There’s only one way to copy Halloween while doing it justice and that’s to have something new to say. For all it’s B-movie cheese, syrupy blood, and utterly unscary thrills, The Slumber Party Massacre sure as hell has a message. Written and directed by Amy Jones, the 1982 cult classic follows the basic outline Carpenter created in Halloween just four years earlier: teenage girls home alone wind up in the crosshairs of a maniacal murderer. There’s only one slight change—Slumber Party is all about the ladies.

By 1982, numerous films were following in Halloween’s footsteps from Friday the 13th (which would become a classic in its own right) to bawdier, lower-caliber fare such as Don’t Answer the Phone! and Dressed to Kill. Both of the latter films seemed fixated on female suffering and the sexualization of violence against women, highlighting the unfortunate way Halloween’s successors turned misogyny into a staple of the slasher genre.

But with Jones at the helm in Slumber Party Massacre, the raunchy slasher story becomes a blazing feminist manifesto. The hallmark T&A, sex, and drugs are all present, but now the camera is winking at the audience and scenes are filmed less to titillate than to highlight their absurdity.

The core cast is comprised of Trish and her friends Kim, Diane, and Jackie. It’s the end of the basketball season and the girls are having a sleepover to celebrate. Of course, a local serial killer Russ Thorn is on the loose wielding a comically large cordless drill as his weapon of choice. He soon sets his sights and the girls and bloody mayhem ensues.

Russ is hypermasculinity incarnate and there’s nothing subtle about it—just check out the way the drill bit dangles between his legs on the poster and try to tell me that’s not a phallus. The weapon invites myriad double entendres to describe the way he murders women, literally drilling them to death. While this metaphor is clearly over the top, Jones makes it work because it exists within the B-movie genre.

Camp flicks like Slumber Party aren’t trying to be sly or subtle, and that’s part of what makes them so enjoyable. They go big, brash, and ballsy. They aim to shock and surprise, and honestly, I’m not sure what good it would do to tone down the feminist message when other films of its ilk are screaming their misogyny at the top of their lungs.

Jones leaves no room for misinterpretation. Even the most stereotypical tropes such as the nudity become tainted through the feminist lens of the film. They can be as in your face as they need to without fear that the audience will misunderstand the message.

Even death gets a makeover under Jones. Following the rules of the slasher film, women of course die, but suddenly why they die is a lot more interesting. The unwritten rule of the Final Girl is that she is virginal. Having sex in a slasher film is tantamount to committing suicide. Unzip the pants or unhook that bra, and you won’t make it to the credits. But that’s not necessarily so in The Slumber Party Massacre.

A female phone technician is the first to die. Out repairing the lines, she is sexualized by the leering looks of a couple of teenage boys, but the boys’ come-ons call out more than her looks. They call out her skill, they seem impressed with her abilities, and are then quickly shut down by the tech who doesn’t seem like she could care less. Once the boys leave, Russ grabs her, pulls her inside the back of her own van, and we’re soon treated to a view of her blood splattering the roof.

What makes this interesting is that the female phone tech isn’t simply sexualized then killed. She’s sexualized, yes, but she’s also shown to be capable, talented in a male-dominated field, and unreliant on the approval of men. All of these things threaten Russ’s hypermasculinity. All of these things appear as threats to him, so she has to die.

This pattern is repeated multiple times. Even when the tides seem to turn and Russ is racking up the body count, the women don’t die because they make foolish mistakes. They don’t walk into the basement alone because they heard a noise. They die in acts of heroism, when checking in on each other, and just generally from existing as whole, competent women that rely more on approval from each other than that of any man.

This is at the heart of what makes The Slumber Party Massacre so successful. It has all the pieces of an entertaining romp through the macabre and the violent without needing to denigrate or dehumanize women to do it.