The House On Sorority Row

· June 28, 2004

The old lady is GLOWING!!!!1!
Talent was, in fact, off limits.

I'm not sure when slasher flicks featuring sorority girls became a clich?, but I'd believe that it was at the very moment writer/director Mark Rosman penned the first scene of this slice of 80's horror.

The plot is, well, a slasher movie plot. College girls on the eve of graduation accidentally bump off their weird sorority house mother in a prank gone wrong, which they were playing as revenge for her forbidding them to have a party. You see, the party was on the day that she closed the house every year for weird and spooky reasons. Unfortunately, the body disappears and one by one the girls are taken out, all while their hep party funks it's way through the night.

The eighties pervades this film like aquanet in big hair. The band that plays at the graduation party appears to be based around the concept of taking something from every single succesful group of the early 80s and mashing them together in one bemulleted supergroup. Scientists in the future will be able to precisely date items by comparing them to what appears in this movie, and I suspect that from a very early age, babies will instinctively be able to determine that the film was made in '83. All the standard college types are there, including the obligatory humourous fat guy, moronic jocks, and campus security guard. On the other hand, there's also a disembodied head placed (fairly randomly) in a toilet, so it's not all bad.

One of the pleasures of these kind of movies is what it's stars went on to do after their roles propelled them to success. Of the cast that had a further career in the movies, star Kate McNeil worked on 2001 Carey classic Glitter, which means at least this isn't the worst film she was ever in. Non surving sisiter Jane Kozak got to excercise her lungs again in Arachnophobia, and possibly in Ron Howard classic Parenthood. Still, at least it's not Glitter.

This is, above all, is a horror movie, and if you can ignore the mostly wooden acting, predictable scripting and utter eighties-ness through the majority of the film, then the conclusive chase between the killer and remaining sorority girl is actually pretty good, even though the killer seems to have the ability (admittedly fairly common in these kind of movies) to walk through walls. There are some good bits of atmosphere and tension, and it leaves you with a much better impression of the movie than it probably deserves (still not a very good impresison, but even so).

Overall, without this movie and movies like it we probably wouldn't have scream, and without scream we wouldn't have scream 2, and without scream 2 we wouldn't have the pleasure of seeing Jerry O'Connell die painfully. That, for me, is enough.