Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Seven Sisters and A Swimming Pool, or Thoughts on The House on Sorority Row

At its core the 80’s slasher genre is essentially a murder mystery that focuses on the killer, with the added benefits of a younger cast to attract the newly discovered teen market and graphic, state of the art murders where the camera doesn’t pull away, and The House on Sorority Row (1983) is a perfect example.  Have the murders off-screen and age the cast a couple decades and you could have a Hitchcock movie, or a Columbo episode.   Instead you get a sorority house at the start of summer, a big party, and a prank that goes horribly wrong (as they often do in this kind of movie).
There are no hockey masks in The House on Sorority Row but it’s still a peak 80’s experience, with a well-developed plot and some memorable murders, including a severed head in the toilet scene that elevated the movie to cult status.  Watch out for Eileen Davidson (the blonde with the gun and the waterbed), who went on to become a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills on Bravo.  And there was a remake with Carrie Fisher and Rumer Willis in 2009, because of course there was.

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