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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Sleepover Nightmare
Sleepover Nightmare
ThinkFilm // R // June 21, 2005
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Scott Weinberg | posted June 17, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie

I hate to overstate the obvious here, but ... the flick's called Sleepover Nightmare. And, unless I missed it, there's not really much of a sleepover going on here. It's more like a daytime house party full of beer, bikinis, burgers, and bloodletting. But why split hairs when you're dealing with a such a single-mindedly simplistic slasher throwback like Sleepover Nightmare?

Filmmaker Boon Collins seems to pop out one movie every four or five years: Sally Fieldgood & Co. (1975), Abducted (1986), Spirit of the Eagle (1989), Abducted 2: The Reunion (1994), The Protector (1998), and the 2005 release Sleepover Nightmare. You might think I mention all of Mr. Collins' films so that we can chuckle at the fact that nobody's ever seen any of them. Instead I'd like to wonder how a guy who's managed to make an on-again, off-again career out of making movies ... could, at this experienced stage of his filmmaking life, produce a slasher flick that looks like the work of a first-timer?

But perhaps I'm just being a bit unkind. To Mr. Collins' credit, he does dole out precisely what the potential renter of Sleepover Nightmare would want: a half-decent body-count, some bizarrely creative kills, and a respectable amount of wet, drippy gristle. Sure, the acting is pretty laughable and the "plot" all but non-existent. And although the flick seems like it wants to be a knowing "throwback" to the slasher flick heyday, Sleepover Nightmare looks and feels more like it was produced in 1984 and then recently discovered in someone's garage.

The story in a nutshell: A lunatic is murdering young partygoers.

That's pretty much it -- unless you count the killer's backstory flashback which explains how teenage adultery can lead to a lifetime of vicious homicide. It seems that some normal Joe turns into a vicious killer when he discovers his girlfriend screwing some guy in the parking lot. Yeah, a cheatin' girlfriend creates a feral and bloodthirsty lunatic out of a bland suburban schlub. I mean ... c'mon. If every jilted boyfriend become the next Jason Voorhees, the human race would be completely extinct by now. (Except for the last remaining killer, of course, who would eventually die of old age.)

Anyway, Sleepover Nightmare contains precisely the laughable dialogue, the bland directorial style, the flimsy production value, and the generic formula that you'd expect from such a latecoming no-budget slasher flick entitled Sleepover Nightmare.

But it's also got some outlandish dispatches, a few funny bits, and just enough creativity to earn it a weekend rental. I'm not saying it's any sort of c-grade masterpiece or anything, but hey -- it's not every day you see a guy get disemboweled by an outboard motor while his buddy bleeds to death from a beer can impaled through his forehead.

The DVD

Video: Let's be charitable to the widescreen (1.85:1) transfer and say that, at the very least, the gore looks red and the bouncing boobs are plainly visible. Beyond that, I shall not praise.

Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, but the track suffers from that low-budget malady of low-volume dialogue vs. MEGA-LOUD MUSIC & STUFF!

Extras: The four leads (two guys & two gals) lie on a bed and participate with the director in a 14-minute series of intimate interviews. Weird. There's also an audio commentary with writer/director Boon Collins and actors Chad Rook & Kristine Cofsky that I would have listened to if I didn't have 13 other DVDs to review and a million better things to do.

OK, I felt guilty so I scanned through several chapters of the yak-track. Here's a few highlights:

"We opened purposely, kind of, obliquely so you didn't really understand what was going on."

"With this shot here we wanted to open it up so you could see where you were."

"It's so pathetic that he's carrying these two hamburgers with these little pickles on top. It's such an incongruous thing for him to be doing when we know that he's a monster."

The lead actress reminds her dirty-ol'-man director that he wanted to see a lot more cleavage. Everyone chuckles. The filmmaker later comments on how he wanted to "add music" to make it "more suspenseful" as the "scene progresses." Fascinating. It's basically a fairly dry, obvious, and self-serious commentary, though I'd certainly recommend it to anyone who worked on the film. Maybe.

Rounding out the extras are the trailers for Devil's Harvest, Ripper 2: Letter From Within, Starkweather, and Ghost Lake.

Final Thoughts

Mindless, cheaply-made, and more than outrageously derivative, Sleepover Nightmare is a modern-day relic of a slasher flick. Gorehounds should feel free to give it a half-hearted rental and FF through the moments that involve dialogue.

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