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Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Movie: Sorority House Massacre 2
Back when I was younger, I always remember going to the video store and seeing those really awful looking, cheap, slasher movies like Slumber Party Massacre or Silent Night, Deadly Night and thinking--man, I can't wait until I'm older and can rent these movies. Cause back then, the promise of a little horror and scantily clad women running about just seemed way too exciting for me.

Fast forward more years than I care to own up to. Last week, we're in the video store and my father--yes, my father--sees the DVD wall where they're selling previously viewed DVDs for three for $20. We pick out two and are having a hard time coming up with a third we can agree on until he sees a dual release of and Sorority House MassacreSorority House Massacre 2. Before I can stop him, he's buying the DVD. I now realize that even though I find the girl working at BlockBuster attractive, I can't really hit on her since we just bough this wonderful DVD. We take it home and after watching our rental for the evening--EuroTrip--we pop this into the VCR. It's dual sided, so we take our chances and get to watch Sorority House Massacre 2 first. I know, it's flying in the face of convention to watch the sequel first, but hey...it's not like we're watching The Godfather films here.

Well, it was certainly something, let me tell you. This one is definitely MST3K material. But yet, I felt compelled to write up a long post on just how bad this movie was. It's full of sarcastic comments. Read at your own risk! But just think--if you just read about it, at least you can still have some self-respect and hit on the cute girls at BlockBuster while you rent stuff like Citizen Kane or something with Meg Ryan that shows how smart and sensitive you really are.

After the cheaply done opening credits, we see Linda (Robyn Harris) sitting on the floor inside a darkened house. She's got blood all over her and she is imploring someone "You gotta remember. If there's an ounce of humanity left in you, you gotta remember." Having sat through all 77 minutes of this movie now, I'm wondering if she isn't perhaps speaking to the audience--don't you remember all those other cheesy slasher flicks you've sat through and wasted that precious time in your life when you could have been doing something else, say for example, watching paint dry. Maybe you should go and try to do that...but, foolish me, I don't listen to her. Instead, I watch as a the image gets all wavy like the Scooby Doo ending scene from Wayne's World and we transition to...

Sometime earlier. It's daylight. A truck and a small Honda pull up in front of the house. Linda and four other girls...er I mean victims pour out. The girls are Janey (Dana Bentley), Jessica (Melissa Moore, who the back of the box also tells me was a Playmate! Her parents must be so proud!), Kimberly (Stacia Zhivago (as in Doctor from that movie that actually won some awards) and Suzanne (Michelle Verran) . Everyone's excited because Janey got a killer deal on this house for their new sorority house and they're determined to have the best sorority house on campus. The gals grab boxes and sleeping bags out of the back of the truck and are headed in when Eddie, who is drving the truck (and has no other relevance to the plot) calls out to see if Jessica wants to hook up tomorrow. She says she'll see because there's no telling how hard she'll work to get the house ready and she might be too tired to get together. She kisses him goodbye while the other four offer mocking comments right out of junior high school.

Obviously this movie is taking a page from the 90210 book of casting because not one of these people so far look like they're even remotely close to college age. I'd say the youngest looks late 20's at best.

Anyway, back to the film. Across the street, a mysterious arm clad in flannel pulls the curtain aside to watch the girls go into the house. The girls get inside and you can definitely tell this is a fixer-upper type of project. Complaints are made that it's cold inside, there's no electricity and the phone doesn't work. Yet they're gonna stay all night in the house because--get this!--the movers, the electric company and the phone company are all going to come at 6 a.m.! I'm gonna wait a minute for that little leap of illogic to sink in. First of all, what moving company comes at 6 a.m to deliver your stuff? And isn't that gonna really honk off the neighbors--espeically Mr. Flannel Arm? Yeah, I can see the girls are gonna be real popular in this neighborhood! Second of all, I remember being in college and the only reason we were up at 6 a.m. was because we'd stayed up all night. So, anyway...

After bantering about getting drunk and telling ghost stories, Janey tells everyone just why the house was so cheap. Five years before, Clyde Hockstetter went on a killing rampage in his house...and this is that house. The girls all whine, but Janey tells them, hey, that's why the place was so cheap. Jessica says it's OK since Old Man Hockstetter is dead and he's not gonna come back to get them. Then, as if on cue, something breaks a window and everyone freaks out. (Throughout this "scene" you can see the boom mike's shadow in the background. Ah, the joys of direct to video production values!)

