Sorority Party Massacre (DVD)
Directed by Chris W. Freeman and Justin Jones
Distributed by Anchor Bay
With a title like Sorority Party Massacre, I should have known better. But at first, I kinda liked this movie. The opening sequence, which is shot in an entirely different manner from the rest of the film, sets it up as a spooky, suspenseful slasher throwback. As a sweet young sorority sis finds herself stranded in the middle of nowhere with no one around except her overprotective dad on her cell and her cute little purse-dog in her car. And… a sadistic killer lurking in the dark woods. She’s stalked, chased, attacked and brutally killed. That’s just for openers.
Or so I thought. What follows is an incompetent, messy mish-mash of Scream, Student Bodies and "Reno 9-1-1."
Here’s the skinny: A bevy of bodacious applicants vie for a coveted slot in the sisterhood of a prestigious sorority. But first, they’ve got to pass the hazing process. On a remote island called Grizzly Bay (get it? “grisly”?), the girls are sequestered for a rigorous weekend of interviews, competitions and initiation. Along the way, they pose for out-of-nowhere cheesecake photo shoots, freeze-frame montages, and their dossiers are splashed in text across the screen for no apparent reason.
Cut to a police precinct that makes Animal House look like a monastery (Ron Jeremy is one of the boys in blue… need I say more?), and where clichéd, overworked-underpaid and Pepto Bismol-guzzling Captain Kevin Sorbo presides. (I looked for his character name on IMDb only to see he’s not among the credited… his agent probably had something to do with that!) So, Cap’n Kev assigns his best and brightest -- and of course most hot-tempered and out of control -- detective to a very important case.
Watts (Thomas Downey) is sent to check out the disappearance of his boss’ daughter (the victim from the opening sequence), and horror mixed with hilarity promises to ensue. Once our hero gets to the island, add Ed O’Ross as Sheriff Lumpkin (“bumpkin”, get it?) and the always-amazing Leslie Easterbrook as the grand dame of the sorority, and watch as the mystery of who dunnit tries to unfold.
It never does.
Sorority Party Massacre is neither a comedic party nor is it a horror-style massacre. But it’s not altogether bad. For me, the best thing was discovering a good actor I don’t recall having seen before - Keith Compton, whose performance is more nuanced than all the girls put together in a grinder. Some of the death scenes are inventive if, err, poorly executed (the low budget seriously hurts a script as ambitious as this).
Anchor Bay has added a surprising amount of extras to the package, and while plentiful, it's just pretty much your standard stuff. The commentary with the directing duo of Chris W. Freeman and Justin Jones was pretty brisk and there are some additional laughs to be found and had, but I'm guessing that after you watch the flick, you're not going to be very inclined to go back for more.
If you’ve got nothing better to do, and especially if you’re a dude who likes to watch scantily clad scream princesses prancing around, then perhaps Sorority Party Massacre is worth one peek.
2 out of 5
3 out of 5