Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sorority House Massacre

(Editor's Note for Pervs: Neither of the people in this poster, or anyone who looks like them, ever appeared in this movie. Nor is there a final exam/quiz of any kind.)

If we told you that there was a movie out there that took the cast-offs of Revenge of the Nerds, combined them with snippets from the plots of better horror movies, and mixed it all together with whatever sharp implements hadn’t been taken by better (more iconic) maniacs, would you be as excited as we were to watch it? Probably not. But hey, this is a calling for us. Not some trumped up hobby. We leave it to science. Which must mean that it’s time for the nanobots to get deep into the Neapolitan focus group horror fest that is Sorority House Massacre.
  • Starting your horror movie with your own version of the Halloween music. = -8pts (-1pt for every year between your movie and the original Halloween.)
  • Apparently blood splatter sounds a lot like blowing up an asteroid from the arcade game Asteroids. = -2pts
  • “It must have all started the moment I entered the house.” A good sign that Beth, our heroine, has a grasp on the complete picture. = -1pts
  • Your sole survivor/narrator slowly walking up to the front door of a sorority house at night with crazy eyes. Call us crazy, but we think this story actually began many years ago. = -2pts
  • Soft-glo daylight dream effects courtesy of Elm St. productions. = +3pts
  • Wait, You live in this house? WTF, Beth?! = -3pts
  • So, apparently, Beth is still being nagged by some girl to join the sorority, who makes a compelling case for doing so by changing in front of her as opposed to, you know, pointing out the fact that Beth’s been living there for a while and should put up or shut up. = +2pts
  • Having a poster featuring a triptych of your “hot crushes” hanging in your dorm room. = +3pts
  • The center of the “hot crush” triptych being Sting circa Dune. = -5pts
  • Nothing says mounting terror like slow walking. = -2pts
  • Pre-00s Tech Alert: TVs you can put stuff on. = +8pts
  • So a dirty room and a broken jar of marbles are your big scares? Who’s your big bad, Macauly Culkin? = -3pts
  • Nope, it looks like the only big bad left in Hollywood is whomever you hired to carry the boom mike. = +5pts (For taking non-descript to a whole other level.)
  • To quote the great Clark Griswald, “First boobs in, first boobs murdered with a hunting knife.” = +2pts
  • Linda saves Cindy’s life by letting her borrow her jacket. We think, given the politics of this movie, letting her borrow her hyman would have been better. = +8pts (For at least making an effort.)
  • Beth could use some “major fun” this weekend. Too bad she fails Step 1: Dressing and acting like a woman in college. = -2pts
  • Using fake science and pseudo-psychology as padding for the first twenty minutes of your movie. = -5pts (We take science seriously.)
  • 1986: When all you had to do to be a lady doctor was look like an LA Gear model while wearing a pair of giant glasses. = +3pts
  • Carrying books to class. How quaint. = +3pts
  • We’re not sure if the guy in the insane asylum is crazy or starring in his own music video. = +4pts (Because both are great choices for a horror movie.)
  • Casting your drug dealers as orderlies for your low-budget horror movie. = +10pts (In any decade.)
  • Reading Cosmo in a horror movie instead of watching documentary… about death. = (In 1986, -3pts; In 2014, +10pts) +7pts
  • Beth pops a knifey (knife boner) in class and hopes nobody sees because that would be totally embarrassing. = +6pts
  • Setting you movie in a college around a sorority, when it is clear that you have never been to or experienced either. = +7pts (Because writing what you know is overrated.)
  • Nothing gets the old lady’s juices flowing quite like talk of dead kittens. = -3pts
  • Keeping your spare key in the basement. = -5pts
  • Operating a brain wave thingamabob that looks like a giant register from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. = +4pts
  • Twisted Sister sighting. = (In 1986, -5pts; In 2014, +6pts) +1pt
  • Nothing gives sorority girls an excuse to take their tops off quite like a roommate leaving her closet unattended! = -4pts (Because stealing is bad.)
  • Beth has no interest in trying on missing girl’s clothes because she is too busy looking like a boy and trying to hide her embarrassing mind boners. = -2pts
  • Wearing a Walkman while delivering food to a crazy person who murdered his family. The only thing worse than that would be to blithely turn you back and—oh, wait. Never mind. Moving on… = -2pts
  • “Look, the guy in your dream probably represents the opposite sex.” Really?! Fascinating analysis! Go on. “And, your butch haircut and steadfast insistence on only wearing pants, as well as your penchant for popping knife boners in class, probably means that your batshit crazy and we should all leave right now.” Really. Mmmm… = +2pts
  • Just when you thought everyone would be fine, Tracey opens the sorority house for massacre by inviting these guys over. = -5pts
