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Sweet Sixteen (1983) - Blu-ray

2 beersShe’s smart.  She’s sexy.  She’s new in town and she’s all sorts of sweet sixteen.  She also likes making it with boys on sacred Native American burial grounds in the desert.  What a way to get your rocks off, honey!  The bad thing for the boys, though, is that they have a nasty habit of disappearing off the face of the earth in a relatively violent manner after a night with Melissa.  No sloppy seconds for these young bucks.  

This is wildly promiscuous territory of Sweet Sixteen, a low-key thriller that has its own sappy theme song with music and lame lyrics by Joel Wertman & Mark Wertman.  Oh, yes, it is a groaner.  If only something would happen after the initial kill!  Okay, so there are a total of three deaths in this slasher...  

Her name is Melissa Morgan (Aleisa Shirley) and her touch is an unforgettably deadly one.  And she knows that she is drop dead gorgeous.  The amount of time she spends staring at herself in the mirror and in the shower is a big clue.  Just ask the bad boys who agree to meet with her in the shadows of night.  They can’t wait to touch her.  But wait!  It turns out that you can’t ask them because they are cold, stiff, and mostly dead all over. 

Directed by Jim Sotos (Forced Entry) and starring Bo Hoskins as Sheriff Dan Burke –  who struggles to keep order over the panicked town and his Nancy Drew-like daughter – and Patrick Macnee as Melissa’s proud papa, Sweet Sixteen is a low budget horror thriller that hunts for clues that are far too easy to find. 

From libraries to school, the trail is a pretty obvious one.  I mean, if the family discussion between Hoskins and his two kids - Dana Kimmell (best remembered for her performance as Chris Higgins in Friday the 13th Part III as Marci Burke and Steve Antin as Hank Burke – can spur these amateur sleuths onto the path of the real killer, then why even fill this flick with any amount of bedazzle?

Outside of Hoskins easygoing performance, the film has going for it a healthy amount of sexual situations and the inclusion of Don Shanks as Jason Longshadow and Henry Wilcoxon as Greyfeather, two Native American characters who find themselves hostages of a fear that grips this small area when it is thought that they might be involved.   Suddenly, the whole town is against them and Jason must break out of his cell in order to suss out the real killer.

Too bad the slow motion in this flick is used in the way it is, though.  My God does it ever kill ANY forward momentum.  From birthday parties to “shocking” revelations, the heavy use of the effect grinds things to a halt.  Another person is dead?  So what!  Just blow out the friggin’ candles already!  Sooooooo slllllllooooooooooowwwwww.   

Co-starring Susan Strasberg and a whole hell of a lot of shots of a naked Aleisa Shirley, Sweet Sixteen is, surprisingly, a dull and very flat slasher.  It’s got engaging characters in it and the actors do what they can with its controversial themes but, unfortunately, there’s very little that can step in and save this horror title until its final few moments.

Sweet Sixteen is now available on Blu-ray courtesy of Code Red and their new anamorphic widescreen transfer of the original 35mm negative.  It is proof positive why teenagers should never fuck around on ancient burial grounds.


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Sweet Sixteen (1983) - Blu-ray

MPAA Rating: R.
90 mins
: Jim Sotos
Erwin Goldman
Bo Hopkins, Susan Strasberg, Patrick Macnee
: Horror
What terrors are unleashed when a girl Turns Sweet Sixteen?
Memorable Movie Quote: "That's Melissa. She was the last person to see Johnny alive."
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 11, 2015
Synopsis: When Melissa Morgan (Aleisa Shirley), a gorgeous big city girl moves to a small Texas town, she creates quite a stir with her beauty and promiscuous attitude. She might be 15, going on 25, but all the boys at her new school are still anxious to get to know her. Shortly after her arrival, Melissa's dates start ending up dead. When the younger brother of a local hell raiser (Don Stroud) ends up dead, Melissa looks like the likely suspect. The town Sheriff (Bo Hopkins) must try to solve the killings before the killer strikes again. Along to help him is his Nancy Drew-ish daughter (Dana Kimmell). What secret will be revealed when Melissa turns SWEET SIXTEEN?"


[tab title="Blu-ray Review"]

Sweet Sixteen (1983) - Blu-ray


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Code Red
Available on Blu-ray
- August 11, 2015
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: None
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

With an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a 2.0 DTS-HD sound mix, Code Red presents Sweet Sixteen on 1080p with hit-and-miss results.  Textures are fine and, so too, are the details in the movie.  It’s not as detailed as you might like but it is not a bad transfer.  It just feels a bit limp in certain areas.  Colors are strong and black levels are good, too.  There are nice desert details running throughout the film.  And the fleshy moments are nice.  There is some grain and some pixilation, but nothing too terrible that should prevent you from purchasing if you are fan of slow motion and zooms. 



  • None

Special Features:

Fans get on screen interviews with Bo Hoskins, Aleisa Shirley, and Jim Sotos, the film’s director for about 19 minutes, as they discuss rather candidly the shooting of the movie.  They are outside on a park bench.  It's a good conversation.

  • Interviews (19 min)


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Sweet Sixteen (1983) - Blu-ray