The House On Sorority Row
PLOT - Twenty years ago a wealthy woman unable to have children took part in an experimental test which resulted in a traumatic delivery. Years later the woman has turned her mansion into a massive sorority house, becoming the house mother. Every June 19th the anniversary of when she gave birth, she closes the house early never stating her reasons. This year a small group of girls graduating stay behind at the house hoping to throw one last big bash without letting the housemother know. After she discovers their plans she forbids them to have the party and tells them she wants them out by morning. Wanting to get back at her, the girls plan a good old fashion sorority prank. It isn't long before things get out of control and accidentally the housemother is killed. In complete panic, the girls know how much trouble they could get into and decide to hide the body until they can figure out what to do. Before anything can be done about what happened, the party guests arrive and the girls plan on trying to act natural until it's over. There an unseen killer begins stalking the girls at the party one by one. Is it the house mother? Or somebody who witnessed the murder?
LOWDOWN - I couldn't exactly tell you when I first saw House On Sorority Row. I believe I saw clips of it on the killer documentary Going To Pieces The Rise And Fall Of Slasher Films. I ended up I believe watching it when it came out on DVD and ended up loving it. I'm a huge fan of slashers, and this one fit the bill perfectly. It was filmed in 81, released in 83. Had an awesome setting, backstory, theme, deaths, and of course masked killer.
That same year I saw it the GOD AWFUL remake Sorority Row was released and even tho it had a cool poster, the movie itself blew.
Just last night I showed my friend this movie and it really hit me how cool of a slasher film it was. I love early 80's slasher films (Prom Night, Graduation Day, Funeral Home, Happy Birthday To Me, ect.) House On Sorority Row was a film that showed that this first time director truly had a passion for the movie he made. Sure there's some cheesy moments, the effects are pretty dated, and I think they really honestly should have gone with the original ending. Still, this had all the elements that made a great slasher.
It was stylish with it's editing (loved the scene where the lead is drugged and is tripping out and sees all her dead friends.) I loved the childish nursery theme that kept playing, and of course the killer's mask. I feel maybe with a few stronger actors, and effects this would have been one hell of a movie.
Is it the best slasher movie ever?
Is it very well done and much better than a lot of the others?
I think with the original ending they really could have even made a sequel with this. One thing I really didn't like tho was the killer's face. It seriously looked like a poorly made Halloween mask. Why not just cast a regular looking person? Who knows, (SPOILER ALERT) Eric could have been a famous killer in other sequels. With some laughable dubbing, this is a movie people can watch with a huge group of friends with a couple of beers. Got some memorable moments, and kills this is a great movie to add to your horror collection.
3 1/2 stars!