Updated: Oct 7, 2021
Close your eyes for a second…and sleep forever.
Another early ‘80s slasher gem, Slumber plays by the rules for the most part but benefits greatly from the female filmmaking team with Writer / Director Amy Holden Jones and co-writer Rita Mae Brown offering us all the tropes but through a female lens and a healthy dose of humour. The male characters are mostly leering buffoons (very 80’s slasher) & the killer is an unmasked leering buffoon wielding a large phallic drill as a murder weapon.
The setup is as simple as it gets—teens throw a slumber party while the parents are away. Killer drills his way into the house (via a Pizza Delivery guys eyeballs) and gets to work on the teens and various neighbours, gym coaches etc. This is pure fun with a knowing wink, giving us exactly what we want but with a satirical edge. Having the killer unmasked makes him more human and kind of pathetic. We get to see the look of surprise and fear on his face when he gets his comeuppance at the hands of machete wielding final girl Trish.
What’s not to love here? A likeable cast, phallic drill wielding maniac, gore, the evil-church-music synth score & a great blood filled swimming pool climax plus a knowing camp flavour. Also, Amy Holden Jones turned down editing E.T. to direct this film!
4 phallic machete drills out of 5.