the garage and finds Diane’s body hanging from the ceiling before Thorn drills through his chest from behind. Neil runs next door to seek help, but Valerie is hesitant to answer the door. As soon as she gets up, however, the killer drags Neil out of view and stabs him to death in the yard. Thorn returns to Trish’s garage, dumps Neil’s body in the trunk of John’s car, and counts his four victims. Realizing Jeff has gotten away, Thorn chases the critically wounded boy to the front door and kills him as the girls watch in horror. Meanwhile, Valerie chases after Courtney, who has sneaked out to check on the neighbors. Seeing her older sister behind her, Courtney hides in the bushes while Valerie knocks, waits, and goes to the back of the house. Moments too late, the girls open the front door, allowing Thorn to push past them and kill Jackie. Kim and Trish hide in an upstairs bedroom and wonder if Valerie is working with the murderer, but fail to notice Thorn creep through the open window behind them. Although Trish knocks him unconscious with a baseball bat, he quickly recovers and stabs Kim, while Trish hides in her parents’ closet. Outside, Valerie finds Courtney lying in the grass, pretending to be dead. Together, they enter Trish’s house, and Courtney finds Kim’s body in the refrigerator. As Valerie hides in the basement, Thorn covers himself with a blanket on the living room floor, inches away from Courtney’s hiding place under the couch. Minutes later, Coach Jana arrives, and pulls back the blanket. Thorn attacks, but trips over Courtney’s foot; as Coach Jana hits him with a fire poker, Trish appears and stabs him with a knife. Retaliating, Thorn slashes Coach Jana across the abdomen and confesses that he loves Trish because she is beautiful. At that moment, Valerie emerges from the basement wielding a machete, pushes him outside, and cuts off his hand. Thorn tumbles into the swimming pool, but re-emerges, attempting to attack Valerie while in her sister’s embrace. As he lunges toward her, however, Valerie impales him with the machete and bursts into tears. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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