In The Slumber Party Massacre II, Courtney, the little sister of the aforementioned Valerie, is haunted by the events of the first film. She and her friends are attacked by a cackling madman called the Dream Maniac. Instead of a regular drill, he wields a massive guitar with a huge drill bit on the end of it. And instead of clothing made primarily out of jeans, he wears punkish black leather. His outfit is rad. The movie? Not so much.
I hate to accuse a particular entry in this film series of lacking substance, but The Slumber Party Massacre II is really flashy, with nothing in it that made the first film so endearing. Sure, you’ve got this sweet guitar prop and some crazy special effects, but it’s not really funny enough to be a parody and not really scary enough to be afilm. It’s my least favorite of the franchise, because, other than how it looks, I can’t really recommend anything about it.
The Slumber Party Massacre III chucks out everything that was “built” in the first two films, and takes a darker path. The movie takes place at the beach, which is a setting that serves no real purpose other than to give the girls a reason to wear bikinis. But then again, in a movie entitled The Slumber Party Massacre III, no reason should be necessary for girls to wear bikinis. They should just wear them like it’s perfectly natural. The first The Slumber Party Massacre already created the law that girls are perfectly fine in t-shirts and panties for long stretches of time. Why not bikinis? And with that, I present to you my 2016 Presidential Campaign Slogan: Why Not Bikinis?
The third Slumber Party Massacre film also throws out all the feminist subtext that was in the first two. Instead of focusing on women and creating a sort of spoof of the way they are portrayed in most slasher films of the time period, the girls here are standard victims. They’re not particularly witty or funny and not particularly memorable either. The Slumber Party Massacre III doesn’t disappoint, but it also usually fails to impress. It’s a completely serviceable entry in the franchise, but it’s not that special.
These films, upon deeper study, follow a trend not too unlike the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre series. The first films in each franchise had tons of black humor mixed with horror. The second films were more visual in nature, but are also rejected by some horror fans due to their lack of substance and for being departures from the tones of the original films. The third films play like remakes of the first films, taking darker turns, but kind of just looking like imitations. Also, the third films up the ante on the gore, but it ends up not really meaning anything in the end. Sadly, The Slumber Party Massacre series never got a part 4, but, considering that Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Next Generation featured Leatherface in weird drag and a sub-plot involving aliens, maybe it’s better that the Slumber Party Massacre story stopped at 3. Had it followed the trend, Slumber Party Massacre IV would probably have featured a drill that looked exactly like a penis and, well, a subplot involving aliens.
Overall, if you’re looking to watch this series, I’d say to go with either the first one by itself, or watch the entire thing. The first is the only one that feels “complete”, mainly because the second feels so weightless and the third feels too standard. However, if you want to be a completist, there is no harm in watching all three of them. At the very least, you’ll see some cool drill slayings and learn the honest truth about what women do when they’re not around men.