Saturday, December 4, 2010

"House on Sorority Row"(1982)d/Mark Rosman

I'm not embarrassed to admit I tuned in to Young and the Restless back in the eighties,the soap opera boasted of one of the hottest brawdz to ever slink across a set in one Eileen Davidson.Eric Braeden must have whistled all the way to work every day knowing he was getting paid big bucks to make out with such a delectable dish with millions of envious motherfuckers(include the kid over here in that equation)across the country watching,or maybe I'm the only guy who watched.Rule number one in harmonious interaction with she-demons is:Thou shalt always give thine arm candy her soap operas,and if you can even sit through them with her without falling asleep or projectile vomiting at the ridiculous plots,well yeah,they dig that,too.Y and R had a lot of yank-worthy dames in its cast like Tracey Bregman,Melody Thomas Scott,Jess Walton,and Sharon Case(especially.),but Eileen was always top shelf eye-cooze,dating back to her performance in tonight's review,a top notch dirty/bad girl,in one of the slasher sub-genre's finer moments,which we're gonna talk about once I put my nostalgic tongue back in my head,eventually.
Tonight's feature,written and directed by Rosman,may resemble a carbon copy of so many other slashers in the eighties on paper,but the revenge-driven formula translates to success on the big screen;Sorority was shot for a little over four hundred grand in Baltimore,Md,and returned over ten million at the box office,ultimately earning it a universally loathed remake with Rumer Willis,in 2009.Don't waste your time with "re-imaginings" unless they were made in 1982 and had John Carpenter in the director's chair,is what I'm saying here.You'd be right as dodgers in checking out this movie though,it coherently delivers some solid genre moments,some interesting offings,and makes for a good time overall.Probably in my top ten eighties slasher movies of all-time.I'm gonna have to think about that one...expect an upcoming list.Forward towards...
Any dumb blonde joke would fit here perfectly,really.Slap in your favorite.
Mrs. Slater(a dubbed Lois Kelso Hunt)is an elderly cane-wielding house mother to a sorority full of practical she-jokers,who line up a real knee-slapper for her after she interrupts Vicki's waterbed-based condom-wrapped quickie with her boyfriend and in a rage suspends their upcoming graduation party.The girls goad graduated alum Katey(Kate McNeil)into scaring the old woman with a pistol full of blanks.Hilarity ensues when Vicki shoots the bitch with a real bullet,accidentally killing her.Naturally,she talks her fellow sorority sisters into hiding the body in the swimming pool and going ahead with their party plans instead of calling an ambulance or the police,and putting a damper on their upcoming evening.You know,that oughta work out just fine for them so long as no one saw them snuff the woman's candle.Yeah,somebody just happened to.Cue up a chilly plate of blood-soaked revenge, just the way you like it.As if having to listen to 4 Out Of 5 Doctors play crappy music at the party all night wasn't bad enough.One of the guests wanders around the pool outside,earning them a shiv through the throat with Slater's cane o' doom before getting dragged off.Stevie gets sent down to the fuse box,to eliminate the possibilities of anyone drunkenly throwing the pool lights on and discovering the dead senior citizen floating in it,but she's cane-shanked to death in the process.Meanwhile,Katey is pretty unreceptive to her Wonder Bread date,using the old "I dig you,but my friends and I have this murder to cover up tonight" excuse.
So that's why Tourette's Guy wears that damned neckbrace all the time...
Then Mrs. Slater's cadaver goes missing,prompting Vicki to boss the other chicks into easter egg hunting for the blasted thing,mid-party,which they stumble upon up in the attic.How'd it get up there I wonder.Morgan,the dumbest of blondes(and worst of the actresses in the movie),has a corpse fall on her in Slater's room,then takes an obligatory cane-shank to the labonza while hiding in her own quarters.Diane eats it in her van,waiting for the others,and edgy nerd Jeannie barely escapes a run in with the mystery killer herself,only to get herself beheaded in the bathroom after running into Katey,who's found children's toys in the attic during her search.Whose could those be,I wonder.Vicki and Liz push Slater's lifeless form to the graveyard in a dumpster,but after a close call with the local constabulary,end up eating rainy cane-inflicted retributive life removal under the cover of night.After the party ends,Katey sends her date home,and calls a contact number from the gate chain,resulting in a visit from Dr. Beck,who discovers the growing number of student bodies in the search for Mrs. Slater.He slips the young girl a mickey,explaining that Slater had a son(!) named Eric who,not only was horribly disfigured(!!),but also suffered from severe mental deficiencies(!!!) and lived in the attic all along,and had most probably seen the girls accidentally kill his mother from the upstairs window.The doctor plans to use the drugged girl as bait to lure Jason Voorhees' more flamboyantly garbed cousin(he's dressed as a harlequin for some reason)into the line of fire of a well-placed tranq dart.In a Nelson Muntz HAH-hah moment,He hits Pete instead,and pays for it with his life,getting taken to pieces and flipped over the staircase by the homicidal jester-clown for his troubles.The final sorority girl v. psycho mong square off takes place in the attic,with Katey stabbing Eric through the attic hatch-door,as he falls,apparently lifeless,to the floor below.Katey,relieved to be through with the ordeal,lets the sedatives take hold and falls asleep on the attic floor.Below,Eric's eye opens.Who saw that coming?By 1982,probably everybody.
I've gotten a little head by the toilet,but this is ridiculous.
After Sorority,Rosman continued directing,mostly television and some forgettable full-length feature fodder along the way.Kate McNeil,who played Katey,has continued working in television like The Mentalist and Law and Order:Los Angeles.The sexy Davidson remains a soap staple in 2010,where she's found steady work since 1986.As I was saying earlier,this one's not to be missed if you enjoy a good slasher movie,it has all the essentials in place and holds up pretty damned well in a sub-genre as oversaturated as this one.I'll probably tackle the "re-imagining" for a laugh at some point,but don't hold your breath.Sorority winds up the jack-in-the-box and out pop two solid wops on the ratings scale.See it.
She's about to fall for the ol' "Deformed Psycho-tard-in-a-harlequin-costume" trick.That's the oldest one in the book!


Morgan said...

Love the House on Sorority Row, but I really think they could have gave the dumbass another name. Just sayin'.

beedubelhue said...

I'm in total agreement witcha Morgan,in fact I was gonna point out that the only Morgan I knew was extremely witty and clever in the entry,but I figured you'd come to your own defense!


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