Released as part of New Concorde's "Massacre Collection" on DVD, Sorority House Massacre isn't nearly as much fun, or as slasher movie pleasing, as the original Slumber Party Massacre, but it does manage to be better than a lot of the other movies in the collection (including its own sequel) despite the fact the script borrows some elements from Halloween and it's not high on entertainment and quite light on slashings, simply because it tries to have a bit more plot than most movies with the word "massacre" in the title.
Writer-director Carol Frank peppers in a bunch of mediocre dream sequences early on while telling the story of college girl Angela O'Neill who's decided to spend the weekend at the local sorority house despite the fact she's been haunted lately by visions and nightmares where an unknown assailant is killing people around her.
Turns out the killer from her dreams is quite real and has been in an asylum for just over a decade after killing of his family years back. It also turns out that O'Neill has a psychic bond with our killer because she just so happens to be his sister (who escaped the night of terror, but promptly blocked it out of memory).
Soon enough our killer has escaped from the loony bin and is heading back home -which just so happens to be the sorority house - as O'Neill and her friends put on a "fashion show" (thank God for 80's slasher movies and their "montage" scenes of the female cast dancing around and getting naked changing outfits while some really bad music plays in the background), discuss her dreams, and fool around with the group of guys who've stopped by.
Sorority House Massacre is somewhat dull for the first forty-five minutes or so as it attempts to build-up the characters, throws out some mild jokes, and has merely a stomach stabbing in the way of deaths. And judging from what we've seen so far it'd be a completely passable time, but thankfully it gains some steam in the finale when our killer shows-up at the house and starts to knock-off everyone. It's your typical "stalk 'n' slash" stuff, but it does manage some mild suspense and the script does tie things together adequately. But getting to this point takes a little bit of patience as Frank throws out too many fake "scare" attempts that don't work, a completely silly hypnosis moment, and way too many scenes of O'Neill looking frightened.
Sure, it's a bit dated and doesn't contain quite enough blood for the rabid fans of the sub-genre, but it is a bearable effort and should be commended for trying for some plot despite the fact that it seems director Frank didn't learn how to make a truly effective slasher movie when she was an "assistant director" on the first Slumber Party Massacre movie.
If you're looking for a movie that sticks more to the "rules" of this type of movie (that is blood, dumb scripting, and plenty of bare breasts) then you might be better off renting the Jim Wynorski directed sequel to this. (Chris Hartley, 9/12/05)
Directed By: Carol Frank.
Written By: Carol Frank.
Starring: Angela O'Neill, Wendy Martel, Pamela Ross, Nicole Rio.