The Slumber Party Massacre (1982) Fun Facts
Rita Mae Brown wrote a screenplay for a parody of teen/slasher flicks, and titled it "Sleepless Nights". However, when she submitted it to the producers, they filmed it as if it weren't a parody, and retitled it "Slumber Party Massacre". As a result, the movie displays a lot more humor, both intended and unintended, than others of this genre.
Amy Holden Jones is not very sympathetic to people who complain that she's a sellout to her gender, as a woman who produced an exploitation flick with a lot of naked girls in it. "That's what Roger Corman, the producer wanted, and that's how it's done, you give the studio what they want. Nobody complains that Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, and Ron Howard made exploitation pictures, but when a woman tries, she gets called a hypocrite and a turncoat. That's B.S." It should be noted that Holden Jones has parlayed this into a successful film career, producing such hits as Mystic Pizza, and The Getaway.
Andree Honore is the only cast member featured on the original theatrical one sheet poster. The blonde woman lying on the floor is Jillian Kesner, who isn't in the film.
Composer Ralph Jones is the director's brother. He recorded the entire score on a small Casio synthesizer.
In a 2018 interview, Brinke Stevens talked about doing nude scenes in this and other films: "Early in my career, nudity was simply the rule . . . what was expected of us. We just went along with it because we wanted to work. I've never been shy about nudity (she was a nude model before she started acting). Good thing, too -- my willingness to undress landed me a lot of good roles and helped to get me better noticed by fans. However, I was never comfortable doing explicit "love scenes" with a guy, so I tended to turn down those kind of parts. In almost every case, the directors have been very good about asking non-essential personnel to leave the set and we were treated respectfully. But then, there you are totally naked up on the big screen being watched by hundreds of people! I'm quite relieved that I've reached such an age where I'm no longer asked to do this and it's left up to the younger starlets."
The overhead shots in the gym before Linda's attack was achieved by having the cameraman on top of a cherry picker, because the film had a low budget, and the crew couldn't afford a camera crane.
The handy-woman actor who drills in Coach Jana's peephole was actually one of the set designers for the film.
According to the director, Amy Holden Jones, the movie was originally supposed to clock in at about 90 minutes - considering that the film only runs at 76 minutes. "There was a different ending. We reshot to punch it up. It must have been lame because I can't remember it. I think it was the same but without the pool. We ruined that pool with the reshoot but it was fun", Amy recalled. One other particular scene that was omitted for pacing reasons, as Debra De Liso recalled, was a scene with the girls playing with a Ouija board, spelling out the words: DEATH.
Amy Holden Jones, a film editor, wanted to direct and asked Frances Doel, a writer and story editor associated with Roger Corman, for advice. Doel gave Jones a number of scripts. Jones chose the script that would become The Slumber Party Massacre, then going by the title of Don't Open the Door, and decided to film the first three scenes. Her husband, cinematographer Michael Chapman, acquired equipment and film and hired actors from the University of California, Los Angeles, and they shot the scenes at their house over a weekend for $1,000. She showed the result to Roger Corman, who agreed to finance the film.
In the background when Kim is hurling ornaments at the killer in Trish's bedroom, you can see the book "Rubyfruit Jungle" by Rita Mae Brown, this film's writer.
After the film was completed, the studio held a test screening at a theater on Hollywood Boulevard and Amy Holden Jones was startled by the audience reaction. As she recalls, "They went ape! From the very beginning, they were screaming and laughing and there were people behind me making drilling noises and talking back to the screen!" Amy left the theatre and approached producer Roger Corman, who was listening in the lobby. She said, "My God, Roger. What did we do?" He replied, "We had the best preview in New World history." Jones went on to only direct three more films. None of them were in the horror genre.
Brinke Stevens said in an interview that during the shower scene she had no problem being nude but several of the other girls put tape over their nipples so the director couldn't use shots of their breasts. That's why only the bare backs of most of them are shown.
The Los Angeles Dodgers game that the girls are trying to figure out is from May 17, 1981. The Dodgers beat the Mets 6-1....and yes Cey did homer.
Aaron Lipstadt, who plays the pizza boy, directed Android (1982), which was also released in 1982. "Android" was produced by Roger Corman, who also produced Hollywood Boulevard (1976), the film being watched by Valerie.
Michael Villella deliberately isolated himself and avoided talking to the other cast members during the shooting of the picture. For a majority of the shoot, he was feeling like his character rather than just acting it out.
Roger Corman insisted they use Sleepless Night as the title while trying to convince homeowners to let their properties be used "so that people would think it was a classy thriller."
Amy Holden Jones points out that despite the film being slammed for its "violence against women," most of the women here are killed off-screen while the guys get some bloody onscreen demises.
On Courtney's nightstand, you can see the book, "Six of One" (published in 1979) by Rita Mae Brown, the film's writer. It was, at the time, her latest novel.
Michael Villela created a whole backstory for his killer character well beyond what's mentioned in the film. He also stayed somewhat in character during filming which helped creep out the young women. "It was my first acting job." he stated.