Jessica and Suzanne head outside and are talking. Jessica asks Suzanne is she had trouble finding the place. Wait just a minute--didn't y'all pull up together? Apparently that little thing called continuity--not so big in the film. Yeah, somewhere an editor was probably fired over that little gaffe. Jessica gets after Suzanne for being out with Billy McGuire a couple of nights ago. Apparently Billy hasn't learned rule one of dating sorority girls--don't date two sorority girls in the same house at the same time. You can almost see the neon flashing lights coming out to say--PLOT POINT! PLOT POINT! We also find out a storm is supposed to hit the area later that evening--around 8 p.m.

Cut to a dark and stormy night. Cheezy lightning effects flash across the screen and it's now dark. The girls are all sitting around eating dinner when they hear scary noises. Turns out it's flannel hand from earlier. It's Orville Ketchum (played by Orville himself, no relation to county/western star Hank Ketchum), a fat guy in a flannel shirt who is just being neighborly. Oh yeah, and he was the one who lived next door when Hockstetter went on his killing rampage and he found the bodies. And yet the realtor wonders why this house didn't sell? Orville relates the story of Hockstetter's killing spree and we see flashbacks to it--which apparently this footage comes from the first Sorority House Massacre. I couldn't tell you because I was stupid and watched the second one first. Guess I ruined that movie, huh? Orville also gives them the key to the basement, where Hockstetter kept all his instruments of death. Orville leaves and heads home, where we later see him watching TV and eating something out of a bowl--raw meat. Oh yeah, and he's watching a slasher film and he's got newspapers about the killing lying about. Now, I know what you're thinking--gee, could it be any more obvious that he's the killer? And I'd say to you--yeah, sure looks that way. At this point, the movie is making an episode of Columbo look subtle.

Back to the five victims...er I mean girls. Being the geniuses they are, the first thing they do is--you guessed it!--head for the basement. (Seriously--how the hell did they sell the house without someone at least going down in the basement or a home inspection?!?) There's a bunch of junk down there including a huge hook and a doll with blood on it. Oh yeah, and we also find a Ouija board. Apparently these five girls are the only people on the planet who don't know that using a Ouija board in a house that once housed a brutal killer is a bad idea becuase they decide to use it later. They head back upstairs and we cut to...

Lt. Block (Jurgen Baum) and his partner Sgt. Shawlee (Karen Chorak, who BTW is the only female character in this film who won't remove her clothing as the movie progresses). Turns out Block was the one tasked with the Hockstetter case years ago and he just can't let go. He's afraid of what might happen and he's convinced that Orville had something to do with it. Shawlee encourages him to open the case back up and so they head off to find a link to the case...

It's pouring down rain and we see Orville out looking up at the house.

Inside, we cut to a shower being turned on. I guess director Jim Wynorski wants to have some type of homage to Psycho here. But wait--the difference is Psycho was good. This turns out to be a flimsy excuse to have a long scene of Jessica showering while the door handle jiggles. (It's not only thing that jiggles in this scene!) Also, apparently the tub has now shower curtain, making me wonder if taking a shower is such a hot idea since this is going to make a huge mess to clean up later. Oh wait, there I go--thinking again. I've really got to stop doing that. The door creeps open, the suspense builds and a hand reaches out...it's Suzanne, who has brought Jessica a towel. Jessica was worried it was Hockstetter come back to kill her and Suzanne opens her towel, jiggles and says she ain't Hockstetter. Jessica gets out of the shower, telling Suzanne there's no hot water, only cold. And then it hits you--there' s no electricity or phone service but there's water. And it's not really nasty gross water what with the pipes in disuse for five years? Oh wait...but I'm forgetting the main point here--we have naked women, jiggling in the shower. We cut to the other three women who are all removing clothing and changing into skimpy lingerie. Now, if you recall earlier, I said the house was cold but yet instead of doing what most normal people would and putting on sweats or warm clothes, we're going for lingerie and thongs. Jessica, showing that she's brave, gets undressed and dressed by the Ouija board.

Everyone gather together and gets out the booze. They also all start using the Ouija board. Now, of all the people they could contact--Elvis, Marilyn--the girls decide that contacting Hockstetter would be a cool idea. They find a spirit guide to lead them to Hockstetter and when they contact him, the Ouija board flies into the fire. Everyone is spooked and so they decide it's time to hit the hay.

