Posted: 10/20/2009

 

My Super Psycho Sweet 16

(2009)

by Jason Coffman




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I have to admit, I’ve been looking forward to My Super Psycho Sweet 16 for a couple of reasons. One of them is the fact that it was directed by Jacob Gentry, who was one of the co-directors of The Signal, one of my favorite films of last year. The other reason is that the concept of a masked killer cutting down the kids from an episode of My Super Sweet 16 is definitely one I can get behind.

For anyone not familiar with the show, here’s a quick recap: My Super Sweet 16 is a reality show following the planning of a disgustingly expensive sweet 16 party for a hateful, subhuman she-monster who spends the entire episode screaming, crying, manipulating people, and generally proving the stereotype that all people above a certain tax bracket are evil. It’s not a show about one particular party, though— each episode follows a different demonic harpy-in-training as she bullies her way to throwing the biggest party ever. It’s the kind of show that could light the fuse on a literal class war.

My Super Psycho Sweet 16 basically just takes the title and the concept of the ridiculous Sweet 16 party from the series. Otherwise, this is what the critics used to call a “teenie-kill pic,” a true-blue slice-and-dice that could just as easily been titled My First Slasher Movie.

In the distant past— ten years ago, helpfully identified by a title and Chumbawumba’s “Tubthumping” on the soundtrack— Roller Dome manager Charlie Rotter (Alex Van) went over the edge and murdered six teenagers, claiming he gave them what they deserve. The prison transport van carrying Charlie and several other prisoners was involved in an accident and his body was never recovered from the wreckage. Today, his daughter Skye (Lauren McKnight) lives with her aunt and is basically friendless other than her sort of creepy pal Derek (Matt Angel). After having a brief chat with popular jock Brigg (Chris Zylka), Skye finds herself the target of his bullying ex-girlfriend Madison (Julianna Guill), who is also in the midst of planning her Sweet 16 party. Skye and Derek crash the party at the newly-reopened Roller Dome, and soon party members are getting knocked off by a mysterious stalker wearing Charlie Rotter’s “Lord of the Rink” mask.

My Super Psycho Sweet 16 is a surprisingly decent slasher. It’s not going to win any awards for originality, but there’s at least one kill here that would be right at home in any slasher genre highlights reel. There’s quite a bit more blood than I expected for a made-for-(M)TV movie, although for the most part the most gruesome stuff happens off-camera. The film takes a while to get to the party, spending a lot of time with Skye, Brigg, and Madison. Julianna Guill is effectively hateful as Madison, although she could have been a lot more bitchy— seriously, the girls on the real show make Madison look like Miss Manners. The other characters are fleshed out well enough that it’s not too much of a drag spending time with them before the main event. Matt Angel’s Derek is particularly entertaining weirdo comic relief as Skye’s hopelessly platonic pal.

If you’ve never seen a slasher movie before, there are certainly worse gateway movies than this one. My Super Psycho Sweet 16 is a solid, pretty funny and decently bloody little slasher. For their first made-for-TV movie, MTV did a great job— recruiting a director like Gentry, who obviously knows the genre, was a smart move. This is definitely worth parking in front of the TV with some candy and popcorn, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a holiday favorite with some impressionable youngsters out there in TV Land.

My Super Psycho Sweet 16 airs Friday, October 23rd at 10 pm ET/PT. Check local listings for details.

Jason Coffman is a film critic living in Chicago.



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