5. Slumber Party Massacre (1982) (FTV) - 3.5
I really liked this one. It was a little slow in the middle, but had enough good parts overall that I can forgive it. I loved that it was an unintentional/intentional parody of the genre (the writer and director created it as a comedy, but the producers saw it as a normal slasher). There were so many things I wanted to make fun of as I watched, but couldn’t, because it was already making fun of itself. There were a wide variety of female characters who had jobs/interests traditionally held by men (in movies), faux-macho locker room talk, “Y’know, I think your tits are getting bigger,” (is there a male equivalent to this? “Hey, looks like you grew an inch longer over the summer, brah!”) The camera lingered gratuitously over some of the characters while they showered (scanning over various parts of their bodies unnecessarily). One guy slowly presses his bulge into his best friend’s back as they leer at some girls undressing and wonder aloud if they had died and gone to heaven. It goes on and on. There was actually a surprising amount of background detail involved, which raised the level of parody as well. It was clever, and even more impressive for being released in 1982. The genre was still new, but they nailed a ton of tropes that have been in continuous use.
6. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) - 3.5
Every October we have to watch a selection from Elm Street, Halloween or Friday the 13th. It was very likely to be F13 this year, because we went to an outdoor screening of the original on Friday, June 13th (coincidentally, the movie takes place on Friday, June 13th, and the characters make reference to there being a full moon. There was a full moon on June 13th this year as well – spooky
). We watched Part II at home, so we're already geared up for Jason. Anyway, this was a pretty strong entry. I don’t like Part III as much (I hate you Shelly!
), but have a fondness for IV-VI. I think they really hold up well. Also, people tend to bash the numerous sequels for being low quality, but the kills in this really demonstrated why this series generally stands apart. A lot of the standard slashers have some slashing and stabbing, etc. But, Jason goes the extra mile. He stabs, and then rakes it across the body. Cuts the throat, and then twists the head around. He gives you your money’s worth (in terms of murder). Still relatively tame by today’s standards, but more diverse and interesting than what you get from the copycats (which is why I appreciate it when a copycat picks a theme and takes it to the extreme).