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rhett
10-19-2001, 02:37 AM
I finally rented this movie last night, and I must say, I was really disappointed. I am a huge fan of slasher films and all, but this one just deviates into silly by the numbers slasher after a promising 30 minutes. I was reminded a lot of the horrible Sorority House Massacre (names not withstanding) while watching HOSR, and they are basically the same film as far as the final 30 minutes are concerned.

I did like how some of the kills were done, but the gore was pretty minute. I also liked the whole premise of the girls banding together swearing not to tell about their devilish deed, but this aspect really isn't followed through in the rest of the film.

Another problem with the film was that the killer wasn't really given his big climactic chase, or any real background. You see him all for about 1 minute screen time total, and that just isn't enough for this kind of film. I know it worked in Black Christmas, but this film shows most of the murders, so you would expect to at least get a glimpse of the killer.

And the ending, boooooo. Probably the worst and most cliched ending the film could have had...and it is all too abrupt as well. Again, there just wasn't enough pay off in the final battle to leave me satisfied.

What about you guys? I know it is regarded as one of the classic early 80's slashers, so I am prepared to take a beating, what are your thoughts?!

killit
10-19-2001, 10:31 AM
i rented it a week and a half ago and barely remember it. What I remember is it being pretty good, but sort of a rip off of something

Hellbilly
10-19-2001, 06:05 PM
i kinda enjoyed House on Sorority Row , sure, it wont win any prizes for originality, but what the hell...which slasher does? the film had its moments (my favorite: the fat guy in the pool), and that band! best tom-petty-imitation-band ever! ...i just loved their cheesy songs...the only thing i didnt like too much was this carrie-like credit title opening (i guess the director was once a cameraman for de palma?, not sure...). so anywho, House on Sorority Row is one of my faves 80s slashers. i would recommend it anytime...

rhett
10-20-2001, 08:02 AM
I guess what just miffs me about it is that the film started out with a lot of promise. The first 40 minutes were nicely done, with some good build up to the girls hatred toward the landlady. But where the film fell apart for me was the fact that the girls simply disposed of the woman in the pool and then went of seconds later to prepare for their party.

Okay, I watch horror, I understand that plot isn't necessarily supposed to be clever, but it shouldn't be devoid of common sense! Obviously the girls are not going to have fun at a party knowing they've murdered an old lady, secondly, you'd think they would at least check to make sure the body sunk in the pool, and thirdly, why the hell would you dispose of her in an open pool in the first place when you are about to throw a wild party?

The whole doctor-holding-the-girl-hostage thing just didn't work for me either. I felt it just added an unnecessary plot complication that lessened the conflict between the girls and the killer.

A missed opportunity in my eyes...

Hellbilly
10-20-2001, 11:02 AM
rhett, you didnt like it. so? no bashing here...its your opinion and thats fine. the reason i liked it is because i never take such films (like Sorority Row) too seriously. lighten up, will ya? ;)

rhett
10-20-2001, 09:32 PM
Hey, I have no problems with you liking it, after all I asked for your opinion! I just wanted to perhaps stir a discussion on why or whynot people liked the film. I don't take horror films too seriously at all, I like fluff films just like anyone else. Just trying to get some debate going and life into the Slasher Forum! :)

Hellbilly
10-20-2001, 11:34 PM
it seems like we're the only two babbling about it...nobody else liked/disliked this film?

horrorboy101
10-24-2001, 05:57 AM
Actually I loved the film and being 1983 before SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE I don't believed it ripped off much. I did love the music, the deaths, the acting was very decent for a low budget slasher pic, the actresses have gone on to become semi-famous. There actually was a nice chase at two points in the film. The girl who was decapitated in the bathroom was chased for about 3-4 minutes and at the end the main girl was chased for about 3. Yes we didn't see the killer's face, no it didn't work as well as BC, but it did do for the film and I can see why many people enjoy the film. I can still remember the trailer, it looked sort of like a HEATHERS type movie, even though it came out before HEATHERS the preview made the film look like the girls were killing each other sort of in a dark humor way.

satan x
10-24-2001, 09:54 PM
House on Sorority Row is a total rip off of Halloween and Les Diaboliques, but I still quite enjoyed it. In truth most slasher movies rip of Halloween simply because it created a template for this kind of movie. I like most slasher films from Friday the 13th to Cherry Falls, but if I was honest I wouldn't class any as great examples of the art of filmaking with the exceptions of Halloween and Black Christmas.

Joel Groce
11-06-2001, 01:52 AM
I totally agree with you - this one didn't do it for me at all - there were some neat touches at the end (atmosphere and such), but it didn't have enough of these elements to sustain itself. (especially when compared with films by Carpenter or Argento which have atmosphere in spades!)

