Plot: Melissa (Aleisa Shirley) is used to the urban lifestyle, but her father Dr. Morgan (Patrick Macnee) has relocated the family to a small, rural Texas town. She is only fifteen, but the men in town are falling all over each other, entranced by her beauty and eager to get close to her. As she looks for some good times, she happens upon a local tavern with a broken shoe and in need of a ride home. She finds a driver, but she is shocked to learn that the young man was found killed the next day, stabbed to death in a brutal, violent fashion. Sheriff Burke (Bo Hopkins) is on the case and while many believe that a hot tempered Native American is the obvious suspect, but Burke wants facts, not knee jerk reactions. He begins an exhaustive investigation and gets some help from his daughter Marci (Dana Kimmell), who seems to have a knack for detective work. But can Burke stop the killer before a full scale spree has begun and who is the mysterious maniac butchering the townsfolk?
Entertainment Value: While Sweet Sixteen isn’t all that inventive or original, it is a solid piece of 80s horror that has enough quirks to stand out a little. The movie isn’t heavy on blood or sleaze, but it has a brisk pace and above average cast, which help keep the rather predictable narrative on track. The story is thin and one we’ve seen before, as a mysterious killer is preying on locals, red herrings are paraded out, and the usual slasher formula is followed closely. As this is an 80s horror movie, I doubt most will care that it does little to break out of the genre tropes, as it has that special 80s magic and still gets most of the formula right. So while this is well worn ground, at least Sweet Sixteen makes it a fun trip down a familiar path, unlike a lot of the rushed, bland 80s horror outings out there. Aleisa Shirley is immense fun to watch and is perhaps the bright spot, as her performance is memorable and quite humorous, given her later crusades against the evils of horror movies. A number of other familiar faces are present as well, with Bo Hopkins, Larry Storch, Susan Strasberg, Dana Kimmell, Michael Pataki, and Patrick Macnee, among others. The solid cast helps the movie rise above the usual 80s slasher as well, with passable, enjoyable performances. Sweet Sixteen is no 80s classic, but for genre fans, it offers a solid, worthwhile watch.
The director’s cut of Sweet Sixteen adds a sultry shower scene, home to breasts, ass, and bush in minor doses. A late night swim session is the only other nakedness, with a brief, poorly lit topless scene on showcase. The blood doesn’t run like wine here, but we have a couple of splashy kills. As the killer loves the blade, the kills are all similar in nature and that kind of dampens the murderous thrills a little. But we still get some nice plunge wounds and gushes of crimson, at least in a couple of the kills. Also have some assorted aftermath blood from the wounds and near misses, but nothing graphic. So don’t expect geysers of the red stuff, but the movie at least makes a small effort to include some pulses of bloodshed. The dialogue here is mostly passable, but unmemorable, though some fun lines crop up here and there. Melissa is a wild girl and she is a nice source of fun moments, while we also have some mean girl talk, tough guy bravado, and Nancy Drew style crime solving wisdom. As for craziness, we do have a fun crazy chick on the loose, but otherwise, this one isn’t too wild. As I said, it tends to follow the usual 80s horror formula, so not an unpredictable ride here.
Overall Insanity: 2/10