Sorority House Massacre / Sorority House Massacre II (Double

Editors' review

February 16, 2017

Download Sorority House Massacre / Sorority House Massacre II (Double

Published on 09-21-2012 08:36 AM

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Released by: New Concorde

Released on: July 22, 2003.

Director: Carol Frank/Jim Wynorski

Cast: Angela Maegan O’Neill, Wendy Martel, Pamela Ross/Robyn Harris, Melissa Moore, Stacia Zhivago

Year: 1986/1990

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The Movie:

While this disc was originally released back in 2003, through a new deal with CAV distribution, a lot of the older New Concorde discs live again, and what better place to start with some coverage of these oldies but goodies than with a look at a pair of goofy, sleazy, sexy slashers made fast and cheap, just the way producer Roger Corman likes them!

Sorority House Massacre:

Directed by Carol Frank (her one and only directorial effort) in 1986 and made in an obvious attempt to cash in on the slasher craze that was lighting up the home video rental charts at the time, this film introduces us to four ‘college age’ girls who all move into a sorority house together – Beth (Angela Maegan O’Neill), Linda (Wendy Martel), Sara (Pamela Ross) and Tracy (Nicole Rio). Beth is a little more hesitant about this than the other three and seems less interested in getting randomly naked and trying on bad eighties fashions than her three friends because she’s been having some strange dreams lately that seem to tie into the house and which involve a lot of people getting murdered by a strange killer.

Well, as luck would have it, Angela was actually the only survivor of a family massacre some years back. She’s blocked it from her memories but it all soon comes flooding back to her when the killer escapes and comes back to the house to finish the job. And wouldn’t you know it, the house just happens to be the very same building that the four girls have moved into? Thankfully there are various dopey boyfriends running around, one of them with no pants at one point, to get murdered first, and then there’s Beth’s shrink, Dr. Lindsey (Gillian Frank)…

A strange mix of Slumber Party Massacre and Halloween, Sorority House Massacre takes about thirty to forty minutes to really get going but once it does, it’s fun. It never approaches good, mind you, but it’s fun in that way that only bad, low budget eighties slashers can be. The movie never overstays its welcome and offers up enough dopey humor and naked ladies to help pass the time, and a few of the kill scenes are handled reasonably well. There isn’t much in the way tension until the last few minutes and you won’t have any trouble figuring out who is going to die but this is a fine entry into anyone’s slasher collection. The performances are nothing to write home about and O’Neill’s character isn’t asked to do a whole lot more than run around looking scared but she does that well enough even if the scene where she’s ‘hypnotized’ by her shrink is more laughable than it is dramatic.

Sorority House Massacre II:

Made quite a few years later, Sorority House Massacre II, directed by Corman regular Jim Wynorski, is horrible and it knows it. Once again, we get a group of girls – Linda (Gail Harris), Jessica (Melissa Moore), Kimberly (Stacie Zhivago), Suzanne (Barbii) and Janey (Dana Bentley) – who move into a house together. Apparently they picked up the rundown old ‘Hokstedter Place’ cheap because it has a past, it was the site of some brutal murders some years back. This doesn’t seem to stun the girls, however, as before you know it they’ve crammed in and are running around in some of the tackiest eighties lingerie you’ve ever laid your poor bloodshot eyes on.

Though the movers aren’t due until the next day, the girls are only too happy to spend the night and hang out goofing around and drinking. They soon learn that they have a weird neighbor named Orville Ketchum (Peter Spellos) who likes to peer in windows. He tells them the story about the house’s past (in which the guy from Slumber Party Massacre has shown up and is killing everyone) and after he’s done with that, various ladies shower. From there, they goof around with a Ouija board and before you know it, bathtubs are filling up with blood, meat sammiches are being made and people are dying. Oh and at one point, dead porn star Savannah shows up.

This one recycles almost as much footage from Slumber Party Massacre as it uses new footage, and the whole thing is completely ridiculous. It moves at a good pace and definitely has a fun ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ attitude that makes it fun to watch, even if it will more than likely leave you wondering just what the Hell is going on. A sub plot involving two police officers goes nowhere and you really wind up confused by all of this more than anything else. The girls are all in their late twenties or early thirties and don’t look like sorority girls at all and the cops claim to get a call for help from a house with no working phone (and this was made before cell phones were an everyday thing).

Video/Audio/Extras:

Both films are presented in their original fullframe aspect ratio and aren’t quite as pristine as you might want and appear to be taken from old video masters. With that said, they’re perfectly watchable, even if some of the dark scenes are a little too dark and even if detail isn’t on par with newer transfers. Colors are a little washed out, but there aren’t any serious print damage issues. The picture quality here is nothing to get excited about, but it’ll do until (or more likely if) better versions ever come along.

Audio chores are handled by Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks for both movies and the quality here matches the video – unexciting but passable. You won’t have any trouble understanding the dialogue and the levels are properly balanced. Things definitely lean towards the flat side, however.

Extras are slim, limited to trailers for the features, trailers for a few other New Concorde releases, cast biographies, static menus and chapter selection.

The Final Word:

If the quality of the DVD seems like the kind you’d get ten years ago, that’s because this disc is basically ten years old. Mild technical gripes aside, however, these two low budget slashers are a lot of good mindless fun. Chock full of babes, boobs and blood they might rely on genre conventions and stereotypes more than originality or creative filmmaking but they deliver pretty much exactly what you’d want them to. Turn off your brain and enjoy…