In their room, Janey and Suzanne discuss things. Janey thinks maybe all this Hockstetter stuff isn't as much fun as she thought it would be. Buyer's remorse is setting in big-time. To help Janey unwind, Suzanne starts giving her a shoulder massage, which she revealed she learned from Billy McGuire. Janey is pissed since Billy is her man and she thought that Suzanne was dating someone else. An arguement enuses adn Janey leaves the room in a huff. Apparenty, Janey has not been to "Surviving a Horror Film 101" since we all know going off alone is pretty much asking to die. To make herself scream "VICTIM" even more, she starts drinking tequilia straight from the bottle downstairs. The basement door creaks ominiously and then Janey is attacked. We see the silhoutte of the hook and then blood fly up on the wall. No gore....guess this movie earned the R rating the old-fashioned way--T&A.

Now, at this point, I've started seriously questioning why I'm watching. But I look at the DVD counter, see I've come more than halfway and instead of skipping to the end, I'm determined to keep on going and see how this all comes out. Jeez, I need a life.

Suzanne has dozed off and goes downstairs to find Janey. She heads into the kitchen/dining room area where Janey bought the farm and sees no a)body or b)blood. Guess our killer took some time to scrub those walls after he was done. Because quite a bit of blood hit the walls to end Janey's life. Seriously--pyscho or not, this killer has cleaned up well, while still leaving the rest of the house looking like pure hell. Suzanne does find the broken tequilia bottle, gets creeed out and goes upstairs. Whether it's because she couldn't find Janey or she was upset at losing the tequilia, I'm not really sure. She tells everyone she can't find Janey and Jessica starts yelling her name. This doesn't work so they split up into pairs to look for Janey. Suzanne and Kimberly wander around upstairs and find the door to the attic. Figuring you never know, Suzanne goes up there to look for Janey. The door closes, Suzanne tells everyone this ain't funny and steps in a bear trap. (No, I am not making this up!) She screams for help, the killer comes and out and...more blood splattering on the wall. Geez, another mess to clean up!

Cutting away from the suspense at the house, we meet up again Block and Shawlee, who have gone to a strip club to meet up with Candy. (Just to show how politically incorrect this film is--as if the murders, T&A and playing on our stereotypes of fat guys who wear flannet wasn't enough--we see two mean in Arab costume who comment on the hotness of the strippers throughout the scene in what sounds like a bad Apu from The Simpsons accent.) Somehow Candy knew something about the murders earlier--whether she was there before or not, I'm not sure and I'll be damned if I'm rewinding to find out. Shawlee sarcatically compliments Candy on her pole dance. But sarcasm is beyond Candy and she takes it as a real compliment. Candy says she doesnt't think crazy neighbor Orville had anything to do with it, so Block lets the case go. Oh that is so going to come back to bite him later on. Mulder and Scully these two are not!

Meanwhile, back at the house, the next three vicitms have gathered back together. They decide that Janey and Suzanne are having a good laugh and hiding in the basement, so they head down there to look for them. (Have I mentioned that at no point do they think about putting on more clothes to do this? Apparently the correct gear for this is skimpy lingerie. Someone alert Victoria's Secret!) They head to the basement, look around and don't see them..that is until Jessica feels something dripping on her--it's blood from Janey and Suzanne who are strung up from the rafters. Wait a minute--I don't remember the ceilings being this high, but wait..that's what I get for thinking again! They scream and run upstairs. Linda grabs knives out in the kitchen and says, "I think we'll feel a whole lot safer with these!" while Jessica and Kimberly discuss the strategy of getting the hell out of there. They decide to go and get help--maybe even the police. At last, someone is showing some sense! This doesn't last long as one of them says they shouldn't bother going upstairs to get their clothes.

Instead, they head out into the pouring rain and see Orville across the street, staring. Of course, I can't blame Orville really as the sight of three women in lingerie, running out on rainy night when it's obviously cold and their lingerie is sticking to them isn't something you see every day. Orville starts slowly stalking across the street. Now, instead of running for the car, the girls stand there going, "What are we going to do?!?" for a few minutes and then run back inside. They lock the door, build a fire and are sitting in a circle, each with a knife watching each other's back. As they discuss the situation Orville tries to get into the house. He pushes open the door, but the door chain stops him. Apparently, this is chain is made from die-cast steel and not the typical cheap metal they use for these things as it stops Orville from coming in. Seriously, a good shoulder into the door and that thing will pop right off! Anyway, they all discuss whether all the windows and doors are locked, Kimberly reveals she was too scared to go into the attic and make sure the windows up there were locked. Someone just tatoo the words "Next Victim" on her head and be done with it!

