The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)

1h 17m / R / Horror

Tampa Theatre, in conjunction with ZaZu Productions, LLC, presents a special “Nightmare on Franklin Street” Pajama Party, featuring the 1982 classic The Slumber Party Massacre – one of the first horror films written and directed by women – and a LIVE post-film Q&A with two of the stars of the film, Joseph Alan Johnson (Neil) and Debra De Liso (Kim)!

The plot is simple: Trish’s parents are going out of town, so she’s throwing a slumber party with some of her friends. It’s not her fault that some of the boys from school crash the party … not that anybody tries too hard to make them leave. But, as so often happen in the movies, there’s a crazed killer on the loose (weapon: giant drill; distinctive costume: Canadian tuxedo) and he’s crashing the party too.

The Slumber Party Massacre was conceived by screenwriter Rita Mae Brown as a parody of the slasher genre and its frankly problematic gender dynamics. In later years, Brown believed that her script had been stripped of its satire by a studio more interested in packing seats with the usual horror target demographic (men, 18-34, obvs) than making some kind of feminist commentary. But under the direction of Amy Holden Jones (whose successfully erratic directorial career also included Mystic Pizza and the Beethoven slobbery dog movies), and with honest and impressive performances from a lot of its actors, Massacre turned out to be a whip-smart scare-fest that totally works both as a well-done and exciting slasher movie and a commentary on standard slasher-movie psychology. There’s still plenty of satire here, but it’s affectionate and approachable — and probably more likely to bring in new fans than to convince anybody that the genre is worthless.

After the screening, Slumber Party stars Debra De Liso (Kim) and Joe Johnson (Neil) will join local film critic and Slumber Party fan EJ Moreno LIVE on the Tampa Theatre stage for a panel discussion and audience Q&A. Afterward De Liso and Johnson will sign autographs and fans’ memorabilia and pose for selfies in the lobby for $10 each. Guests are encouraged to come dressed in their favorite PJs! 

Support is provided by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Council on Arts and Culture, the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners.