Several applicants vie for the coveted title of sisterhood into a prestigious fraternity. On a remote island, Grizzly Bay the girls attend a rigorous weekend of interviews, competitions and initiation. En route to the island a police captain’s daughter has gone missing Detective Watt’s is assigned to watch over the estranged girl. One bizarre circumstance unfolds after another once arriving in the ill-fated Grizzly Falls. Will Detective Watts be able to unravel the insanity ensued on the island or will havoc reign supreme in Sorority Party Massacre?
Directed By: Chris W Freeman, Justin Jones
Starring: Marissa Skell, Ed O’Ross, Eve Mauro, Yvette Yates, Thomas Downey, Casey Fitzgerald, Rebecca Grant, Kevin Sorbo, Richard Moll, Leslie Easterbrook, Ron Jeremy
I think what I love most about exploitation type flicks is the preconceived notion that is associated with the genre and it’s given title. Many a diamond in the rough can be found within the annals of these films. The bar has been set so low in terms of expectations we’re often delightfully surprised when a bona fide chiller is unleashed unto sensory overload.
Sorority Party Massacre is no exception. The very campy title evokes thoughts of T&A cheesy dialogue that is borderline unbearable if not for the smorgasbord of beautiful, scantily (if not completely void) dressed women. The director duo of Freeman and Jones without question is targeting the eighteen to thirty five male demographic. I must confess I was most intrigued by what this film had to offer beyond the initial credits.
The cinematography is cutting edge and will offer tremendous allure to captivate a wide audience. It appears as if the color has been compromised intentionally to give an overall gritty, slightly dull look horror aficionados had become accustomed to in the mid-seventies to early eighties. The overall presentation offers a somewhat avant-garde to grind house type films of the same era. It conceives a mood of ethereal and creepiness at the same time maintaining a very subtle nuance unto the viewership.
I particularly enjoyed the split screen dynamics utilized in editing to illustrate one, two or in some cases three separate emotions from separate characters and locales. This is a most effective tool used in the exploitation era and resurrected by one Tarrantino since Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill. It’s film making innovation, thinking outside of the box that thankfully has not been over used or ripped off by inferior production houses.
The cast is an interesting contrast of Kevin Sorbo, Richard Moll, Ron Jeremy and Leslie Easterbrook. Sorbo of course you’ll remember most fondly from the Hercules television series who has been cropping up more and more in B-rated thrillers and horror films as of late. He played Abraham Lincoln in the hilarious FDR American Bad Ass. This time around he plays a ‘hard-nosed’ police captain with an estranged teen aged daughter. Moll who you may remember from the eighties late night comedy sitcom Night Court a water taxi driver. His scenes are brief but contribute a great deal of segue suspense unto the audience. It’s terrific to see Jeremy flex another muscle aside from his infamous appendage. Fresh from cardiac recovery, I for one am grateful to celebrate his role within this film rather than remembering a xxx icon fondly. The Hedgehog shows no signs of letting up soon and its thrilling to see him spread his crossover wings. Leslie Easterbrook plays the head mistress of the sorority. You may remember Easterbrook from countless classics or films slightly more recent such as The Devil’s Rejects and Rob Zombie’s Halloween. The bevy of beauties that star as the sorority’s applicants are extra easy on the eyes and will appease the testosterone fuelled demographic without question.
The wide contrast in musical score from thunderous bass lines laced with hip hop to theatrical classical orchestras to contemporary rock evokes a broad range of mood and setting. A wide range will undoubtedly appeal to a larger audience yet is sensitive enough not to be distracting or hinder the overall presentation of the film.
Acting for the most part is above par or better than expected. Some of the dialogue among the sorority sisters is slightly contrived but to be expected. It’s not a deal breaker for maximum enjoyment of the film. We anticipate at least a little tongue in cheek involvement in such titles and even on a subconscious level welcome the notion.
The plot twists are interesting and even the most dedicated horror fans will not see certain detours as they arrive. I felt the story could’ve been wrapped up in less time than an hour and forty minutes. Trimming down the final product would appease a generally short attention spanned audience. The death scenes are unique and bring something new to the table most of us haven’t gotten tired of seeing in similar genre films.
Overall worth a look for fans of slasher fan fare
-Three out of five tombstones
Sorority Party Massacre (2012)