Party On.

r.s.v.p. 2002R.S.V.P.

2.5 Stars  2002/18/96m

“Nicky’s having a party… and everyone’s dying to be there.”

Director/Writer: Mark Anthony Galluzzo / Cast: Glenn Quinn, Rick Otto, Lucas Babin, Brandi Andres, Jason Mewes, Reno Wilson, Jeanne Chinn, Daniel Joseph, Nora Zehetner, Majandra Delfino, Grace Zabriskie, Jonathan Banks.

Body Count: 13

Laughter Lines: “There’s a hell of a lot more to life than death.”

The ‘art of murder’ is at the centre of this festival indie flick, rather than rinse-and-repeat teen-bashing.

Nick, a professor lecturing on serial murder, plays host to his friend’s leaving party as friend prepares to relocate with his girlfriend, Jordan, who is also Nick’s ex. Much discussion on serial killers and the fame they achieve ensues between Nick, his creepy colleague Hal (the late Quinn), and Nick’s less-than-impressed friends, who get worried when the guest of honor fails to show up – and is in fact lying dead inside a chest in the middle of the room, in a name-checked homage to Hitchcock’s Rope.

Cue Nick then offing the guests as they leave the party with a nail gun, fire poker, poison, and a guitar string. There’s little blood to speak of, the project prefers steering itself towards stylish humour and well-drawn characters, although things become a little pretentious the longer it goes on. When Hal tosses a spanner in the plan, Nick ‘fesses up to what he’s done, now that only Jordan is left alive and the requisite killer-vs-final-girl scene comes into force.

Good acting helps, though Mewes doesn’t stray far from his tried and tested stoner bit, and Delfino is good as the kooky neighbour. A weird ending that sees the survivors kick back with a joint and laugh that they need new friends partly undoes some of the good work laid down. Your call.

Blurbs-of-interest: Glenn Quinn was in Dr Giggles; Mewes can also be seen in The Tripper (duh) and The Waterman; Grace Zabriskie was in Child’s Play 2; Majandra Delfino was also in Shriek if You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th.

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