  •  Being a white sorority girl who says, “It’s time to put some ‘wow’ in the “pow wow,” while standing in front of a life-sized replica of a Native American. We think the Native Americans were pretty good at adding their own pows to their wows, thank you very much. = -5pts
  • Escaped crazy person does his best Trevor impersonation and exploits the open world that is Sandy Shores, or wherever the hell this movie takes place. = +2pts
  • Laughing at a woman who’s just screamed as you and your guy buddies corner/sneak-up behind them. = -3pts
  • Just to reiterate. These guys. = -4pts
  • Dude makes reference to throwing a tee-pee party and nobody laughs, or tags it with “in our pants!” = -5pts (Failure all around.)
  • Watching a group of white “college kids” laugh as their tee-pee falls to the ground in front of a Native America statue. = -4pts (If this was Creepshow 2 you’d all be fucked.)
  • Beth “dating” a “guy” that looks exactly like her, thus inventing the now infamous game, Beth or Boyfriend. = +5pts
    • Beth?!
    • Or Boyfriend?
  • “He’s not missing. He’s gone.” You couldn’t have said it better if had you had said the same thing a different way. = +2pts
  • Having your maniac kill his parents using a…pickaxe! (You know, because machete, chef’s knife, axe, shovel, chainsaw, and lasers were already taken.) = -1pts
  • '80s phrase, “I’m sorry I wasn’t much fun tonight,” translated for 2014 means, “I’m sorry my webcam is broken so that we can’t film ourselves fucking this Native American statue for our sex blog. Maybe tomorrow.” = +2pts
  • Craig takes one to the nuts for the team…
…thus sacrificing his manhood briefly before the universe realigns itself and he decides to desecrate Chief Genocide’s teepee. = 0pts (+10pts for sacrificing his manstuff; -10pts for pervasive cultural insensitivity.)
  • Putting a fire out with baking soda. = +3pts
  • Treating an unearthed murder weapon with as much respect as you treat Native American culture. = -5pts
  • Letting a sorority girl hypnotize you in order to unlock—you know what, just letting a sorority girl hypnotize you in general.  = -3pts
  • In case you’ve ever wondered why all the best horror maniacs seemed to favor larger weapons, look no further than the scene where our sad maniac hacks away pitifully at a teepee with his hunting knife for what feels like three hours. = -3pts (We would have linked to this clip, but it was deemed too boring by the internet. Editor's Note: Culkin would have crushed this scene.)
  •  '80s Maniac Mandatory Job Skill: Proficiency in the intricacies of telecommunication infrastructure and service. = +2pts
  • Hey, it’s Rd. 2 of your favorite game Beth or Boyfriend!
  • Keeping a collapsible fire ladder under your sorority bed. Clearly this sorority house has seen a lot of college. = +3pts
  • Not noticing the killer walk up on your friend holding the ladder despite three pairs of eyes watching from an elevated position. = -6pts
  • Spraying mace on a maniac’s hands. Just like they tell you to do in the instructions! = -5pts
  • '80s Maniac Mandatory Job Skill: Proficiency in corpse shui, or the strategic placing bodies in front of doors, inside hiding closets, driver’s seat. = +4pts
  • Surviving sorority girls turn corner and scream at the site of a strategically placed Chief Genocide, who despite having apparently armed himself for battle with a spear, is immediately abandoned. Poor Chief Genocide. = -4pts
  • We had a hint that brick you hurled at the maniac would have no effect by how effortlessly it left your tiny hand, Janet. = -2pts
  • Running back inside the house while your friend is stabbed to death as opposed to taking the opportunity to run past said murderer and to safety. = +2pts (For covering the classics.)
  • Following that bit of genius by running to the basement for that deus ex spare key. = +4pts (For doubling down!)
  • Screaming at a sleeping bag… = -2pts
  • …after seeing all of your friends brutally stabbed. = -4pts
  • Turning you back on a maniac. Didn’t we score this already? = 0pts
Total Score:-7pts
Available on: Netflix, Amazon, Youtube, as payment for landscaping (Orange County, Home Depots, only)

There was some discussion amongst the technicians that Sorority House Massacre was significant for being an '80s horror movie directed by a woman. After an intense investigation that consisted of visiting the movie’s barren IMDB page, we remain unconvinced that this movie was actually directed by anyone. You might say it takes a special skill to make a 70-minutes feel like 170-minutes. Apparently not. Stuff your movie with bad pop psychology, characters plucked from the bargain bin of '80s “types,” logistically ridiculous and unspectacular deaths perpetrated by the most bland and unterrifying maniac ever committed to film, and you’re halfway there! If science has proven anything, it’s that anyone can make a bad movie, but it takes talent to make a good bad one.

Score Technician: Sean McConnell

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