This is a new series of the blog that will be Movie beatdown! We will talk all things with horror movies and television. We will cover everything from slashers to slayers. Beheadings to bitches…I’ll talk about all of it!
This breakdown is going to be one of my favorite horror films of all time, “The House on Sorority Row.” Now, the purpose of the beatdown is to dissect these movies, so if you don’t want the movie spoiled…don’t read the content below. This breakdown is like Wikipedia…just with more pee. You have been warned! If you don’t have time to watch the movie and would like a quick synopsis, then keep reading and let me tell you all about this movie from my gay eyes. It’s like a synop-sis!
The House on Sorority Row (also known as House of Evil in the United Kingdom) is a 1982 American slasher film written and directed by Mark Rosman, produced by John G. Clark, and starring Eileen Davidson and Kathryn McNeil. It was released in 1982. It didn’t make too much in the box office but has later developed a cult following and has been labeled as one of the greatest slasher films of all time. This movie is a staple in my collection. I watch this movie a lot, especially when I am feeling under the weather.
Without further ado…let’s get to the beatdown!
We start the movie with everybody’s favorite horror cliché… “A dark and stormy night.”
The filter of the flashback is heavily blue, since they didn’t want to pay the extra money to hire younger versions of the characters. They had to make the old lady appear young with the excessive blurry blue filter. Trust me, you are not fooling anybody! After one stressful minute of labor pains (which is normal for delivery, right?), she was asking the doctor if she could see her baby. The doctor apologized for a terrible problem. It cuts to her doing another lovely movie cliché…the helpless cry in terror of “NO!!!!!”
Then we cut to the introduction music on a summer afternoon sounding like lovely flute music with a touch of Panic at the Disco. Trust me…if you watch this movie, you will know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.
Seven sorority sisters – Katey, Vicki, Liz, Jeanie, Diane, Morgan, and Stevie – celebrate their graduation ceremony at their sorority house, located at the far end of a sorority row. Katherine, the main character played by Kathryn McNeil starts to pack her belongings with her mother, struggling to figure out what she wants to do with her life. No time like the present to figure that out after pulling your hair out with four years of college! She was convinced to stay by the villain-esque character, Vicki who is played by Eileen Davidson, who later went on to play in your favorite cheesy daytime soap operas. The girls needed help to set up their graduation party at the sorority house.
Their celebration is interrupted by their domineering house mother, Mrs. Slater, who denies the girls’ plan to throw a graduation party. The girls, led by Vicki—scorned because Slater slashed her waterbed(which, by the way…who brings a waterbed to a sorority house?!) when Vicki covertly brought a boyfriend into the sorority house—devise a prank: They steal her walking cane and place it in the house’s unused outdoor pool and force her at gunpoint to retrieve it.
The prank goes according to plan at first with blanks being fired to trick her do go into their disgusting pool that Mrs. Slater never had cleaned in years…I’d rather swim in a septic system than the water that was in that pool. It eventually went awry when Vicki inadvertently shoots Slater since there was one bullet with the blanks, who appears to be dead. The girls agree to hide the body in the pool until their party ends, though Katey and Jeanie are reluctant. This part was a ‘wtf?’ moment because they just wrap her in towels and blankets, which with science…makes anything sink in water!
At the party, we are starting off with a band playing groovy music, which is one of my favorite things with a classic horror movie…dancing montage! Then we cut to an unidentified figure stabs a random man walking in the woods with Slater’s cane through his neck killing him instantly. Meanwhile, after finding guests attempting to enter the pool where drunken guys try to throw girls in…classy! Once they break up the shenanigans, the girls realize that if the pool lights turn on, Slater’s body will be revealed. Vicki asks Stevie goes into the basement to disable the breaker, where she is brutally stabbed to death by the killer, only showing the shadow silhouettes of the murder. Very convincing! Later, the pool lights come on much to the girls’ alarm after three boys try to jump in the *cough* clean pool water in their tighty whiteys, but Slater’s body is nowhere to be found. GASP!
Deciding that Slater must be alive, the girls begin searching for her after the party comes to a close. Morgan enters Slater’s room where Slater’s body falls on her from the attic hatch. She blacks out and awakens to getting water in order to awaken her. With the drunken persona that she plays, she wishes for something stronger, like most sorority party girls. Overwhelmed by the attack by the randomly placed body, Morgan runs to her room to be left alone.
Vicki suggests hiding the body in the old cemetery, Katey was the only one who objected to the plan and wanted to call the police…like any rational human being would do. The other girls take the body outside without Katey’s assistance and against her wishes. In the attic, Katey discovers children’s toys and a dead caged bird. It looked just like a very qualified place to trust your children for daycare if you ask me! We cut to Morgan, who *surprise* was having her nighttime beverage before subsequently stabbed with Slater’s cane from behind in her bedroom as she became distracted and somewhat amused with the jack in the box that appeared on her balcony. Katey finds the jack in the box later and noticed a life-sized costume of the jester looking eerily accurate to the toy.
Diane goes to an outlying garage to start the van to transport Slater’s body, but is murdered by the killer who breaks in through the sunroof, being stabbed repeatedly in her hand as it cuts away to her constantly screaming.
