Exclusive Set Report from Sorority Party Massacre: Photo Gallery, Release News, and More!
It’s been a while since we last reported on the slasher flick Sorority Party Massacre, but fear not! We hit the Simi Valley, California, set in early December, 2011, to not only witness a mock hanging and a bevy of scantily-actresses sunbathing but also chat with co-director Chris Freeman and one of the film’s stars, scream queen Eve Mauro. Read on for the details and extensive ocular candy!
Written and produced by Freeman (who co-directs with Justin Jones and who co-wrote last year’s feature Paranormal Incident), the slasher vs. college girls flick Sorority Party Massacre stars Kevin Sorbo, the previously mentioned Mauro (she of Wicked Lake fame, among others), Ed O'Ross, C. Thomas Howell (The Hitcher), Leslie Easterbrook (The Devil’s Rejects), Richard Moll (House), Ron Jeremy, Yvette Yates, and Tom Downey.
As for the film’s official synopsis, it reads like this: In danger of losing his badge, a big city detective agrees to aid a small town sheriff in a routine missing persons investigation only to discover that at least one girl has gone missing in the sheriff's sleepy fishing town of Grizzly Cove each year for the last two decades. When a body finally emerges on the lake and suspects literally crawl out of the hills, the two lawmen realize they’re being toyed with, and to make things worse, the killer seems to have set his eyes on a group of sorority girls who are not only isolated by the lake but have their own nefarious plans in mind. Outnumbered and out of time, the two lawmen must solve the mystery of the missing girls or suffer the same fate.
Arriving early Saturday morning to set, the normally balmy SoCal enclave was anything but as a rather frigid wind cut through the Santa Susana pass as Freeman was prepping to shoot Scene #27, in which we’d find the girls sunbathing (and trying desperately not to shiver). This wasn’t your normal Simi tempest, however, given the destruction the region’s winds had wrought on Pasadena and neighboring communities in the previous days; and as it turned out, inclement weather had plagued the shoot for its duration.
“It’s been challenging,” said the thirty-seven-year-old Freeman of filming Sorority Party Massacre “My assistant’s window was broken last night, and our DP has had no power for a week in his home, so that’s good. Fortunately it hasn’t been killing us on sound, as we’ve been working through it and shooting interiors and stuff, and we had back-up plans, but it is what it is, and the girls are still in bikinis and they are freezing!”
As for the location (the 140-acre Hummingbird Nest Ranch has previously served as the location for myriad productions including Sex and the City: The Movie and the television series "The Biggest Loser", among others), “It’s been great! It’s insane. There are so many looks,” said Freeman, gesturing in varying directions. “You’ve got Virginia there and Mexico over there, and down there it’s the 1920’s in that house that was built by some Hollywood producer back in the day. The location’s been amazing although the weather has sucked.”
Having filmed a good deal of the feature in Big Bear, California (a locale which geographically looks quite different than Hummingbird), Freeman stated of the location switch, “It’s actually worked in our favor because our location in Big Bear, even though we had the lake, was so busy. Locking everything down would have doubled our staff, where with this place it’s so isolated and so gorgeous, so it’s been great.”
Regarding shooting on the RED camera, “It’s been amazing,” communicated the ever-enthusiastic Freeman of the footage he’d been getting, “and our makeup artist Tara Lang (of the series "Face Off") has been great. She’s been building this severed head for ‘the hanging’ shot, and it looks so good! It looks so real that it’s creepy, and the location has allowed us more time to block those things and our stunts. I mean, we are hanging Leslie Easterbrook from the top of a building and her neck snaps, but because of the wind today we can’t do it. The location, though, has allowed us the room and the time to re-plan it, and I actually think the way we have re-tooled the scene will be substantially better.”
As for Easterbrook, Freeman gleefully allowed himself a moment to geek on the casting of the actress. “She’s so amazing! She looks like she’s no older than thirty-five,” Freeman effused. “One of my good friends is playing the creepy groundsman, and he has a scene with her and he was like, ‘I can’t believe the blonde from Police Academy is going to pull me into her chest!’ I was like, ‘Hey buddy, you are welcome!’”
Regarding her role of "Miss Fawnskin" in Sorority Party Massacre, Freeman revealed of Easterbrook’s character, “She wears this riding costume and carries this riding crop because that’s how her character is scripted, and I kept thinking, ‘I didn’t do this for this reason, but man, she’s amazing looking (in that outfit)!’”