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A ‘Slumber Party Massacre’ Remake is Coming to SyFy

Russ Thorn, the ‘Driller Killer,’ is coming back to stalk a new group of sleeping coeds in Shout! Studios’ upcoming remake of 1982’s ‘Slumber Party Massacre.’

Shout! Studios, who previously acquired New Horizon Pictures’ film library, which includes 270 of Roger Corman’s films including ‘Slumber Party Massacre,’ has signed a deal with SyFy for exclusive distribution rights.

The remake, which is being described as a “reimagining of the original,” is directed by Danishka Esterhazy (The Banana Splits Movie), written by Suzanne Keilly (Ash vs. Evil Dead), and is set to star Alex McGregor, Frances Sholto-Douglas, Jane de Wet, Hannah Gonera, Reze-Tiana Wessels, Arthur Falko, Michael Lawrence Potter, Larissa Crafford-Lazarus, and Rob van Vuuren.

Brent Haynes, Shout! Studios Head of Original Content Development, released a statement about the upcoming film:

“Remaking one of the seminal films of Roger Corman and Amy Holden Jones’ early work is exciting and audacious. But there are no better hands in which to place this challenge to Danishka Esterhazy, Suzanne Keilly, and the team at Blue Ice Pictures. Their creative vision will both honor the Corman ethos and captivate today’s audiences.”

The original 1982 film was written by Rita May Brown, directed by Amy Holden Jones, and produced by Corman, who many know as the “king of B-movies.”

The film had originally been written as a parody, designed to poke fun at the slasher genre. Once Corman got a hold of the film, it was rewritten as a generic slasher movie but retained some comedic elements.

The movie plot itself was very basic, involving a group of girls holding a slumber party one night while escaped killer Russ Thorn is on the loose armed with a power drill. Because of the thin plot and weak antagonist, the film never became a household name. Like all of Corman’s movies, though, it did manage to turn a profit, bringing in $3.6 million on a budget of only $220,000. The movie also managed to spawn two sequels.

The thing that made this movie stand out in any way was the fact that it was written and directed by women, something that was unheard of at that time. Who knows what this movie could have been if it hadn’t been changed for the sake of attempting to appeal to a larger audience who only cared about seeing nudity and violence at the time?

We’ll have to wait to see if this remake is just a rehashing of the film we got or if it will strive to tap into Brown’s original vision.

The ‘Slumber Party Massacre’ remake will debut sometime later this year on SyFy.

HorrorFacts will be sure to keep you informed once an official release date is set.

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  1. You said, “Who knows what this movie could have been if it hadn’t been changed for the sake of attempting to appeal to a larger audience who only cared about seeing nudity and violence at the time?” Corman knew his target audience and made the right decision, because, as you also said, it earned $3.6 million on a $220,000 budget. Would it have made that much without Corman injecting more nudity and violence into it? Who knows? Doubtful considering that’s what audiences demanded at the time. But Corman obviously wasn’t willing to find out. And when it comes down to who makes the decisions, a highly successful producer or a first-time director, the producer wins every time. It will be interesting to see what Esterhazy does with the remake. I wasn’t a fan of Banana Splits, the only film I’ve seen helmed by her, but hopefully SPM is more entertaining. I also hope it can be enjoyed by a larger audience and not just a smaller niche audience.

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