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The House on Sorority Row

USA 1982
produced by
John G. Clark, Mark Rosman, Thomas W. McMahon (executive), John Ponchock (executive) for VAE Productions
directed by Mark Rosman
starring Kate McNeil, Eileen Davidson, Janis Zido (= Janis Ward), Robin Meloy, Harley Jane Kozak, Jodi Draigie, Ellen Dorsher, Lois Kelso Hunt, Christopher Lawrence, Michael Kuhn, Michael Sergio, Ruth Walsh, Ed Heath, Jean Schertler, Larry Singer, Carlos Sério, 4 Out of 5 Doctors, Peter McClung, Brian T. Small, Alan Treadwell, Kenny Myers, Ruth Moss, Hilary Crowson, Nanna Ingvarsson, Arthur Crockett, Tom Bothwell, Van Saantvord, Kathryn Davidov, Celeste Poirier, Patti Chambers, Eric Smith, Karl B. Bromwell
written by Mark Rosman, additional dialogue by Bobby Fine, music by Richard Band, special effects by Rob E. Holland

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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For the last for years, sorority house mother Mrs. Slater (Lois Kelso Hunt) has been the bane of college girls Katie (Kate McNeil), Vicky (Eileen Davidson), Liz (Janis Zido), Jeanie (Robin Meloy), Diane (Harley Jane Kozak), Morgan (Jodi Draigie) and Stevie (Ellen Dorsher), but now that she forbids them to have their end-of-year party, it's the end of the line for the girls, and they decide to play her a cruel prank - a prank during which Vicki (Eileen Davidson) pulls a gun that wasn't supposed to be loaded, but sadly enough is, and rather by mistake than design, Mrs. Slater is shot dead. Now Katie immediately wants to call the police, but the others are against it, figuring it would only ruin their lives, so instead they sink Mrs. Slater's body in the murky waters of their sorority house's uncleaned pool, for the time being, intending to bury her at a later date.

It's the end-of-year party, and the girls haven't yet found the time to bury Mrs. Slater's body, and as such things go, somebody turns on the pool lights - and to the girls' biggest surprise and relief, the body's gone. But this bit of news soon becomes the source for even bigger worry, if the body's gone, where is it, who took it, and ghasp, might Mrs. Slater actually be still alive? And if she's alive, might she not be on the angry side and plot revenge. And of course, one by one, the girls start disappearing - with only the audience knowing they're murdered at first -, until it's only Katie who's left alive. Somewhere, Katie finds the number of Mrs. Slater's doctor Beck (Christopher Lawrence), and he's quick to come over upon her call. Thing is, Doc Beck isn't your everyday physician but a scientist who has conducted some fertilization experiments on Mrs. Slater that have gone horribly wrong. The good thing about this is that other than Katie he knows exactly what they're dealing with - the bad thing though is he won't tell Katie and has his own agenda, an agenda that includes risking Katie's life ...

 

Now watching this movie, one can't but notice the influence from other then contemporary slashers, first and foremost Halloween, as the film follows the slasher formula pretty closely without allowing itself too many deviations. But what makes The House on Sorority Row totally worthwhile is that it puts an emphasis on suspense, and by adding some rudimentary mystery (something that many slashers including Halloween are rather devoid of) it makes the story as such tenser, especially since the mystery's gradual resolution only leads to more horrors. So this is really a film that might do the trick for you, not only if you're into early 80s slasher entertainment.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD