Sunday, May 7, 2006

The House on Sorority Row (1983)

The wonderful Jason and Hunter of The Terror Trap highly recommend The House on Sorority Row and liken it to a favorite movie of mine, Black Christmas. While I still like Black Christmas better, The House on Sorority Row is an effective slasher flick with a pretty strong story and performances.

The senior sorority sisters have graduated, and now they are packing up and leaving the college and their strict housemother behind. It seems their housemother, Mrs. Slater, has been quite the pain in their bum these past four years. So, even though the prospect of leaving her forever is tantalizing, the seniors decide to stay a few extra days to throw one last party and irk Mrs. Slater one last time.

Mrs. Slater is peeved to the max when she finds the girls celebrating with champagne...she wants them out at once! Every year she kicks everyone out by June 19th and this year she definitely wants everyone out. She talks with her doctor, who wants her under medical care...seems something is a little off-kilter with Mrs. Slater.

Later that night, one of the girls, Vicki, decides to break in her new graduation present (a waterbed) with her boyfriend. Mrs. Slater is up in the attic at the time, amongst toys and children's things, but she still hears them. She rips into the waterbed with her cane, puncturing it and getting Vicki steaming mad. Vicki threatens to get back at her, and oh boy does she ever...

The next morning, the girls plot to pull a prank on Mrs. Slater. Planning and decorating for their killer party also continues. Meanwhile, Mrs. Slater's doctor looks at her x-rays, stating that the trauma she suffered giving childbirth (the first scene that implies she has lost her child) might cause her to snap at any time.

The day of the party, the girls coax Mrs. Slater out by the murky pool and draw a supposedly empty gun on her. She is mistakenly shot, and the girls panic and decide to dump her in the pool.

Needless to say, the girls get killed one by one, all getting stabbed by someone with Mrs. Slater's cane.

I liked how the movie didn't use stereotypical sorority sisters but instead went for variety. The girls were all pretty average looking and each had their own personality. I also liked the changes of scenery. While the sorority house is the main location, the movie uses various other locations as well. The killer's identity, while suspected, is hidden pretty effectively from the audience. At various times, I thought the killer was Mrs. Slater, the blind date of one of the girls, Mrs. Slater's doctor or Mrs. Slater's son. I could not have definitively decided who the killer was before the credits rolled. That was another thing, the beautifully abrupt ending. The audience sees the killer is still alive (unknown to our heroine) but then the credits roll. I loooove those kind of endings! The tension throughout the flick built up pretty well. Ok, ok, not to mention the BAND that plays at the sorority party...oh man what a way to relieve tension!! See it, they are hilarious.

See it cuz I don't want to write anymore -- all I need to say is DECAPITATED HEAD IN A TOILET...

Order it on Amazon!

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