Shortly after, Jeanie who is played by Robin Meloy, was keeping watch for anybody who would catch them transferring a body, was suddenly attacked by the killer. She runs to safety in the house and finds Katey, tells her that Mrs. Slater’s cane attacked her. Katey runs to find help under the impression that Mrs. Slater is still alive and on a rampage, while the killer breaks in and causes a funny chase scene with Jeanie…because when you are running for dear life, you twirl constantly as you find a place to hide, and repeatedly fall to the floor like a moron! She runs into the bathroom to hide in a stall. Luckily, the person before her flushed so there was no additional worry of being murdered next to poo! Showers begin to get turned on, causing a hot and steamy scene (wait…wrong genre…this isn’t romantic…I don’t know why the killer did this!). The killer breaks into the stall and pins Jeanie to the wall and uses her knife to decapitate her.
Meanwhile, Katey finds a medical alert tag on a necklace belonging to Slater that fell to the ground when Jeanie was attacked. She calls the number and is put through to a Dr. Beck, who comes to the house. Reluctant, to telling him the truth, she conceals the truth and only went looking for answers. The two later discover the bodies of Stevie, Morgan, and Diane in the pool. It looked like Hannibal Lector’s dream soup!
She then reveals the sisters’ secret of Mrs. Slater’s accident. Meanwhile, after finding Diane missing, Vicki and Liz decide to drive to the cemetery without her to bury Slater’s body. When they arrive, both girls are killed by the assailant. Liz’s throat was slashed by the cane from behind as she attempted to pull the van closer to the hole at the graveyard that they dug. Well, at least they know that they didn’t need a college degree to become gravediggers! Vicki was stabbed repeatedly by the assailant after discovering Liz’s body. Dr. Beck accompanies Katey to the cemetery, where they find the bodies of Vicki and Liz, as well as Slater’s body still in the back of the van.
The two arrive back at the house, with no police in sight after being promised by Dr. Beck that he contacted them. He forcibly gave Katey a sedative at the house…not a COVID vaccine. Dr. Beck reveals that Slater had a son named Eric who was deformed and mentally underdeveloped thanks to an illegal fertility treatment he had given her, and that he probably witnessed the girls kill Mrs. Slater. Dr. Beck uses Katey as bait so he can capture Eric and cover up his crime. He forces her to sit in order to lure Eric towards her in order for Dr. Beck to tranquilize him. She hallucinates some pretty knarly visions of her sorority sisters dancing…one of the side effects of a COVID vaccine (maybe he did give her one. I mean, she is ESSENTIAL to the storyline!). I want what she has! It looks like some crazy stuff!
Once distracted, Katey manages to run away to hide, while completely drugged up. Eric arrives and hacks Dr. Beck to death while Katey searches for Vicki’s gun, which does not fire. She flees to the bathroom and finds Jeanie’s severed head in the toilet. She gave this funny expression as if she didn’t remember eating that! It wasn’t Taco Bell!
Horrified, she climbs to the attic to prepare to defend herself. She hallucinates again in her state of panic, before being attacked by Eric, now wearing the clown costume.
She shoots at him repeatedly…missing him at only five feet away. Not only is she not socially distancing…but she is a terrible shot! Just kidding…the gun was still loaded with blanks. She knocks over Eric’s toys, distracting him, then uses a pin attached to a doll to stab Eric numerous times and he falls through the attic door to the floor below. Katey believes he is dead and rests from exhaustion. However, Eric opens his eyes as the film ends, leaving Katey’s fate unknown. Then we cut to end credits where we once again hear the lovely Panic at the Disco flute music. That crap will never leave my head!
The reason why I love this movie so much is the cliches that although some people may not like…I do! I also love the character archetypes of the reasonable protagonist, the drunk, the rebel, and the followers.
Now, lets get to the handout of awards!
The Haunted Hunk award goes to Peter! I didn’t mention him at all in my review, since he wasn’t really in the movie. This film predominately featured the sorority sisters. Any of the male characters only had minutes of airtime…so Peter by default wins. He was pursuing Katey as she kept becoming distant with her hunches that something wrong was happening throughout the movie. He appears drunk during most of the film as he keeps trying to pursue Katey, and then later distracts Dr. Beck when trying to capture Eric. So, you win this time Peter!
The Killer Slay award-aka best kill-is going to go to Jeanie! She died the most gruesome death, and the scene was set up to be hot and dangerous!(que the Ke$ha song!).
The Basic Beheading award-aka worst kill- is going to Diane! I personally love Diane’s character in the movie. She was witty and smoked a good chunk of the time. Since all you see is her hand being stabbed and then her screaming like a chicken…I have to give it to her. Come on, Diane! Die better!
Rating 9/10 *********
I would give this movie ten stars if the quality of kills was a little more thought out. I do give high remarks due to the commitment of the character acting. There weren’t really too many duds of actors where you are like, “really? You casted them to play the role?!”. The only character they could’ve casted better was Morgan. She was unconvincing as a drunk, and you could barely understand the four lines they gave her when she wasn’t caressing a bottle. I do love the cheesy death scenes in movies, and I am forgiving of the quality of deaths. After all…this is 1982! You can only work with what you got!
If you have seen or heard of this movie…comment below about what you like or dislike!
That is all for the first beatdown! Hopefully you enjoyed my gay AF review. I will be posting these recaps as often as I can! I will be at least doing these bi-weekly. You may be lucky enough to get them weekly. It will just depend on the workload with my writing. Next post, we will be dissecting “Happy Death Day”! If you don’t want to be spoiled…do your homework and watch it ahead of time, so that you follow along with my synopsis and understand the humor I attach to horror. If there is anything you would like for me to add in my beatdowns, have movie suggestions, or even have any feedback to give me, go to the “Contact” section of my website and shoot me an email.
Don’t take my comments or humor too seriously. After all…it’s just HORROR! And horror is sooo gay…right?
Until next time…keep slaying!