Killer Party


1h 31m 1986
Killer Party

Brief Synopsis

A deranged killer stalks a sorority hazing party.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Horror
Release Date
1986
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.
Distribution Company
METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER STUDIOS INC. (MGM ); MGM Distribution Company; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m

Synopsis

The fraternity house is haunted by a college student who died there twenty years before. Now, during a frat party, the spirit takes over one of the girls who begins killing the guests one by one.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Horror
Release Date
1986
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.
Distribution Company
METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER STUDIOS INC. (MGM ); MGM Distribution Company; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m

Articles

Killer Party


The slasher genre that started off the 1980s with a roar was definitely on the decline by 1986 when Killer Party barely opened in American theaters and turned into a VHS staple. Filmmakers were trying to find ways to pump new blood into the subgenre by injecting comedy and cross-pollinating it with other genres, which resulted in other 1986 oddities such as Chopping Mall, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives and Slaughter High, with Killer Party arguably beating them all by turning out to be a demon possession teen comedy slasher. Needless to say, it's not a formula that's been repeated very often.

Originally titled The April Fools and called April Fool's Day during production (a title that ended up attached to a higher-profile, sort-of-slasher movie from Paramount the same year), the film gives away the nature of its original title with a preponderance of practical jokes and sleight of hand performed on the characters, not to mention a bit of trickery on the audience with its unexpected switch in horror subgenres. As with some of its predecessors like the 1981 cult favorites, The Burning, My Bloody Valentine, and Friday the 13th Part 2, Killer Party ran afoul of the MPAA with American distributor MPAA drastically toning down all of the gore sequences (particularly the finale) to earn an R-rating.

The basic plot is standard fare for an '80s horror film, centered around three girls about to go through hazing to get into a popular sorority. However, the pledges' ordeal is far more traumatic than expected thanks to stories of evil deeds at a closed frat house they have to infiltrate and the presence of a murderer who turns out to be far more than meets the eye. The sorority house had been a reliable setting for horror films starting with Bob Clark's Black Christmas (1974) and all the way through The Initiation (1984) and another 1986 film, Sorority House Massacre, but this variation introduces a supernatural element that easily sets it apart from the pack.

According to actress Elaine Wilkes (who plays Phoebe) in an interview for the podcast The Hysteria Continues, the film was altered significantly after it was shot including one character's real demise switched to a fake-out joke thanks to some deft editorial shuffling. That said, she recalled the shoot as being a great deal of fun ("We laughed so much!") with the final ambulance scene being shot in the wee hours of the night (around 3 a.m.) that left everyone giddy and punchy. The contact lenses for two of the actresses turned out to be a challenge as well, since gas permeable lenses were the norm at the time and proved to be awkward since they were bigger than normal.

Directorial reins for the Canadian production were handed to William Fruet, an Alberta-born filmmaker responsible for a string of well-remembered exploitation films before switching to a career in television, with multiple episodes of programs like Goosebumps and Poltergeist: The Legacy under his belt. Fruet first made a splash internationally with the well-remembered AIP revenge horror film The House by the Lake, also known as Death Weekend, which has remained maddeningly out of circulation since the VHS era. He also helmed the oddball action film Search and Destroy (1979) with Perry King, then dove into pure horror for much of the '80s with Funeral Home (1980), Spasms (1983) and Blue Monkey (1987). He was even given a triple feature retrospective at the New Beverly Cinema in 2015 to a very appreciative audience. Though largely unseen in its initial release due to the unpredictable vagaries of the horror genre, this oddball slasher film has since become one of Fruet's best-known films and continues to amass new inductees into its cult following with each passing year.

Producer: Michael Lepiner
Director: William Fruet
Screenplay: Barney Cohen
Film Editing: Eric Albertson
Cinematography: John Lindley
Art Direction: Reuben Freed
Original Music: John Beal
Cast: Martin Hewitt (Blake), Ralph Seymour (Martin), Elaine Wilkes (Phoebe), Paul Bartel (Professor Zito), Sherry Willis-Burch (Viva), Alicia Fleer (Veronica)
Color-91m.

by Nathaniel Thompson
Killer Party

Killer Party

The slasher genre that started off the 1980s with a roar was definitely on the decline by 1986 when Killer Party barely opened in American theaters and turned into a VHS staple. Filmmakers were trying to find ways to pump new blood into the subgenre by injecting comedy and cross-pollinating it with other genres, which resulted in other 1986 oddities such as Chopping Mall, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives and Slaughter High, with Killer Party arguably beating them all by turning out to be a demon possession teen comedy slasher. Needless to say, it's not a formula that's been repeated very often. Originally titled The April Fools and called April Fool's Day during production (a title that ended up attached to a higher-profile, sort-of-slasher movie from Paramount the same year), the film gives away the nature of its original title with a preponderance of practical jokes and sleight of hand performed on the characters, not to mention a bit of trickery on the audience with its unexpected switch in horror subgenres. As with some of its predecessors like the 1981 cult favorites, The Burning, My Bloody Valentine, and Friday the 13th Part 2, Killer Party ran afoul of the MPAA with American distributor MPAA drastically toning down all of the gore sequences (particularly the finale) to earn an R-rating. The basic plot is standard fare for an '80s horror film, centered around three girls about to go through hazing to get into a popular sorority. However, the pledges' ordeal is far more traumatic than expected thanks to stories of evil deeds at a closed frat house they have to infiltrate and the presence of a murderer who turns out to be far more than meets the eye. The sorority house had been a reliable setting for horror films starting with Bob Clark's Black Christmas (1974) and all the way through The Initiation (1984) and another 1986 film, Sorority House Massacre, but this variation introduces a supernatural element that easily sets it apart from the pack. According to actress Elaine Wilkes (who plays Phoebe) in an interview for the podcast The Hysteria Continues, the film was altered significantly after it was shot including one character's real demise switched to a fake-out joke thanks to some deft editorial shuffling. That said, she recalled the shoot as being a great deal of fun ("We laughed so much!") with the final ambulance scene being shot in the wee hours of the night (around 3 a.m.) that left everyone giddy and punchy. The contact lenses for two of the actresses turned out to be a challenge as well, since gas permeable lenses were the norm at the time and proved to be awkward since they were bigger than normal. Directorial reins for the Canadian production were handed to William Fruet, an Alberta-born filmmaker responsible for a string of well-remembered exploitation films before switching to a career in television, with multiple episodes of programs like Goosebumps and Poltergeist: The Legacy under his belt. Fruet first made a splash internationally with the well-remembered AIP revenge horror film The House by the Lake, also known as Death Weekend, which has remained maddeningly out of circulation since the VHS era. He also helmed the oddball action film Search and Destroy (1979) with Perry King, then dove into pure horror for much of the '80s with Funeral Home (1980), Spasms (1983) and Blue Monkey (1987). He was even given a triple feature retrospective at the New Beverly Cinema in 2015 to a very appreciative audience. Though largely unseen in its initial release due to the unpredictable vagaries of the horror genre, this oddball slasher film has since become one of Fruet's best-known films and continues to amass new inductees into its cult following with each passing year. Producer: Michael Lepiner Director: William Fruet Screenplay: Barney Cohen Film Editing: Eric Albertson Cinematography: John Lindley Art Direction: Reuben Freed Original Music: John Beal Cast: Martin Hewitt (Blake), Ralph Seymour (Martin), Elaine Wilkes (Phoebe), Paul Bartel (Professor Zito), Sherry Willis-Burch (Viva), Alicia Fleer (Veronica) Color-91m. by Nathaniel Thompson

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Spring May 9, 1986

Released in United States Spring May 9, 1986