Sweet Sixteen A beautiful lonely girl named Melissa tries to make new friends from a town she’s currently living in. The only problem is, each of the boys that she spends time with end up brutally murdered. Her sixteenth birthday is on the way, but Melissa turns out to be a suspect when it seems she’s the last person who has seen her boyfriends alive.
While this is a slasher, it’s not overly gory and could be categorized as a whodunit mystery. The story kicks off with a quality bar confrontation, which reveals the racial tension in the town between whites and Natives. Despite all the gushing over the new girl (Aleisa Shirley), she’s not all that, i.e. no curves. Dana Kimmell is the real beauty here.
The cast is likable, particularly Hopkins as the main protagonist, and the early 80’s ambiance is to die for. Don Shanks is notable as a kick axx Native. I liked the movie and enjoyed trying to figure out who the killer was amidst the red herrings, but found the wrap up a little eye-rolling and unsatisfying.
Underrated 80’s slasher flick
Sweet Sixteen The adults in town are played by such stalwart character actors as Bo Hopkins (as the town sheriff) and Susan Strasberg (as the mother of the new girl). Dana Kimmel from “Friday the 13th Part III” plays the sheriff’s daughter who befriends the new girl and eventually solves the mystery. For a long time Kimmel, a devout Mormon, was blamed for “Friday the 13th Part III” being so tame compared to the rest of the series (as if they couldn’t have just replaced her with another actress). Fortunately, this ridiculous rumor has been discredited by several recent books on the “Friday the 13th” movies. Mormon or not, she’s definitely good in these virginal “final girl” roles. Aleisha Shirley was not as good of an actress as Kimmel, but she was certainly effective in teen femme fatale roles (she also appeared in the pilot episode of the HBO series “The Hitchhiker” as a teenager who seduces her mother’s boyfriend). She actually looks a lot more like “sweet 20-something” than “sweet 16” in this movie, but her frequent nude scenes allow the movie to make up in skin what it lacks in gore.
I’m kind of surprised they haven’t re-made this, although I read about a movie in Gorezone magazine called “All the Boys Love Mandy Lane” that seems to have a very similar plot (for some reason though it hasn’t been released in the US yet, despite the presence of a currently hot actress, Amanda Heard, in the lead role). Oh well, the “original” is available on DVD now, so check it out if you get a chance