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Killer Party


I'm dying to RSVP again.

Rod Lott October 3rd, 2011

Immediately, I understood why 1986's "Killer Party" enjoys such a cult following: The unconventional slasher opens with a stereotypical flaming priest quoting "The Wizard of Oz" as he presides over a funeral. It's all a goof — part of a movie-within-a-movie-within-a-movie joke.

killerparty

Why? I don't know, but my good graces were won over in an instant.

As '80s as '80s can be — big 'n' frizzy hair, mismatched socks, paper clips as earrings — the movie centers on three girls pledging a sorority the same time a murderer stalks the campus. (Since when does Greek initiation take place in April?) This must be the only slasher in history where the killer dons a clunky deep-sea diver suit, but don't think this one slays by the numbers; without warning, "Killer Party" takes a page from — spoiler alert — something like "Amityville II: The Possession."

Because it doesn't take itself very seriously — there's virtually no gore in it — "Killer Party" is definitely worth the watch, especially to help kick off this Halloween season. From the credits, you'd think Martin Hewitt ("Endless Love") is the star, but it really belongs to pledge Jennifer, played by Joanna Johnson (TV's "The Bold and the Beautiful"), who exhibits the same girl-next-door qualities as Elisabeth Shue at the time. Johnson even looks like her.

Written by Barney Cohen ("Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter," arguably that series' best entry), directed by William Fruet ("Funeral Home") and rescued from out-of-print status by Warner Archive, it's a partial tongue-in-cheek horror-thriller with much to offer, assuming you're willing to get into the right frame of mind: for fun only. —Rod Lott

 
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