Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Slumber Party Massacre - Scream Factory Blu-ray Review

Director: (as Amy Jones)
Stars: , ,
Year: 1982
Studio: Scream Factory
Video: 1080p / 23.976 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio             English         1627 kbps       2.0 / 48 kHz / 1627 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio             English         1993 kbps       2.0 / 48 kHz / 1993 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Runtime: 1:16:14.611 (h:m:s.ms)
Subtitles: Yep, English

"When Trish (Michele Michaels) decides to invite her high school girls’ basketball teammates over for a slumber party, she has no idea the night is going to end with an unexpected guest– an escaped mental patient and his portable power drill – crashing the party in the cult classic, The Slumber Party Massacre."

Shout! Factory released the Slumber Party Massacre Collection on DVD back in October of 2010, and now their Scream Factory line has given the first film a hi-def upgrade. I know I'll probably sound like a slasher amateur here when I admit this, but this was somehow my first time viewing Slumber Party Massacre. I have no excuse for this. I've seen hundreds of slashers, from the standards like the Friday The 13ths and Halloweens to off the wall obscure junkers like Hauntedween and Fatal Pulse, but this one has managed to elude me for 30 years. I'm a big fan of Slumber Party Massacre Part II, and the sequel shows many of the deaths from the first film in flashbacks and I guess I've seen the sequel so many times that I just assumed I'd already seen the original. I'm kind of an idiot, that's probably what actually happened.

After being exposed to the cheap and wonderfully campy Part II so many times over the past 20 years I was pretty surprised to see that this first film is much more serious and professionally made film. It's still a bit goofy at times, but it's actually a pretty great little mean-spirited slasher that should have a larger fanbase. If you're like me and have somehow neglected to check this one out before, this new disc from Scream is a great way to see it for the first time.

As I've stated on this site before I'm by no means an expert on A/V quality, but I think the new 1080p 24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.78:1 transfer looks great. It's definitely a nice improvement over the DVD, which you can see in the comparison shots below. DVD on top, Blu-ray on bottom. Click to enlarge

Sorry, not the exact same shot. I mistimed this one by a couple seconds. You still get the idea.

And a few more shots from the Blu-ray:

BDInfo Chart:

Extras wise, the only new feature is an interview with actor Rigg Kennedy, who played late-night-snail-exterminating neighbor David. The interview lasts about a dozen minutes. Rigg was really only in the film for a couple of minutes and probably only spent a day or two on the set, so he doesn't really have too much to say about it, which is understandable. "Hey, do you remember that time 32 years ago when you spent two days on a low budget slasher movie set? No?" He talks a bit about acting before spending the last half of the time reciting a poem he's written - sadly not about slumber party massacres.

Scream has ported the audio commentary from the DVD with Amy Holden-Jones, Debra De Liso and driller killer Michael Villella, moderated by the awesome Tony Brown. They've also included an edited down version of the Sleepless Nights documentary. The original doc ran about an hour and spent about 20 minutes on each film, what's included on the Blu-ray is just the portion focusing on the first film. Trailers for all three Slumber Party Massacre films and a still gallery round out the disc.

While Scream's Slumber Party Massacre Blu-ray doesn't offer much in the way of new bonus features I'd say it's totally worth an upgrade for the much improved transfer. Let's hope this sells well and maybe we can get a Blu-ray double feature of the sequels.

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