The House on Sorority Row (1983)

Director: Mark Rosman (1983)
Starring: Kate McNeil, Eileen Davidson, Janis Ward, Robin Meloy
Find it online: IMDB, Amazon UK, Amazon US

Exactly like Black Christmas, except it isn’t Christmas and there’s no Lois Lane. Also: interminable disco scenes ala Prom Night, and a Michael Myers-lite killer, complete with a budget Doc Loomis and hysteria-overloaded Laurie. Thankfully: breasts and beheadings to make things more tolerable.

Living in the titular* sorority house, seven student girls decide to have themselves a party to celebrate their graduation. Only house mother Mrs. Slater (a blatant Mama Voorhees wannabe) is proves to be a right grumpy-pants and storms about the house, bursting the girls’ water-beds and shouting a lot. The girls decide to teach Slater a lesson, pulling a prank on the poor biddy. When said prank involves a gun and a swimming pool, you know it’s all gonna end in tears. Unfortunately, their accidental murder happens to coincide with the party they had planned. Can't cancel the band. The booze has already been bought. Sink the dead body; there's a party to be had.

The House on Sorority Row
is about as derivative as 1980s’ slasher movies can get. Every cliche imaginable is in there, accompanied by a few more for good measure. You'll be able to predict who gets killed when and where, and you'll even know when to expect the fake-out shocks. The fake-out shocks, in fact, are usually followed by fakey-looking deaths, complete with blood several shades too red, and plastic-looking limbs.

The characters are all one-note idiots, portrayed by mostly incapable actresses. (Probably) virginal Kathryn couldn't be any more signposted as the movie's Final Girl. The killer is rubbish too, using a pointed walking stick as his murder weapon of choice. But hey; there's a lot of boobs in this movie.

With that in mind, any merits are either ironic or directed by your penis. There are plenty of scenes with the girls either naked or in their nightwear, and a bunch more that are laughable in their sheer rubbishness. The high points: a girl's decapitated head left in a toilet bowl. Anything involving nudity. A lot of ridiculousness involving a dead body, a swimming pool, a roll of carpet and a dumpster. The low points: mostly everything, but shut up and look at the boobies.

There are a couple of bits that work well, and it really throws you off. The final scenes see Kathryn drugged out of her eyeballs. There's a bit with a clown, too, and it makes the killer actually seem quite scary. But then he goes and spoils it all by falling down a fucking ladder.

The House on Sorority Row is, overall, a bit of a shitty movie. But when I say that, I mean it in the very best way. Like the similarly naff Prom Night, it gets by on old fashioned sleaze and high-camp silliness. Plus: a decapitated head in a toilet.

* Tee-hee. Tit. Tits feature quite heavily in this movie and this review.

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