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Film Review: Blood Sisters (1987)

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SYNOPSIS:

Seven girls must spend the night in an old house, which once was a brothel, as part of an initiation.

REVIEW:

While odd and choppy overall, Blood Sisters delivers well in the arena of campy acting. I have to make a confession, though, early on: around midway through this movie, I did begin fantasizing about a realm, where the word “Exploitation film” doesn’t really mean “Movie That Really Sucks!”  Considering this, I might’ve missed a smidge of the story’s overall flow, but I don’t think there was much “flow” to be had anyway, so no worries there!  Honestly,  the campiness in this one imbues a certain endearing magnetism about the film, but frankly, I might’ve just gotten caught up in the 80’s hair styles.

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The gist of the story goes something like this: We lead off with an idyllic moment of treetops and birds singing to quickly find a young boy and girl standing on the front porch of a house. With no meaningful warning, the girl slaps the boy and begins yelling at him, insulting him for not having a father and decidedly calling him ‘pervert’ in a profoundly annoying fashion.

Shortly after this, we get a first person camera view shot (so overworked in the 80’s), ostensibly depicting the little boy, walking into his own home, which we quickly come to realize is a brothel (and business is booming!)  There’s some generally stupid, but brief dialogue and then a violent event occurs. We’re quickly catapulted to present day (remember, that means 1987) and quickly meet a group of fraternity girls, from nearby Edmonson College.  It becomes readily apparent that these girls have been challenged by sorority sisters to enter the brothel (long out-of-business by now, you see) and spend the night there on what turns out to be an equally boring and confusing scavenger hunt kinda-thing. That whole business probably read great in a script, but trust me….it didn’t play too well.  If that whole premise weren’t enough, the introduction of a prostitute ghost here and there was certainly meant to really light up this little flick.

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Mountains of wretched, meandering dialogue, none of which goes anywhere to be interesting don’t come close to saving this one. The film’s director, Roberta Findlay is a colorful raconteur, I am assured; and when it came time to deliver in the sleaze department, she certainly tried hard. There’re only a few tidbits of flesh here-and-there and even then, it’s often delivered in a bizarre, if not boring, manner. You can already guess the part(s) that steal about 35 minutes of your life in this film: yep, early on, somebody wanders off, then they’re noticed missing.

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Oh no! We have to find her! This tired method of giving the killer knife-fodder was already overused by 1987, but that didn’t stop anyone here. So, a few people are slowly picked off harem-scarem. The film does get a minor nod for working in the clever idea of some of the friendly frat guys from the same college, filling the house with booby-traps and pranks to scare the girls. That played fairly well and some of those bits get pretty dangerous (don’t want to spoil them for you, though). One completely random aside here: around the end of the 2nd act, one of the girls finds herself in the house’s kitchen. Over about the next few minutes, we see the killer’s knife slowly enter the frame, and hover just inches away from the girl, but never stabs here.  It’s so absurd, it plays like comedy but it was supposed to be scary. It’s been awhile since I just laughed out loud at a gag like that!

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Production-wise, the sets looked pretty good overall. The audio was strange and the actors frequently sounded far away (a solid sign of poor microphone placement). In preparing for this review, I learned the only “special release” DVD available for this film actually features the only known sit-down interview with the director known to exist anywhere! That might make it worth picking up; heaven knows, the film itself doesn’t. I’m sorry to say, that I’ve become so engulfed in horror tropes that when I read the poster’s tag line, “Their hazing will be a night to dismember,” I knew right away this one would be painful. Combine that, with some 80’s synthesizer sewage and this is ‘bad’ at its best! Overall, I give it 2 out of 5 coffins.

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