Film Review: Killer Party (1986)

SYNOPSIS:

A fraternity pledge is accidentally killed when a hazing activity goes horribly wrong. Decades later a group of drunken frat boys and sorority sisters decide to have a party in the same (now abandoned) frat house where the pledge died. Unfortunately for them they end up waking up the spirit of the deceased pledge, and he’s pretty pissed off about what happened to him. Soon the party becomes a fight for survival as the spirit possesses one of the partygoer’s bodies and begins to slaughter everyone in attendance.

REVIEW:

I remember a time back in the 80’s and 90’s before TBS went to hell and decided to show only sh*tty sitcoms and horrible mainstream movies that it used to show some pretty awesome obscure horror films. I recall watching such films as Grizzly, One Dark Night, Slaughter, and The Pack being shown on the weekends, and there for a while they started showing Killer Party every once in a while, which is where I first saw it one Friday night when I was in college. I really enjoyed it then and hadn’t seen it in years, so I was excited when I got a copy of it since I had wanted to watch it again for a very long time. Unfortunately it wasn’t as good as I remembered it, but I still enjoyed it. It is your basic 80’s slasher flick with a little humor thrown in to boot, and while it will probably never have the respect that other 80’s slasher flicks such as Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, and My Bloody Valentine get it is still a cool little movie that I can’t help but like.

This movie is a huge piece of 80’s cheese, which is cool with me as that was when I grew up and to this day I still think that it was the greatest decade ever for a number of reasons. This movie just has a very distinct 80’s vibe to it (which is weird since initial filming began in the late 70’s) due to the hair, clothes, and music, and as a result it made me long for my favorite decade. Of course it also has the usual stereotypical characters that were mainstays in the slasher flicks from this time period including the asshole frat boys, the snotty sorority sisters, the brainy chick, the nerdy guy, the d*ck head professor, etc. One of the things that is a little different when it comes to the characters though is that there really isn’t a “final girl” character anywhere to be found. We have three chicks who desperately want to join a certain sorority that are pretty much our main characters, but I wouldn’t really consider any of them to be the Jamie Lee Curtis, virginal type that we are used to seeing in your standard 80’s slasher flick. This isn’t a bad thing mind you as it was actually pretty refreshing not to have the “final girl” character in the movie and it works. If nothing else at least the filmmakers were willing to at least try something a little different by not including this type of character in the film.

Some people may argue that Killer Party is silly and tries too hard to be funny but I have to disagree. I normally hate horror/comedies but that isn’t the case here. I actually don’t know if I would go so far as to call it a horror/comedy as it is pretty much a horror film with a pretty good sense of humor. Yes, there are some scenes that are overly silly (the bit with the frat boys filming the sorority sisters in the hot tub and the scene where the faculty is watching the film on the projector come to mind) but for the most part the touch of humor actually works. The tone is pretty light for a horror film and while you won’t fall out of your chair screaming with laughter at any point while you are watching it there are a few times that you may find yourself chuckling. I like the fact that the film doesn’t take itself too seriously and had it been a hardcore slasher flick with no comedic moments I don’t think that it would have been nearly as good.

My only real complaint about the movie is the fact that it takes a little too long for things to get going. We have two false starts at the beginning (it will make sense when you watch it) and the pace was a lot slower than I remembered it being. There is a lot (and I mean A LOT) of scenes that are pretty boring that probably should have been edited out since they really add nothing to the overall plot, and once the killings do get going they seemed very rushed to me. The killer wipes out several people in the span of just a couple of minutes and most of them are done off screen (another downside). In my opinion there is way too much build-up for over half of the movie and then when something cool finally starts to happen it is over before I could fully enjoy it. At least it has a pretty awesome ending that is anything but happy.

Killer Party is by no means the best slasher flick of all time. It has its flaws (such as way too much lag time and a pretty low body count) but I still dig it. At times it may seem more like Animal House than House on Sorority Row but it works. If you enjoy a good 80’s slasher flick with a touch of humor then you won’t be disappointed. Check it out if you haven’t seen it and if you don’t take it too seriously you will enjoy it.

Killer Party (1986)

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