Debra Winger and friends star in SLUMBER PARTY '57, directed by William A. Levey for Cannon Films.

Slumber Party ’57 (1976, William A. Levey)

I think Slumber Party ’57 is supposed to be a titillating sex comedy but the lame jokes invalidate the latter and the exploitative misogynistic creepiness hopefully nullifies the former.

Before getting to the acting, I do want to mention director Levey’s transitions. At times, it’s hard to tell if they’re intentionally strange, but when he fades from a Boris Karloff preview at a drive-in (showing the night sky) to the present action and then stretches the frame up… it’s clear he and editor Bill Casper got ahold of a really fancy seventies editing machine. The kind the local news stations used.

Anyway, the vapid premise sets Party up to be a clunker. A group of slutty high school girls (played by actresses old enough to take off their tops) have a slumber party because the basketball team is on an away game and they have nothing to do without the boys. The film takes place at a Beverly Hills high school, but the cast of actresses is demographically assorted to add to the humor. For example, Bridget Holloman (who’s atrocious) is a hillbilly.

Actually, her story has the most effective humor in it. There’s a car chase and it’s nearly just a benign failure.

Party‘s got a huge cast list and no one in it’s good. Debra Winger, in her first film, is awful.

Unfortunately, Levey and Casper’s editing “creativeness” doesn’t extend to cutting together a real scene. Party‘s a disagreeable viewing experience.

Great fifties soundtrack though.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by William A. Levey; screenplay by Frank Farmer, based on a story by Levey; director of photography, Robert Caramico; edited by Bill Caspar; music by Miles Goodman; produced by John Ireland; released by The Cannon Group.

Starring Janet Wood (Smitty), Noelle North (Angie), Debra Winger (Debbie), Bridget Holloman (Bonnie May), Cheryl Smith (Sherry), Mary Appleseth (Jo Ann), R.L. Armstrong (Silas), Joyce Jillson (Gladys the Car Hop), Rafael Campos (Dope Fiend), Victor Rogers (Movie Star), Larry Gelman (Cat Burglar), Joe E. Ross (Patrolman), Will Hutchins (Harold Perkins), Bill Thurman (Mr. Willis), Randy Ralston (Bud Hansen) and Sean Kenney (Cal).

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