Sweet Sixteen

What terrors are unleashed when a girl turns…Sweet Sixteen?

More like Sweet Twenty-Seven. Horror starlets are  like Mexican prizefighters…it’s hard to get an accurate birth-date.

There’s a new girl arrival in some hole-in-the-wall hick town. She meets a couple of guys in a sh*t-kicker bar with fluorescent Bud signs and leaves with one of ’em. The guy says, “I’m Johnny. And this is my truck” as if the vehicle was going to engage them in conversation. Talk about effortless charm. Eat your heart out Cary Grant.

They go to the town’s equivalent of make-out point and she gets spooked before either of them can get their pants off at this, the site of an ancient Indian burial ground. They puff a little weed and think about what they’ll tell the folks about how they spent the evening (the girl suggests they were at “the library” but this burg don’t have one. Which explains a lot). After they part ways, Johnny is stabbed to death repeatedly in the chest by an unseen assailant, and absolutely nobody misses him (oh wait, that’s an editorial comment).

The town sheriff, Burke, is summoned. He’s played by South Carolina genre legend Bo Hopkins (The Wild Bunch/American Graffiti) He pokes around, and gets some assistance from his dilettante teen daughter about the finer points of police work (she’s eminently qualified being into mystery novels all. Slasher fans will know her as Dana Kimmell who plays Chris Higgins in Friday the 13th Part III, who splits open Jason’s head with in axe).

Some of the bigoted townies (including Don Stroud, Search and Destroy/House by the Lake) pin the blame on a couple of er, “red”-herring Native Americans.

Tepid stuff.

Sweet Sixteen is a pretty procedural snore-fest and not the under-seen gem the reviewer had hoped. And playing “hey, isn’t that_________?” wears thin pretty quick.

**1/2 (out of 5)

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