Sweet Sixteen (Review)
Through the 80’s there were several horror movies playing off of the “holiday” or the celebration card that had started in the 70’s. Every year there would be several movies that had titles that had to do with either a certain day; holiday or a celebration was a part of the title and or the story. So the year 1983 was no exception, even the 3D gimmick was happening, but one movie that was different in some ways was the movie called Sweet Sixteen. Released in 1983, directed by Jim Sotos was centered around a girl who was turning sixteen and leading up to her party a series of gruesome murders begin to happen. Now you would think the title would set you up for what it says, but it takes a bit for the movie to finally tell you what is the significance of the whole idea of Sweet Sixteen.
At a local bar in town new girl Melissa Morgan is looking for a goodnight, Johnny a local boy decides to take her for a ride and leave his buddy Hank in the dust. After they fool around then he returns her home to her angry father. Johnny leaves only to run out of gas, soon after is brutally murdered. The next day Dan Burke town sheriff gets the call of Johnny not coming home, Hank is his son. So Dan, hank and his daughter Marci head to where the truck was reported, no foul play but the body is found by Marci with multiple stab wounds. At the school Melissa’s parents John and Joanne give Dan Burke permission to talk to Melissa, she states that Jason Longshadow a native American was on scene. He reported nothing to happen between him and Johnny. Later that day Melissa makes plans to meet another boy that night, Tommy Jackson was too meet her outside the back of Earl’s bar but he is brutally stabbed just before she shows up. She spots Greyfeather, and old Native American on scene and blames him for the death.
Dan goes to confront Greyfeather but he finds him hanging in his room;. Dubbed as suicide in notes but Dan believes its payback for Johnny’s death. At the funeral Macri give Melissa an ear full as to that is all her fault all the murders are happening, but quickly apologizes for this as she sees a girl whom is distraught by all of this. As the story rolls on the blame begins to point at Jason for it all as John fired him for stealing artifacts from the dig he hired him for. Jason now locked up Melissa is having a sweet sixteen and Hank and Marci are there, Dan is trying to find out if there’s more to the story. Hank And Melissa decide to go skinny dipping when Billy and Jimmy are caught watching them. Jason then arrives but is put to the ground by the two who then go after Melissa. Both Jimmy and Billy are killed and the killer is still not scene face to face. Later Marci is looking for the two and her ankle is grabbed by one of the two men and she falls, to discover that Melissa’s mother Joanne is holding Melissa, Dan arrives to grab Marci and reveals that Joanne’s real name is Tricia. Tricia was Joanne’s sister from her youth, Dan grabs Melissa and the Tricia stabs herself. Later revealed that Tricia assumed the identity of her sister Joanne after she died in a mental hospital years ago, killing her father to protect Joanne. After the party Melissa is seen as being in a trance, holding one of the knives involved in the murders.
Ok so the movie has good acting but the title itself really doesn’t fit the plot till the very end of the movie. Though the character of Melissa says she’s turning sixteen it doesn’t hold a big significant part of the story for a majority of the movie. About 85 percent of the movie really is more part of a who did it type movie more than horror though it has its jump scares and some psychological elements. This movie also has a lot of horror alumni within; Don Shanks who plays Jason Shadowfeather six years later would play Michael Myers, the iconic killer from the Halloween Franchise in Halloween 5 in 1989. Dana Kimmel who plays Marci just the previous year 1982 was the main girl in Friday the 13th part 3 and Michael Pataki who plays George Martin five years later would be involved in Halloween as Dr. Hoffman who was the medical administrator at Smiths Grove. And Bo Hopkins who plays the sheriff would later appear in From Dusk til Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money. So the movie had good acting and there were some decent blood moments but the plot seems to be very distant from the title and even little plots within are very distant and have no place within the story. but if you want to watch a fun movie that gives some 80’s cheese and is weird in its own right it is a fun watch and you can see how some horror alumni came to be and where some were going.