The House on Sorority Row: Special Edition [BR]
(Kathryn McNeil, Harley Jane Kozak, Eileen Davidson, Janis Ward, Robin Meloy, et al / Blu-ray / R / (1982) 2021 / MVD Visual)
Overview: After a seemingly innocent prank goes horribly wrong, a group of sorority sisters are stalked and murdered one by one in their sorority house while throwing a party to celebrate their graduation.
Blu-ray Verdict: A group of sorority sisters decide to play a prank on their vindictive house mother, but things go horribly wrong and the woman is killed. With a party about to begin, the girls decide to hide the body in an abandoned pool until they can decide what to do.
When their friends go missing and the woman’s body disappears, the girls are convinced she has come back to seek revenge. Meanwhile, the whitest party ever put on film carries on like nothing is going on.
I have always found The House on Sorority Row to be a lot of fun with some creepy moments and a few nice death scenes. As with a lot of films of this type, the best parts only happen once the final girl is running for her life - and here, she has to do it will half-drugged out of her mind!
And that finale always gives me the creeps. The first time I saw this movie, when the killer makes his presence known near the end, I about jumped out of my seat. It really worked on me. If you can get past some of the acting and a murky plot point or two, The House on Sorority Row can be a very effective, little, low-budget 80s horror movie.
In truth, over the years I am still a little shocked to see how much hate The House on Sorority Row gets. I cannot tell you how many times I read that it is cliched or unoriginal. While I agree that it does borrow from some of the slashers that came before, a lot of what you will see here has been copied endlessly since the films release.
The prank gone wrong, the college / sorority house setting, the exposition-filled flashback - they were not the standard slasher movie tropes then that they are now.
Indeed, when I first saw this in the theater in 1983, it was as fresh and innovative as any of the boatload of other slashers being pumped out!
Sure, Prom Night, Friday the 13th, Halloween and more, they all say something about us between the late 70s and the late 80s- a loss of innocence, a loss of restraint, and the depreciation of the antiquated values that came with a homogeneous and repressed society.
In all of those cases, the gloves came off with these slashers, so what made this one unique was that it did not swamp us in sequels which repeated the message.
Culturally, this study of privilege, of deception, of sisterhood, and yes, even of vengeance stands well because it stands alone, in my humble opinion.
I will not ruin the movie for anyone, for clearly there are enough spoilers out there on the net already by now, but I wills ay that my younger sister, an anti-80s slasher horror critic, said to me after watching this tonight, that this was one creepy, scary movie! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
High Definition (1080p) presentation of the main feature in 1.78:1 aspect ratio with LPCM 2.0 stereo sound plus a second, alternate version of the film with director approved pre-credit sequence with mono audio
Optional English Subtitles on main feature
Audio Commentary with director Mark Rosman
Audio commentary with director Mark Rosman and stars Eileen Davidson and Kathryn McNeil
Interviews with cast and crew including: Director Mark Rosman, stars Harley Jane Kozak, Eileen Davidson and Kathryn McNeil, Composer Richard Band and Producer Igo Kantor
Original Pre-Credit Sequence
Alternate ending storyboards