Tuesday, April 29, 2014
The House on Sorority Row (1983)
The girls of a sorority (none of whom ever seem to wear bras-Thanks 1980's!) are keen on having an upcoming party, but their strict house mother Ms. Slater is having none of it. Angry at her hateful attitude, the girls decide to prank Slater. Unfortunately their plan backfires, and Ms. Slater ends up seeimingly dead.
The sisters dispose of the body, but it later disappears, as do the girls, one by one...
House on Sorority Row is a simple little slasher film, but I won't hold that against it. After all, the only thing stopping any of the first four Friday the 13th movies being that is that they're part of a famous franchise.
The plot is serviceable, and the mystery is pretty good, and really makes you wonder whether or not Ms. Slater is really still alive or not. Granted, the ending is a letdown, but I'll get to that. The Atmosphere is also pretty good, with nice music (excluding the cheesy 80's band), and there are some neat reveals!
The violence is decent, but there are a couple of hilariously obvious mannequin shots. There's one lame silhouette kill, which annoyed me a bit. They can definitely be effective, but in a slasher film, they're a bit of a cheat. Thankfully this film actually has onscreen death scenes, unlike say Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, which is a hair's inch away from being rated PG here in Australia (Hellraiser, by the way, is only rated M now, which is the Australian equivalent of a MAN'S PG-13*).
One scene really made me laugh. Jeannie has just been attacked by the killer, but escapes into the house, where she's found by final girl Katey, who dresses her wound, then goes to get help-"I'll be right back!". Famous last words, eh! Naturally, the moment Katey leaves Jeannie alone, she's butchered after a chase to the bathrooms. Poor Jeannie, I liked you. You were cute!
Also on the movie's 'To kill' list is apparently epileptic people, given the egregious strobe flashing in one scene.
The characters are ok. Nothing special, or particularly well-written. Thankfully this movie isn't like the sorority slashers of today, which tend to have all the house girls be absolute vile bitches to each-other all the time. Vicki is definitely the bitch of the group, but she's not that bad.
The majority of the acting is decent, although there is one line a certain actress delivers that shows she clearly wasn't hired for her acting talents.
My main problem with House on Sorority Row is the really abrupt ending! The final girl is wrestling with the killer, finds a doll, sees if its head is removable for no reason, and finds a knife inside. Just so happens! Then she stabs the killer repeatedly, then knocks him/her out of the attic, then...the killer opens his eyes. DUN DUN DUN!-MOVIEOVER.
Also, the twist doesn't really make sense, given what happens in the prologue, and Ms. Slaters scene in the attic when Vicki's having sex downstairs. The way these two scenes are filmed is a cheat!
One last thing-How does Ms. Slater even die?! The gun was emptied, then loaded with blanks. How the hell did a live round get in there? Assuming a bullet was even what killed her. It's not exactly clear.
This isn't a very complex or original slasher film, but House on Sorority Row is still worth at a watch...