David666
11-07-2001, 05:55 AM
I remember seeing this as a little kid, but thats about all i remember. I have many times picked it up at the store, but always found something else I knew for sure I wanted. hellbilly has pretty good taste, I think I am gonna go ahead and pick it up though. Sadly, with so many things coming out int he next three months... singles like "Jeepers Creepers", "Tomb Raider", "Madonna: Drowned World", and blah blah blah as well as box sets (Buffy, Twin Peaks, QAF, X-Files 4) It will be round the middle of January before I get a chance. Maybe I can ask for it as a Holiday present. Hmmmmm. My mother actually got me "Brain Damage" last year.

Hellbilly
11-07-2001, 02:05 PM
Hey! My mom bought me Let Sleeping Corpses Lie LE last christmas :D . This year i'll put Sleepless on my wishlist...:)

moogong
11-07-2001, 07:27 PM
sure this wasnt the greatest flick but its kinda a guilty pleasure...
its not as original as Halloween or shocking as Texas Chainsaw Massacre but its a good movie to rent if nothing else strikes you...

wago70
11-08-2001, 11:22 PM
I love this film a lot, but there are some flaws which I just couldn't get past:
- the make-up effects were pretty crude.
- it ends JUST when it is starting to get
really good.

Pluses why I loved it:
- several of the actresses (especially Kate McNeil)
- the score (love the CD)
- Four out of Five Doctors
- "Go check upstairs" (instead what does she
do - put some clothes away and sing some
lame sorority song)
- the opening credits.
- House is one of the last of that era (oddly,
the ad and trailer campaign make it look
as though it's a soft-core sex/revenge
film rather than a horror flick)


"I'm a sea pig!"

Dusk
11-11-2001, 06:16 AM
I loved it. The mystery of Eric.. the head in the toilet, everything. I have a site for the film @ http://www.sororityrow.cjb.net - just my humble tribute to the only slasher that drew emotive from me.

The distributors cut off the ending... what happened after the killer's eyes opened was, it cuts to the police and ambulances arrived. They find the clown body in the pool, turn it over and it's Katherine, the heroine. That's right, Eric drowned her and put the costume on her so they think she did the killings.. how fitting... !

rhett
11-12-2001, 12:35 AM
I think that ending would have fit the film a lot better! Looks like I am indeed out numbered in my dislike for the film, and I guess I was just expecting too much from it...

AceRimRat
11-12-2001, 07:03 AM
I thought it was OK. I'd hoped for more, but it wasn't bad. Just nothing great. So I guess you could say I was a little disappointed too.

The DVD is sadly bare-bones, too.

JoeLeo74
01-13-2002, 12:33 AM
This is for sure an above average slasher which has good pacing,ok acting and some good shock effects..

I thought Mark Rosman did a good job as director.

And ya the dvd is bare bones big deal..The film print is all i care about.Elite did a good job on it.

<img src=http://horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/maniac/maniac_fl.jpg height=200width=400><img src=http://home.swipnet.se/~w-27974/nyfilm/dabrain.gif height=200width=400>

Hellbilly
01-13-2002, 01:26 AM
Originally posted by Dusk
The distributors cut off the ending... what happened after the killer's eyes opened was, it cuts to the police and ambulances arrived. They find the clown body in the pool, turn it over and it's Katherine, the heroine. That's right, Eric drowned her and put the costume on her so they think she did the killings.. how fitting... !

I got this from IMDB:

The UK version shows shots of childrens toys at the end of the film, whereas the US version ends immediately after the killer's eyes open.

rhett
01-13-2002, 02:09 AM
I think I would have liked the UK ending much better, it would make it a little more creepy like Black Christmas.

Hellbilly
01-13-2002, 11:53 AM
They should have included both endings on the DVD, too bad they missed that opportunity (like always!).

rhett, did you change your opinions about Sorority Row or do you still think it was kinda lame?
Just curious :)

rhett
01-13-2002, 07:23 PM
No, still kind of letdown by it, and I guess it is because of the ending. There is just no dramatic pay off for sitting there for 90 minutes. In movies like Halloween, even though the killer lives, the film takes time allow the viewer and the characters to reflect on what happened, and to give a sigh of relief. Then when it shows that Myers is gone, it makes it all the more better because we were given those precious minutes to toss away all our fears, only to be shocked again. In HOSR, the killer falls, and then almost immidiately after his eyes open and there just wasn't any pay off for watching the lengthy climax. The film definitely has some strong points, like the beginning and the early premise, but just left me cold during the ending.