The original ending had the killer killed in the living room, but Roger Corman dug the film and gave Amy Holden Jones a little extra cash to write and reshoot a bigger ending. It was the right call as this end not only castrates the killer (by snapping off his drill bit) but also allowed Jones to emulate something she learned on Taxi Driver (1976). She rewatched Martin Scorsese's classic while rewriting this ending, and the constant yelling in pain in that film's finale struck a chord with her. "It's very unnerving." she stated
First credited role and first nude scene for future Scream Queen Brinke Stevens. Stevens said in later interviews that she did very well in her audition and director Amy Holden Jones wanted to cast her as one of the leads. Unfortunately, Stevens had to fly up to Lake Tahoe for a modeling assignment during the middle of their shooting schedule. So she had to accept a lesser bit part where she said she basically "stripped naked, took a shower, and was murdered quickly."
Amy Holden Jones recalled how Roger Corman would occasionally deny their daily request for a generator, adding "You can make do, Amy, I remember that I had a scene once and we just circled the cars and turned on the headlights." She needed them for interior shots though, so happily the electricians would scale the utility poles and tap into the public power. "When we ran enough lights you could see the street lights in Mar Vista dim," says Jones.
Scream Queen Brinke Stevens said that she spent 45 minutes in a parking lot with the sound-guy screaming into a microphone for her off screen death scene. That ended up helping her perfect the art of screaming which she used throughout her career.
On the day of her death scene, Brinke Stevens was covered in sticky sweet, blood-red Karo syrup. When they broke for lunch, she said every flying insect on the block hunted her down and stuck to her.
As with an early topless scene, Amy Holden Jones points out that the shower sequence was a requirement from Roger Corman. She shot it very by the numbers just to tick the boxes.
Debra De Liso later left acting and became a teacher. Every semester she had male students tell her they saw her nude scene in this movie and then look directly at her chest while smiling. She didn't let it bother her but hated that other male teachers did the same.
The houses are located on Mountain View Ave. in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles, and Jones scouted them while living nearby in Venice. It was also pretty close to New World Pictures and producer Roger Corman.
Jim Wynorski's Cheerleader Massacre (2003) was originally planned as a fourth film in the Slumber Party franchise. A fan remix exists adding Ralph Jones' score from this film and a connective prologue, and it can supposedly be found online.
Michael Villela recalled uttering "mama" during his final death scene, but Amy Holden Jones nixed it for fear of it garnering the killer some sympathy.
Brinke Stevens described director Amy Holden Jones as looking "like a gangly teenage boy, but she ran the show in a very decisive and competent manner."
Amy Holden Jones directed three more features after this, and unlike this experience, she says each of them featured a "difficult" actor or two. Her biggest success remains Maid to Order (1987) a romantic comedy, and she mentions that had she wanted to continue making rom-coms she'd probably "still have a directing career." All four of her films made a profit including her final movie, a thriller called The Rich Man's Wife (1996) with Halle Berry.
At 47 mins.) The glass lamp belongs to Amy Holden Jones, and she also included it in her follow-up film, Love Letters (1983). She still has it.
Amy Holden Jones was hired as the director having only read the prologue to Rita Mae Brown's script and having never seen popular slashers of the time like Friday the 13th (1980). She discovered its degree of violence and sex later, but she worked to add scares and humor herself as "I don't think her script was funny at all."
Amy Holden Jones had worked in editing and as a documentary filmmaker, but this was her first feature.
At 16 mins.) A guy is seen riding on a motorcycle and while they can't quite agree as to who it is a production manager, a member of the electrical crew Amy Holden Jones admits she at first thought it was Joe Dante.
Robin Stille and Brinke Stevens would appear together in Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (1988).
On the commentary, Amy Holden Jones suggests horror movies were looked down upon back then but that they're now much more respected. "I was pilloried at the time for doing this, but now if you go and you do Turistas you're an artiste." This will be news to John Stockwell.
It is illegal to chain a door closed in a high school. It is considered to he fire hazard, in the event that someone needs to exit the building they would be prevented from doing so in case of a fire. this high school's doors are chained locked.
Debra De Liso said she and the other actresses grew frustrated with Roger Corman continuously adding nudity to the film. Everyday they'd show up and be handed script changes that involved more stripping naked. De Liso had to film the shower scene fully nude and only did it because she didn't want to be fired. She was relieved when full frontal shots of her were cut from the final film.
Debra De Liso said she felt dejected when producers didn't ask her to pose for the movie poster with some of the other actresses because they only wanted "large-breasted girls" to draw a bigger male audience.
Debra De Liso had a friend named Leslie who was visiting the set the day they shot the shower scene. When Leslie saw how anxious De Liso was about being naked, she offered to be an extra in the scene to lend support. After the director agreed she could do it, Leslie stripped naked and joined the other showering girls in the background. Her friend told De Liso that she loved it because she thought it was exciting being naked in front of the guys on the crew. De Liso hated it though.
Actress Gina Mari refused to show her breast when they were filming the scene where she's in the car making out with her boyfriend and he starts fondling her. Frustrated and not having time to hire a body double, director Amy Holden Jones offered to pay any of the other actresses extra money if they would let her film a close up of their bare breast while the actor rubbed it. Michele Michael, who had no issue with nudity, immediately volunteered. Even though Mari avoided having to be naked, she said later that her friends and family thought she did after seeing the film, which caused some awkward conversations.
-Courtesy of IMDb