They go up to the attic and see the windows are locked. Kimberly gets freaked out and runs off. Jessica goes off to look for something, saying "I'll be right back." Apparently, she's not seen Scream, since we know this is definitely against the rules of horror movies. Kim runs downstairs and into the blank, vacant face of Orville. She screams, runs back upstairs, trips over some boxes and locks herself in the bathroom. Orville stalks up after her slowly. Seriously, there are people with walkers who could outrun this guy. Kim hides between the sink and toliet because crazy mad pyscho killers NEVER look there. Someone bangs on the door and then the center of the door starts to be buckle. It's like that scene from The Shining, only that had Jack Nicholson and the snow did a better job of acting. The door gives, we see a shadow come over Kimberly and she screams.

Now, you'd think that not being too far from the carnage and the screaming, Linda or Jessica might, oh, I don't know--hear something! I guess too many hours listening to the WalkMan have destroyed their hearing! Up in the attic, Orville comes up, sees Linda and stalks over toward her. Luckily, Linda has her knife and she stabs Orville repeatedly. And she strangles him some chain that is lying around, killing Orville. I guess we can all breath a sigh of relief that this nightmare is over. Roll the closing credits please. Oh but we're not that lucky.

Linda goes downstairs to find the bathroom Kim was in. Apparently the killer didn't have time to clean up this time and there's blood everywhere. Kim is in the tub, submerged. Linda pulls her up and Kim says, "Jessica!" Oh yeah, in all of this, Kim somehow lost her clothes. Orville appears again and Linda drowns him in the toliet as well as beating his head in with the toliet seat. I tell ya, some people just won't die! She staggers downstairs, sees the Ouija board and the phone rings. Wait a minute--I thought the phone didn't work, you say! About that, you'd be right. The person babble something about being home and Linda has no clue. She hangs up the phone and walks away from it. Now, I don't know about you, but I think I'd try to call the police at this point what with the phone apparently working and all. But, nope...none of that silly logic stuff for Linda. She's just supposed to look hot and scantily clad...well, at least she does one out of two. The basement door creeks and Linda goes down there. She calls out "Hello" a lot and suddenly, Jessica steps out from behind a large box, which I swear wasn't there two scenes before. She's looking pasty and has a hook. Oh yeah, and somehow she's found some loose fitting clothes to don. Dammit, she's covered up so she MUST be evil!

Suddenly it all comes together...when the girls used the Ouija board earlier, they called up the spirit of Hockstetter who has now possessed Jessica. And now he's gonna use her to kill everyone he can. Apparently, Hockstetter is pyscho becuase as well know from Joey on Friends, if a guy had boobs, he'd just sit there fascinated by them all day and never leave the house. Since he's obviously not thinking--cool, I have boobs, he must be crazy. Linda runs upstairs and tries to escape but that damn door chain completely confuses her. Jessica comes up, they fight, Linda loses her knife. Linda gets slashed by the hook and thrown into some boxes. Jess gets stabbed. Linda sits up, drags herself over to the knife and sees Jess is gone. Remembering that repeat of classic Star Trek she saw last week, Linda channels Willam Shatner and implores Jess to look within and find the humanity deep down inside. Jess must have missed that one and keeps on coming at her with the hook. Posssessed Jess states that Jessica is gone and moves in to kill Linda...

...when Orville appears. Apparently Orville has been to the Steven Segall school of taking a beating and keeping on going because he' s got a knife sticking out of him, he's been drown and strangled and yet..he's still kicking! Seriously, how thick is that flannel? Orville says he's had all this guilt for letting Clive kill everyone all those years ago and he won't do it again. He takes the knife out and stabs Jess/Hockstetter with it and is apparetly killed again. Linda gets her knife, runs forward and kills Jess/Hockstetter. The collapse on the ground and Jess's voice says, "Linda?"

Cut to daylight. A policeman enters along with Block. The moving man found the house like this and called the cops. Block is horrified--"Jeez, not again" he exclaims. Believe me, buddy, I feel your pain. A box is pushed back and we see Linda. She is now possessed by Hockstetter. Orville jumps up, grabs Block's hand which is holding a gun and pumps Linda full of lead. Linda dies and Orville is pumped full of six rounds from two shotguns. But wait..this man is a survivor and not dead. Block says he has a pulse and we see him giggling as the words "The End?" appear on screen. Closing credits and then we see a newscast saying that Orville has been let go from the hosptial and they can't bring charges against him. At long last, this 77-minute nightmare is over.

At least until they come up with the sequel...


posted by Michael Hickerson at 8/17/2004 04:41:00 PM | |
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