In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Friday, March 9, 2018

It's A Dead Man's Party!

The next VHS off the pile was William Fruet's 1986 effort Killer Party.

A sorority pledge party in an condemned frat house turns bloody when an uninvited guest arrives.

This was another title that I knew nothing of past its familiar coverbox so I had no idea what to expect. I naturally imagined it would be some sort of slasher, but was immediately thrown off by the first few scenes. As those who have watched this movie will know, Killer Party begins rather unconventionally. Then once you think it started, it becomes a music video with a level of eighties I haven't seen since the opening of Night Train To Terror.

Okay so when that is done, we finally get into the real movie. I didn't even know this was Canadian movie until Soldier's Tower appeared in the background just before “Directed by William Fruet” flashed on the screen. While all this was happening, a song called “Best Times” played and it was all good. This thing is as cheesy as it is catchy.

Man, I'd love to hear Freezepop cover that song. It was shortly after this that the movie became the sorority slasher that the back of the box promised. Or did it?

I have to say that Killer Party was fairly schizophrenic in that it's a slasher, haunted house flick and possession joint all at once. I can understand that traditional slashers would've been old hat by eighty-six, but this film's all over the place. Having said that, I thought that the only glaringly dated aspect were the fraternity pranks inflicted on the neighbouring sorority. That stuff isn't as amusing now in light of the whole “no means yes, yes means anal” movement.

Aside from that though, the heart of the movie was the relationship between the three pledges (or “goats”) Phoebe, Vivia & Jennifer (Elaine Wilkes, Sherry Willis-Burch & Joanna Johnson respectively) and that felt pretty sincere. I was especially impressed with Johnson because her performance in the last fifteen minutes was miles from anything that came before it. Who knew she had it in her?

Joanna Johnson, Elaine Wilkes & Sherry Willis-Burch in Killer Party

Perhaps the biggest detriment to the movie was how badly it was hacked to pieces by the MPAA. While watching it, I was quick to notice that pretty much every death blow cut right at the point of impact. A section of the movie even had four of said scenes all lined up in a row. I found out later that it was deliberately edited like that because of how much had to be trimmed. That's a real Goddamn shame. Given all the cuts, I wonder if those first two unrelated scenes were filmed later just to make up the running time.

As gory as it gets, folks!

I marvel at why the killer's costume in this movie – like the bear suit in Girls Nite Out – does not get talked about more by fans. It's a fucking old-timey diver's suit, for Christ's sake! Like if that's not the most cumbersome kill outfit I've ever seen, I don't know what is. It's preposterous, especially considering how random its appearance seemed.

Even at a masquerade party, this seems out of place.

Killer Party was kind of a mish-mash, but even though it lacked cohesion, it was rarely boring and that's mainly due to its eclectic cast – which also included cult hero Paul Bartel. I'd have likely have preferred something more traditional like The Initiation, but I've got to admire Fruet's intent.

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