After giving it some time, I am not as partial to the film, but it still didn't sit as right for me as well as I had remembered it from my childhood. But no worries :)

Hellbilly
01-13-2002, 08:58 PM
Well, the best thing to do is, when watching HOSR, to push the pause button on your remote right after Eric falls down the stairs.
Then we relax and wait (for about, 5 minutes?) to toss away all of our fears and wait for that relief, and THEN push the pause button again to get that final shock moment. How's that? ;)

Hey, I'm with you rhett, there was definitely no pay off after watching it for 90 minutes, the ending happen just so damn quick.
After all I think your right, those other endings would have fit the film a lot better.

But I still enjoy HOSR the way it is. :)

rhett
01-13-2002, 11:57 PM
Haha, good call, but I am a lazy university student, so that is asking too much! I'll give it yet another look soon, and then maybe we will finally agree on the film :)

iluvdaria
01-14-2002, 12:12 AM
I'm definately not saying that it was the inspiration for "Halloween" but I think Carpenter owes some debt for that one to "Black Christmas" IMHO. Maybe also, "Alice, Sweet Alice".

Hellbilly
01-14-2002, 03:44 AM
Originally posted by rhett
Haha, good call, but I am a lazy university student, so that is asking too much!

Ah yes, those young, lazy, afraid of real work students, never too lazy/shy for a reply though. :D ;)

rhett
01-15-2002, 08:57 AM
Well, I'd hate to resort to flattery, but I find you much more entertaining then HOSR. :D :)

Hellbilly
01-15-2002, 04:01 PM
I must be doing something wrong then... um, what? :D
haha, likewise (rhettman-------->FINAL EXAM). :)

BlazingMagnum
01-15-2002, 04:25 PM
I liked it too!
House On Soriority Row was actually one of the later slashers I watched. I'd avoided it until it was screened uncut on TV, and I watched it because it was there I suppose.

I thought it was stylishly shot, and the score was classier than most of the cheaper slashers. I thought that scene in the atic - where you see the killer's mask look up behind the girl - was really cool, & particularly effective.
Much better than stuff like Slumber Party Massacre and it's sequels.

Hellbilly
01-15-2002, 05:04 PM
HOSR is a cool, fun slasher. One of my favs from the 80s.
Glad to see you also liked it Magnum. :D

BlazingMagnum
01-15-2002, 05:31 PM
Awfully nice of you to say so, HellBilly - I did indeed like it.

Maybe it's not so much of a good idea to theorise too much about slasher movies, because it can ruin them a little.
If you think about them too much, you begin to ask yourself why Cropsy didn't die of total shock when he threw himself into the water. What exactly happened at the end of Maniac where the victims come to life. How a 60 year old man has enough upper arm strength to ram a bayonet through a man's skull in The Prowler. Why a little kid can take a woman's head off with a swing of a heavy axe in Nightmares In A Damaged Brain.
If you include A Nightmare On Elm Street too - then a simple 'why' will suffice for absolutely everything that happens in any movie of the entire franchise!

Hellbilly
01-15-2002, 06:03 PM
Yeah, I know exactly what you mean Magnum. Thinking too much about the "whys" in a horror/slasher film can kinda spoil the whole fun.
My advice: Don't question everything (logic) that you see on screen. Just relax and let the (on screen) madness guide you. :)

BlazingMagnum
01-15-2002, 07:45 PM
Sounds good to me! - Sometimes, even if someone points out a mistake or a continuity error I'd never noticed before - it's all I ever see whenever I watch the movie after that. Like the hand coming out of the cellar in The Evil Dead, or the guy on the Bridge at the beginning.
With some movies - I'd rather just take it easy, switch off the world & chill.

wago70
01-16-2002, 06:13 PM
I recall being so mislead by the then-advertising of the film that I kicked myself for not seeing at the theater. Having on the poster to go on, it looked like a soft-core sex movie or something. Had I known it was one of the last slasher films, I would have high-tailed it to the theaters pretty quick. Oh well. what do you guys think?

Hellbilly
01-16-2002, 06:25 PM
I've remember reading the video box back sleeve over and over again cuz I also was kinda misleaded by the cover. Lucky me I did rent it and it turned out to be a pleasant surprise after all.
If you still haven't seen it wago, go watch it on DVD, you won't be disappointed. :)

wago70
01-16-2002, 06:35 PM
I got the DVD the day it came out (wink) - one thing I love is the picture quality and the sound is so much better than my over-used Vestron tape. Oddly, the trailer is in better condition on the tape, but I guess the elements were in better shape back then.
Is House simply matted for DVD or is it properly widescreened?

