Monday, October 02, 2006

Feminist Fear

Sometimes, Mr. Freud, a drill is just a drill... Lots of critics have spilled ink over the years trying to find clever gender-related messages in 1982's indie slasher hit, The Slumber Party Massacre, which was written and directed by two women, namely noted feminist writer Rita Mae Brown (Rubyfruit Jungle) and Amy Jones (future writer of Indecent Proposal and Beethoven -- yes, the dog movie). The movie's packed with the usual gore, T&A, and awful acting, but it's fast-paced and full of retro goodness; for any deeper meaning than that, well, you're on your own. The nutty electronic music score is loaded with pseudo-organ riffs that would be more at home in a William Castle movie, and there's even a seven-minute droning freakout piece ("Meditation on the Mind of Russ Thorn"-- that's the killer, natch). It was composed by Ralph Jones, presumably related to the director somehow (brother? husband?), who went to score her Love Letters for Roger Corman as well. Attentive viewers may also note that the actual movie comes sprinkled with a bit of Pino Donaggio's Piranha score for some reason, too. It later inspired two unrelated sequels, both of them completely insane.

The Slumber Party Massacre
1. Main Title
2. Stalking The High School
3. Confrontation In The Gymnasium
4. Russ Dreams
5. Snail Hunt
6. Valerie Does Battle
7. Uninvtied Guest
8. Meditation Of The Mind Of Russ Thorn
9. End Titles

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Blogger Jon said...


11:22 AM  
Blogger Jessica R. said...

Thank you for the FitA score.

5:18 PM  
Anonymous dom said...

the aurum encyclopedia of horror could be called the "freudian encyclopedia of horror", some very dodgy reviews in there, "body in pieces fantasy" is a phrase they enjoy using & slumber is "possibly crypto feminist"

5:19 PM  
Anonymous Dusk said...

You said it inspired two unrelated sequels, which isn't exactly correct - part two carries over the sisters from part one, and all three have A) chick director B) driller killers and C) a scene where the guys watch the girls from outside the window (note the men in these flicks are also wimps).

John @

6:11 PM  
Blogger 7 Black Notes said...

Oh, yeah, I forgot about that flimsy plot connection in Part 2; what I meant was there wasn't a continuing killer (a la Michael, Freddy, Jason, etc.).

I love all those ridiculous insights in the Aurum Encyclopedia; for example, Pieces, The Blood Spattered Bride and The House that Screamed are reprehensible "macho fantasies." Uh, okay...

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Dusk said...

Don't nessecarily need a continuing killer to be an enjoyable series... I enjoyed it... there is no hard and fast rulebook when it comes to sequelisation, bottom line as sequels they were more visible then being disconnected, singular-titled films lost in the horror aisle at the video store. I dug em.

John @

8:21 PM  
Blogger 0T0 said...

I love this 'little' score, very minimal and sometimes a bit medieval in the melody. I had chance to win it on Ebay (mint/sealed) there's a few months. ^_^

11:15 PM  
Anonymous dom said...

One Aurum review which makes me smile alot is for Hammer's "The Gorgon", they give this really interesting analysis of the relationship between the characters that makes the film sound brilliantly constructed & profound, except most of what they describe does not take place in the film!
Not that the film is bad, it's great, it's just that having read the review you think to yourself "I wish they had wriiten the film like that", they actually manage to make you think less of the film by making it sound more interesting than it really is!

7:34 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

I completely disagree with the comment that THE BLOOD SPATTERED BRIDE is a "macho fantasy". I haven't seen it in a while--but when I did it actually struck me as pretty feminist.

10:30 AM  
Blogger 7 Black Notes said...

I would agree about Bride; I don't think you're supposed to side with the husband at all, but Phil Hardy says otherwise.

That Gorgon review is a real headscratcher; they really go to town reading patriarchal / matriarchal themes into almost all of Terence Fisher's films, then toss the "body in pieces" reading onto Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell. Fun reading, but not entirely supported by the films themselves.

11:12 AM  
Anonymous dom said...

The problem with the review of The Gorgon is that they talk about Cushing's character as the hero's father & say that father & son are battling over the same woman, that would've been a great idea but Cushing is no relation to the hero at all, nor is Lee. I think Fisher's film would've in fact benefitted greatly from the re write Aurum give!

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Dusk said...

I forgot to mention, my good buddy Tony, a few weeks ago, put together a most excellent collection of both SPM1 (same LP as yours are from) and SPM2 music - both audio rips, original versions of songs, and a completely out of left field somewhat recent cover of "Let's Buzz". The rapidshare link's on my site if you're interested.

John @

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you please renew the links? The link is dead.

5:06 AM  

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