The Horror Honeys: Slasher Hexmas ~ Don’t Haze Your Housemother!

Slasher Hexmas ~ Don’t Haze Your Housemother!

A Supernatural Honey Slasher Hexmas Review by Suzanne

The House on Sorority Row (1983)

This past week our lovely Sci-Fi Honey, Katie, reviewed 2009’s Sorority Row and had mostly positive feels about it. I don’t share those feels, primarily because the film it’s based on is already pretty bad and it did nothing to improve on the already ridiculous premise. The 80s were THE era of the slasher film and although there were plenty of stellar choices, The House on Sorority Row isn’t one of them.

On the eve of their college graduation, a group of sorority sisters decide, rather than packing up and heading off to their respective futures, they will stay a few additional days and throw a graduation party. Their house mother, Mrs. Slater, who closes up the house every year for mysterious reasons, is none too pleased with this turn of events and tries to force them out. The sorority’s queen bee, Vicki (Eileen Davidson), isn’t taking this lightly, especially since Mrs. Slater ruined a very intimate moment for her. Vicki plans a prank to scare Mrs. Slater, but it goes horribly wrong, as pranks tend to do, and she kills her instead.

Oops!

As the party takes shape, people begin to get picked off. The girls believe Mrs. Slater wasn’t really dead and it is she who is doing the picking. Enter the creepy doctor from Mrs. Slater’s past to enlighten us all, including final girl Katherine (Kate McNeil). The killer is none other than Mrs. Slater’s mutant love child, Eric. It’s always an Eric or a Billy, right?

When in doubt, throw in a clown.
As is the case with many 80s slashers, the film begins in flashback. In this instance, it’s the birth of Mrs. Slater’s baby. Of course, you are lead to believe the baby was stillborn so you can be surprised later on, but sadly, you won’t be. We aren’t given many details other than a fertility experiment gone wrong, causing developmental issues and deformities. We never do get a clear look at our maniac. I suppose that kept the budget low, saving on special effects.

The House on Sorority Row is a blatant rip-off of Black Christmas, right down to the rocking chair in the attic window. Unfortunately, it doesn’t measure up in any way. Every character is so cliché and irritating, you pray for death. Even the final girl isn’t worth saving. 

Who hasn’t ended up on the bathroom floor after a party?
Speaking of the girls, you won’t find any future mega-stars among these Theta Pi sisters. Eileen Davidson has made a name for herself in soap operas and Harley Jane Kozak (Arachnophobia, Parenthood), who is perhaps the most competent actress in the lot, would have been a much more sympathetic Katie. Mrs. Slater, herself, could have been a much more compelling character, but for the stiff acting of Lois Kelso Hunt, whose voice was dubbed throughout the film, quite noticeably. It is simply my opinion that all housemothers in 70s and 80s sorority films should have been played by Shelly Winters. 

This film has become something of a cult classic and although I do get some nostalgic feels upon repeated viewings, it’s terribly dated, poorly acted, badly written, and can’t compete with other films of the decade.

Cheers to the death of our acting careers!
The House on Sorority Row is available on DVD and BD. You can also watch it on Amazon Prime and IMDb streaming, and YouTube

Supernatural Honey Rating: 2.5 demented attic babies out of 5

Would you rush Theta Pi?
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