Parties play a major role in many slasher films. Sometimes the party sets off the killer (My Bloody Valentine, The Prowler) and sometimes people pick the wrong place to have a good time (Killer Party, Hell Night, House on Sorority Row). We’ll start with the best ones and work our way down.
1. Hell Night (1981)
The debauchery hits campus wide proportions. Wet T-shirts, giant bon fires, motorcycle mamas, and drunk frat boys hanging from roof tops are just a few of the sights you see before the party moves inside one of the frat houses. Once inside, you’re treated to wild costumes, beautiful ladies, even more drunk frat boys, and general mayhem. Why is this the best party in slasher movies? ‘Cause when the party’s over you get locked in a house with Linda Blair and Suki Goodwin.
2. The Prowler (1981)
Usually, people who party in slashers are the first to die. The party in The Prowler is actually the safest place to be in town. A teacher instructs the kids to keep dancing and drinking until it’s safe to go outside. The punch bowl is spiked with the hard stuff pretty early on in the evening and the band Nowhere Fast keeps things rocking with “Hard Way” plus a couple of other songs.
3. House on Sorority Row (1983)
What do people remember most about this party? Sea pig! A heavy set guy making bad decisions at a party always steals the show. 4 Out of 5 Doctors rock the house for the Pie Theta girls with an impressive line up of songs (most bands in slashers only get to play one or two). It’s a shame the girls had to shoot a lil’ ol’ lady so they could have the party, but when you see how much fun everyone is having you realize they did the right thing.
4. The Initiation (1984)
The repressed desires party includes some interesting outfits. There’s a guy in chains, girl in kiss make-up, cow girl, cave-man, and wait a minute . . .is that guy dressed up like a giant talking penis? Who let that guy in? On the plus side the band Refugee keeps this group of crazies dancing. You might want to skip the drinks, though. That stuff’s so toxic it turned green.
5. Terror Train (1980)
The good thing about this party is it’s on a train so you don’t have to worry about being the designated driver. So drink ‘em if you can find ‘em, folks. Crime, the band playing on this rolling asylum, is a bit too mellow for a party band. But you get to see a free magic show. Peanuts cost extra, though.
6. Killer Party (1986)
Jennifer, Phoebe, and Vivia are the three best reasons to attend this party. Unfortunately, just about everybody else in attendance is a jerk. Like House on Sorority Row, Killer Party features a big guy (Jason Warren as a bee guy) getting into some trouble with the ladies. The haunted house hi-jinks are nice, but the party atmosphere drops off a cliff when a couple of guys get into a pretend knife fight. Some parties have women dancing on tables. This one has a woman crawling on the ceiling.
7. Strange Behavior (1981)
About 90 percent of the folks at this party are dressed like characters from 1960s television shows. So if you’ve ever wanted to see Lilly Munster shake her grove thing with Batman, or see the Flying Nun party hardy with the Flintstones and Jeannie, then this is the party for you. Things get really crazy when someone cranks up Lou Christie’s “Lightning Strikes” on the record player. Actually, this party is pretty tame compared to the others on the list. The big guy (dressed like Hoss from Bonanza) makes a mess in a sink and leaves early.
And now as a special bonus, the worst party ever in the history of slashers:
My Bloody Valentine (1981)
Don’t get me wrong, the folks living in Valentine’s Bluff are good people. They just don’t know how to party. You know the party sucks when someone yells “Hey, lets go investigate the old mine shaft out back.” It’s further marred by too much warm beer and too many cold women. Hot dogs with boiled weenies is about as sophisticated as the menu gets. These guys fix a car in a junkyard so they can cook tv dinners on the engine but are too lazy to grill the dogs. Music is provided by a shit kicker station on an old AM radio. The whole movie is built on the premise Harry Warden will resume his killing spree if the town has a party. But when you finally see the big party you feel like Harry is overreacting just a bit. Calm down, Harry, boredom will get these folks faster than your pick-ax.