Friday, January 8, 2010

The House on Sorority Row (1983)

After Lizzard wrote I review, I had to do the same. So I popped in my dvd and rewatched one of my favorite slashers of the eighties. As usual there's nothing new, and as Lizzard remarks in his text, there's some serious inspiration drawn from Black Christmas - more than I remembered. I prefer The House on Sorority Row though, because just is such a perfect eighties slasher.

Seven sorority sisters is staying a few days extra at their house to have a party and celebrate their graduation. The old, bitch and crippled housemother don't approve of this though, but is killed during prank and the girls as NO OTHER SOLUTION than to just hide her body in the pool. Why not. They could just say she got a heart attack and fell in the pool - end of story. But we don't want the end of the story yet! 

Because they're stupid the decide to hold the party anyway, but soon realize that someone is killing them one by one! Is the housemother who's back from the dead? Is it one of the girls... or is it someone that lives in the attic...?

Yes, the main idea is so stupid. For example, they shoot blanks and the housemother dies (?) of the shock. To hide her body in the pool and go on with their life is such a big piece of cheesy logical hole that it almost irritated me. But no, I'm not falling into that trap. The rest of the movie is so entertaining and filled with tension that I can live with logical mindfucks like that. Most of the actresses are great, especially Kate McNeil in the lead. Lois Kelso Hunt, who plays the housemother, is perfect and the rest of the cast ranges from okey to good. The director, Mark Rosman, also has a talent for telling a story without any fancy effects. This feels like a seventies movie, but with uglier fashion. Much of the time is also spent on the characters, which is good because there's people to care about when the killings start.

The murders. Not really that gory, but kinda graphic and well made. Probably a bit trimmed on order from MPAA, but they the overall effect is still there. They feel painful anyway, there's a few nasty moments of blood and gore. Sometime the effect-work feels more ambitious than it had to, why (for example) do you need a whole fake head to impale someones throat? Maybe more stuff was cut out? Well, I can live with how the movie is today - and it also has some nice pop music by 4 Out of 5 Doctors.

It's not a masterpiece, but it's still a great little slasher with enough blood and impalings to satisfy everyone.


mamoulian said...

I have to see this again, to refresh my memory. I believe I thought it was surprisingly good compared to some other of its peers. But, as you say, not a masterpiece...

Anonymous said...

This a little gem in the Slashergenre. But my favourite is the Prowler.

Samuel Wilson said...

Dear Ninja Dixon: You've been recognized as "One Lovely Blog" at Mondo 70: A Wild World of Cinema. Congratulations on a superior site!

Ninja Dixon said...

The Prowler is magnificent! I'm planning to watch it during the next couple of days!

Samuel: Thank you so much! It's my first award EVER, so I'm very proud now!