Sweet Sixteen (1983)

Melissa is new in town and already meeting men at the bar, even though she’s just 15 — forget the title of the film — and taking one of them to make out in a Native American burial ground. If it sounds like things are about to go bad, well, of course they are.

Melissa Morgan and her family are in town for just a few months, as her father is on a dig and her mom is from the area. As she talks with Johnny, the dude she hooked up with, her father (Patrick Macnee!) finds them and sends him away. He soon gets stabbed and killed, turning the slasher conventions around.

Sheriff Dan (Bo Hopkins, Uncle Sam) gets a call from Johnny’s brother Billy and they search for him, finding no signs of foul play. Then, the sheriff’s daughter Marci (Dana Kimmell, Friday the 13th Part III) finds the body. Sheriff Dan starts his investigation in earnest, looking into Melissa, as she was the last person to see Johnny alive.

Everyone who gets close to her dies — like Tommy, a dude who just wants to hang out behind the bar with her. Melissa blames Greyfeather (Henry Wilcoxon, Bishop Pickering from Caddyshack), an older Native American, who is soon found lynched in his home.

The investigation continues, as Dr. Morgan blames Jason, another local who has stolen five knives from the dig. Jason is played by Don Shanks, who you may know better as Michael Myers in Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. There’s also a really fancy barbecue party that Melissa’s mom (Susan Strasberg, daughter of famous acting teacher Lee) throws her.

There’s some skinny dipping, Jason breaking out of jail, arguing about who killed Greyfeather and a whole bunch of mistaken and transferred identity and at this point, I was checking out of the film. Nothing ever really picks up and gets going here. Which kinda sucks — I was ready for this to be something great. There’s no real tension or worry about any of the characters here. Yet I still watched it and will probably do so again. I’m weird like that.

You can watch it and see for yourself at Amazon Prime. It will also be playing October 11, 2018 as part of Bloody Disgusting and Fandango’s Retro Nightmares.

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