Saturday, September 8, 2012

The House On Sorority Row (1983)

 If there is one thing about college that I just don't understand, it is the Greek system. Yes, I'm talking about the fraternity/sorority life style. What the fuck is the point of it anyways?  I just don't get why people would want to go through several weeks of Hell just to prove themselves to be Greek material.  I understand that the Greeks have the wildest parties packed with horny sorority chicks.   It's like back in High School when guys joined the football team and the girls joined cheerleading to fit in with the "cool" crowd. What the Hell is the point? The only way that you're getting my ass there is if the girls are topless or having a wet T-shirt contest.  But, one thing I will do is watch the '80s sorority slasher flick, The House On Sorority Row. Why? Because it's just so much fun. They are sisters for life and sisters in DEATH!

      The sisters that live on Sorority Row are planning to have their graduation party at the sorority house. That is until their house mother, Mrs. Slater, tells them no. Slater catches Vicki and her boyfriend having sex in the sorority house and pops the water bed with her trusty cane. Pissed off, Vicki talks the other sisters into playing a prank on their old grouchy house mother that ends with them accidentally killing her. Scared of getting into trouble, the sisters hide Mrs. Slater's corpse in the pool.  On the night of their graduation party however, a mysterious killer begins to murder the sorority sisters one by one.

        The House On Sorority Row is one of the hundreds of slasher films to come out during the '80s with the success of Halloween and Friday The 13th. I think what sets this one apart from the others is that it centers more on mystery and being creepy where the others centered on just gore and nudity.   Now, while I like my gore and nudity, mysteries always peak my interest and leave me wanting to know what's going to happen next.  This film is very similar to Prom Night in dealing with an accident leading to death, the group keeps it a secret, and then it comes back to bite them in the ass because someone knows what they did. That someone gets revenge by murdering the group one by one.  So, while the story isn't exactly original, it still draws me into what's going on. It also helps that the film is well paced and keeps you entertained from beginning to end. The script by Mark Rosman while your standard slasher, is still an interesting story and an even more interesting situation. It keeps you thinking what you would do if you happened to fall into this horrible situation.

           The characters, while not fully developed except for the lead Katie and the bitchy Vicki, are still pretty humorous to watch. I believe the character that is developed the most is that of Mrs. Slater. We, the audience, know exactly why she is acting so mean to these girls. The woman had a miscarriage when originally she thought she couldn't conceive a child. To have a miracle happen and then to have that miracle taken away would obviously make someone either majorly depressed or like Mrs. Slater.  I also found the doctor character to be very interesting even if his part was small.

            The House On Sorority Row focuses more on suspense, tension, and mystery rather than the slasher usuals like I mentioned before. It still has a few breasts exposed and some decent gory sequences. The severed head in the toilet has got to be my favorite part of the movie.  I also really enjoyed the scene where the blonde is playing a music box and then gets impaled with the cane from behind.  We also get a scene where the cane slashes into a girl's throat. Pretty decent but minimal on the gore in this film.

           I was definitely digging the theme song that is played through out. It's a musical chime that comes from this little toy music box and is creepy as hell.  The other music was okay. I fucking hated the music played by that band at the graduation party though. I seriously wish that guy got his throat slashed to stop my ears from exploding.

         Mark Rosman does great in the director's chair. He gives the sorority house a very creepy atmosphere and inserts the music chime in all of the right places, keeping you a little on edge. I love the build up to some of the kills and especially love the part in the attic towards the end.  Just a nice job by Mr. Rosman.

           The acting had its ups and downs here. I really bought  Kate McNeil as the "final girl" Katie and Eileen Davidson as the bitchy Vicki. Lois Kelso Hunt did the best performance in the film as Mrs. Slater. Christopher Lawrence was decent as Dr. Beck. Everybody else was just okay. Nobody else really stood out to me aside from these four.


         Overall, The House On Sorority Row is  definitely worth a rental and a watch. Hell, I would even recommend a buy. Granted, I did kinda predict who the killer was about half-way through the movie, but it's still a suspenseful horror film nonetheless. I just love how misleading the poster art is since it looks more like a softcore porno than a slasher flick. Definitely recommendation. Welcome to the house on Sorority Row where nothing is off limits!


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