Sweet Sixteen hails from the year 1983. 1983 was a prime year for slasher film fans, with titles such as Sleepaway Camp, House on Sorority Row, and Psycho II. So where does Sweet Sixteen fit into this? Read on, Fiends…
When Melissa Morgan (Aleisa Shirley), a gorgeous big city girl moves to a small Texas town, she creates quite a stir with her beauty and promiscuous attitude. She might be 15, going on 25, but all the boys at her new school are still anxious to get to know her. Shortly after her arrival, Melissa’s dates start ending up dead. When the younger brother of a local hell raiser (Don Stroud) ends up dead, Melissa looks like the likely suspect. The town Sheriff (Bo Hopkins) must try to solve the killings before the killer strikes again. Along to help him is his Nancy Drew-ish daughter (Dana Kimmell). What secret will be revealed when Melissa turns SWEET SIXTEEN?
Unlike many similar films, Sweet SIxteen is a remarkably well made little film. The cast is surprisingly good, featuring as it does Bo Hopkins, Susan Strasberg, Patrick MacNee, and scream queen Dana Kimmell. Their performances raise the standard above the norm for the genre, which is a pleasant surprise. And the film looks pretty good too. Sure, it is clearly a low budget production, but there has been clear effort put in to making it look as expensive and classy as possible.
The film also takes on the thorny subject of racism. And whilst the handling of it is somewhat simplistic, it does make it spoint. Indeed, the racism becomes a major plot point during the film, helping to create a good chunk of the films tension.
As a slasher film, the core plot is pretty standard, but the genre isn’t exactly renowned for its deep plotting. Characters find themselves set up to die in incredibly obvious ways, yet seem oblivious to the fact. So standard slasher stuff. But it works. There is enough individuality to the script to make Sweet Sixteen stand out.
88 Films have done their best with this film. The transfer looks damned good, having been fully restored. The extras are slim, but enjoyable:
- Audio Commentary by the Hysteria Continues Podcast TeamI
- Interview with Jim Harper, author of Legacy of Blood
- Reversible Sleeve with alternate Non-Slasher Collection Artwork
Sweet Sixteen: Sweet or Sour?
Overall, I’d say this is worth a purchase for all slasher fans. Whilst not as well appointed a set as some, the film itself is more than worth the price of purchase alone.
4/5 Fiends. Excellent, but loses a mark for the small amount of extras.