Total Pageviews

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sorority House Massacre

      By 1986, slashers were on their way out.  However, the influence of "Halloween" was still being seen, and "Sorority House Massacre" was a memorable entry in the dying slasher genre.  "A Nightmare On Elm Street" had introduced a new trend in fantasy/horror, and this film curiously combines elements of both that and "Halloween". It was marketed as part of the Massacre Collection, and makes a great double feature with "The Slumber Party Massacre".

     "Sorority House Massacre" tells the story of Beth, a rather butch college gal who's just moved into a new sorority and happens to be suffering from some nasty bad dreams and visions.  Mainly of some weird dolls and a strange man with a knife.  Beth left school for a bit to attend the funeral of her aunt, and comes back to an almost empty sorority (most of the sorority girls are away on a trip for the weekend).  And of course, in time-honored slasher fashion, an escaped mental patient has just escaped from the nearby asylum.  Yes.

     I mentioned "Halloween" earlier because this film has been widely criticized for being too much like John Carpenter's classic slasher.  It is.  The killer escapes, comes to town in a station wagon, stops by a hardware store, and goes back to his old house where he killed his family years earlier. Really.  And to top it off, he's hunting his surviving sister, who is unaware of her family history.  All that's missing here is Donald Pleasance running around, and well, everything that made "Halloween" so great in the first place.  Now don't get me wrong.  I love me some "Sorority House Massacre", but for different reasons than "Halloween".  Carpenter made a piece of art- an undying and influential classic.  This is not art, nor a classic.  It's pretty generic and unmemorable, actually.  But, like so many horror movies from the 70s and 80s, it's such a good time to be had that I find it irresistible.

     It's perfectly reasonable not to expect a classic when you're talking about one of those many nondescript and formulaic slashers from the dying days of the genre.  But don't let that stop you from watching this one.  Generally known as a rather anemic but oddly fascinating slasher from the late 80s, it's also known for having Carol Frank (director of "Slumber Party Massacre) directing it.  It's got some pretty good cinematography, some rather cool and kinda creepy dream sequences, some bitchin' 80s fashions, and a pretty decent score.

     On the other hand, you've got some downright bad acting, a bland killer, and a totally pointless yet downright hilarious montage of a bunch of sorority girls who pop in a cassette tape and try on each other's clothes. It's the fashion show from Hell, and it's totally rad.  Oh and this is the only slasher I can think of that has somebody murdered in a wigwam.  Don't ask- just watch!  While "Sorority House Massacre" offers up its fair share of gratuitous nudity, the film does offer up some surprising male nudity as well.  Fair is fair.  It's typical 80s lunacy, but for this genre, you could do so much worse.  It's nowhere near as sleazy as it's made out to be.  I like this movie- as bad as it is.  I like it a lot.  I also very much liked "The Slumber Party Massacre". It's a total guilty pleasure, and sure does hit the spot.  I'm irresistibly drawn to these movies- I can't explain it.  I just am.  All in all it was a helluva lot of fun watching this one.

No comments:

I in no way claim ownership of any image or video used on this blog.