Wednesday, August 24, 2011

April, you're no fool: Killer Party (1986)

Killer Party (AKA The April Fool)
staring: Martin Hewitt, Ralph Seymour and Elaine Wilkes

A close call of being an over-cooked cheese, Killer Party is one slasher/horror title that brings out more from your cheddar cinema. Being marked as a "horror-comedy" it had more "comedy" than "horror" in a sense that it's all slasher gags that have been done before, only with the hamminess level shot up high.

It starts with a funeral wake, where one dead woman is getting her last words spoken out by a (gay) priest as her loved ones weep. After the funeral, one of the mourners decided to stay and, being the body's about to be cremated, seeks the opportunity to say what she got in mind for her; turns out she HATED the woman and she bad mouths her until a pair of hands sprung out of the coffin and wrangles her into the it. Looks like this old bird ain't going down unless she takes someone along with her, and found one so deserving of that. As the coffin is set down in the crematorium, two morticians (dumb enough to not notice the shaking coffin) places it into the oven, burning the bodies alive and-

A girl is a drive-in theater is wigged out by all of this. In a film-within film turn, we then have April, the girl, snuggling with her rather aggressive boyfriend. Thinking that the movie and her mate is enough to bear in mind for one night, she decide to step out and get some popcorn for them-er, I mean "for her". After grabbing some (free) popcorn in a deserted snack bar, April finds her boytoy's mobile empty and teases him around, but got no reply from anywhere. Just before you ask "is this the part where we see the first murder?", our leather coat-clad boy came back, drooling, ice pick at hand, and charges at his girl and-

Cut to a music video. In fact, that whole "film-within-film-within-film" thing is a music video by some band called "White Sisters", rocking out in their 80s hair and retro-background, singing their song, "April" (which ain't that half bad actually). Now we can conclude that we're watching the real movie (I'm sure) when we see a lass with coke-bottle glasses watching the video on her tellie, before being called out by her mum that her friends are picking her up. To make things a little cheesy, we now get treated with our heroines in a bike ride, accompanied with the most drug-infused opening song I've ever heard. It's like listening to Bananarama or Cyndi Lauper stoned with pot laced catnip.

Hoping to join an exclusive sorority, our trio, Vivia, Jennifer and Phoebe gathered up the guts to pledge said sorority (by getting themselves egged for instance), and is surprised to find out that they actually got in. Their first task as new members is to help out on transforming a local house into a habitable April Fools Day Masquerade mansion, filled with gags, pranks and a working guillotine. The house, however, is no ordinary house: not too long ago, a prank took the life of one fraternity member in that same house.

And that's it. Not much after that actually.

So, comes the big night, all those invited donning costumes of different kinds, and a prank was played on the unsuspected guests. All the while a madman in an antique deep sea diver gear is offing anybody he could get. Who is this fella? And why is he killing people? How the hell does he move so quickly wearing that thing?

Too much partying and no murders, makes Killer Party a rather dull slasher, at least around the first hour and something minutes. Lame gags and pranks pulled on authorities and faculties in all of its 80s flavor and all we get from all that waiting is ten to twenty minutes of eight quick murders. It's normally okay for me to wait around for an hour before the mayhem starts, but the thing is there is NO mayhem, just some nut killing people with most of the gory glory done off-screen, or had its "executions" cut off. After finding three bodies, our heroines (well, what was remaining of them), starts to panic and tries to get out of the house, which should have been easy if it wasn't for the film's own little twist: the killer's a demon.

Yep, approximately fifteen minutes of slasher bodycount suddenly turns into an "exorcist" wannabe, with the possessed doing deep voices, foams from the mouth, walk on walls, toss tridents that collapse (hollow) walls, it's one crazy twist to be honest.

But as crazy as it all gets, the ending somewhat makes it up due to the fact that it's funny. In fact, the whole film is forgivable if you see it more as a comedy (hence the passing rate I gave it). By the time of my second viewing of the movie, I loosen up and inhaled its cheesy charms. It's a weak slasher, but despite the decently-high-but-vaguely-seen-bodycount-slasher-element this movie had, (I have to face the light on this one), its laughable enough to poke fun at and I had fun watching it.

It's pure cheesy goodness, if not a little too cheesy for its own good, Killer Party is a hoot of a horror film to watch if you're truck in the right mood. Serious-minded horror fans should shy away from this one, unless you're willing to loosen your lawyer ties like me and join in.

1 female burned alive inside a coffin (film within film)
1 female bludgeoned with death with wooden oar
1 male electrocuted on the ear with live wire
1 female speared with trident
1 female brained with hammer offscreen
1 male beheaded with guillotine (mostly offscreen)
1 male had an arm lopped off with machete, later found dismembered
1 male gets a harpoon shot to his arse
1 male found with a spear shoved to his mouth
1 male found dead in a bathtub with a corkscrew on his head
1 female impaled with wooden stake
total: 11

1 comment:

  1. Killer Party website will be open soon!