If you’re going to pen a modern day love letter to shitty ’80s horror, you’re going to load up a hefty bag of guts, blood, one-liners and callbacks. Drew Marvick’s Pool Party Massacre is the right combination of slasher throwback, modern day low-budget film making, and savvy marketing. From the poster art, cheesy tag line and blood use, this is an indie effort done right.

Even the title font on the poster is the same as 1982’s Slumber Party Massacre.

You know the basic setups and foreshadowing already, or at least that’s all I could see and hear. If you grew up on a late night TV diet of ’80s slasher flicks, you have some things to feast on. Callbacks, red herrings, and plenty of vapid, awful, disposable characters. I won’t detail too much, but you’ll appreciate them if you can spot them.

Blair Winthorpe’s parents are going out of town and she is going to throw a pool party where there isn’t much pool partying going on. That’s beside the point and one of the things that stuck out to me the most after the body count grows. There’s a pool, there’s babes in bikinis and there’s an array of weapons. That’s what we really signed up for. The blood flows, carpets get ruined (the majority of the movie takes place in the house the director’s parents live in) and there’s plenty of cleavage to pair with all this blood. The scaled back practical effects alone still look good given that this is largely a social media adventure in film making.

I didn’t even know about Pool Party Massacre until soundtrack artist Axeslasher (who I’ve done some work with) promoted their (his?) involvement. Justin Lacselle already had “Mark of the Pizzagram” on Deathgasm, so of course I would check out (and buy) Pool Party Massacre. The inclusion of Axeslasher, Horse, and Crypticus was also awesome.

What is most valued in this direct-to-video affair is style (and budget) over outright, unabashed slasher worship that gets too hammy. If there’s one thing I dislike in a modern day throwback is when they play up the bad parts too much. It becomes distracting as every moment tries to one-up the next in sheer silliness. Marvick doesn’t let Pool Party Massacre devolve into some ridiculous joke. It’s not that the movie is serious, it’s just more natural feeling and the low budget-ness doesn’t get overtaken by being outright stupid for the sake of being over the top.

If you’ve seen a solid handful of any ’80s non-supernatural slashers, then you need to go to the “worst pool party ever.” If I did a Joe Bob Briggs Drive-In Totals we’d have: 11 dead bodies, two slashed throats, two screwjobs, four nekkid breasts, hammer to the face, machete through a door, weedwacker in the shower, electric saw gut spill, three axe deaths, two red herrings, and one extremely liberal use of sunscreen. Four stars, check it out.

Order a copy of Pool Party Massacre from the official site -like I did. T-shirt also- and don’t be a cheap bastard.