Hellbilly
01-16-2002, 07:12 PM
Sorry, I wouldn't know anything about the technical aspects of HOSR but this is what Dave had to say in his review:

Elite presents The House on Sorority Row in an anamorphic widescreen transfer in it's original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Decent transfer here but there are some problems. There's a few print blemishes that appear (scratches, lines and dirt) and there's also some signs of grain during darker scenes, but it's all minimal and does not occur often. Also, a few nighttime scenes become overly bright for a few seconds. Colors are slightly faded, but as I've said before you can only expect so much for an old B movie that was made on a tiny budget. Image quality is generally sharp, though it does get soft in a handful of scenes. Not Elite's best, but it's still a good transfer overall. I'm going to rate it a B-.

Spectre
01-16-2002, 10:07 PM
"...so you would expect to at least get a glimpse of the killer."

You do get a brief shot of Eric's face after he murders the doctor. When the girl looks over the staircase and sees the body, Eric's in the shadows (sans mask) looking up at her. Cue the disc to that particular scene, pause it, then adjust the brightness if you have to--you'll see him. He's looks deformed, but the effect is minor.

JoeLeo74
01-18-2002, 11:25 AM
wago70 wrote Is House simply matted for DVD or is it properly widescreened?

Yes it is 100% properly widescreened in its original theatrical aspect ratio 1.85:1.

<img src=http://www.animationstation.net/posterimages/H/House_On_Sorority_Row_folded.jpg height=300width=300>

wago70
01-18-2002, 05:16 PM
Thanks for the info - it looks much better balanced than my old Vestron tape.
By the way, does anyone know if Mrs. Slater's voice is dubbed in the film (excluding the prologue since the actress sounds more natural)?

vampyr789
01-04-2009, 11:28 PM
I really like HOSR, one of my Top 10 fave slashers. its very classy. there is some really suspenseful scenes, a little gore (I love the head in toilet) overall i think it is one of the better late slashers of the 80s!

wago70
01-05-2009, 07:59 PM
I'm sure y'all heard there's a remake of this one...*sigh*

HAEMORRHAGE
01-05-2009, 09:12 PM
I'm sure y'all heard there's a remake of this one...*sigh*



Yup, and the sad thing with a lot of these remakes such as this one and My Bloody Valentine (among dozens and dozens of others) is that they're lesser known (when compared to Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street) and not advertised as remakes. Newer generations and non-slasher/horror fans seem to think these are new, original movies. Granted, a lot them are nothing like the original, but still.

FilmFiend
01-05-2009, 09:46 PM
If there is going to be a remake maybe somebody will find the ending for the original. I love this movie. I can't see why nobody would enjoy it, but then again I'm an 80's child.

wago70
01-06-2009, 06:24 PM
I showed this around Halloween to some friends and they enjoyed it. I think the soundtrack and most of the actresses make the film. Nicely directed, too. It doesn't have that bottom-of-the-barrel appeal like most slashers did at the time. Shame about the lousy distribution and misleading movie poster (love the artwork, but it says nothing about what the film is actually about).
Everyone loved the bitchy Vicky right off the bat, though.
The effects work though...rather crude. The film would have really soared if they had that Savini-type of magic working in its favor.

spawningblue
01-06-2009, 07:13 PM
I showed this around Halloween to some friends and they enjoyed it. I think the soundtrack and most of the actresses make the film. Nicely directed, too. It doesn't have that bottom-of-the-barrel appeal like most slashers did at the time. Shame about the lousy distribution and misleading movie poster (love the artwork, but it says nothing about what the film is actually about).
Everyone loved the bitchy Vicky right off the bat, though.
The effects work though...rather crude. The film would have really soared if they had that Savini-type of magic working in its favor.

Agreed. I thought it was pretty good, but definitely would have been a lot better had it had way better kills and gore.

bloodthrill
01-06-2009, 09:37 PM
Does anyone know if the censors snipped any of the rubbery gore from this one?The cuts seem to come awfully quick..

Kim Bruun
01-06-2009, 10:03 PM
The film would have really soared if they had that Savini-type of magic working in its favor.

I didn't really miss the gore...

The films strength in my book is the suspense generated by the final chase... and the prospect of the murder of Mrs. Slater being discovered.

I like this one a lot. I wasn't too impressed on the first viewing, because I'd seen it compared to Black Christmas a few times - and quite frankly, it's not that good. On subsequent viewings, though, I've come to appreciate the atmosphere, the overall plot, the suspense, Eileen Davidson's wonderfully bitchy Vicky, and even some of the effects - true, some look rubbery, but others really work despite their simplicity (cane in the eye, head in the toilet).

I imagine you'd have to be a slasher fan to really enjoy it, though - or maybe an Eileen Davidson enthusiast. ;)

Matt89
01-06-2009, 11:22 PM
Yeah I enjoyed House on Sorority Row. Was one of the first slashers I ever saw, and I guess it stuck with me. And yeah, that end chase scene was pretty well-done.

~Matt