The Horror Honeys: Slasher Hexmas ~ When You Can’t Have Your Way, the Answer Is Murder

Slasher Hexmas ~ When You Can’t Have Your Way, the Answer Is Murder

A Slasher Honey Hexmas Review by Chassity

The Dorm That Dripped Blood (1982)

Sometimes, you love a movie for its pure awesomeness. Sometimes you hate a movie because it’s boring and otherwise a complete disaster. And sometimes, you discover a movie at just the wrong time and end up hating it because of some bias stemming from current events, seeing too many movies just like it, or other things completely external to the actual film. 

I have to say, The Dorm That Dripped Blood falls into that third category. 

Let me just start with this little disclaimer. You have to understand that this is coming from someone who loves 80s slashers movies. They’re in my top five as far as the list of my favorite things goes. So you’d think that I would have really loved this movie. And I certainly wish I could say that I did. But keep in mind that by the same token, that love makes me a pretty harsh critic. Like a strict parent who wants the best for their child, I demand a lot from my old school slashers, and as someone who’s fairly open minded about these things, it’s not really hard to pass muster. So with that all said, please feel free to take this all however you'd like. 

Now that that’s out of the way. The Dorm That Dripped Blood is a pretty basic slasher film about a bunch of college kids staying on a deserted (and, I might add, seemingly isolated) college campus during the holiday season, so that they can clean out a dormitory that’s about to be demolished. While they’re there, they’re stalked and murdered one by one, all the while assuming that the culprit is a local weird guy for no other reason than he’s weird and he’s not supposed to be there. That’s it. Oh, and the killer gets away with it.

Sigh. Where to begin? 

First things first. The whole premise makes no sense. Students are responsible for renovating and cleaning out dorms? Uh… since when do institutions with tons of money invested in them use nineteen and twenty-year-olds with no experience to prepare their construction projects? It might seem like a tiny thing to pick on, but it just doesn’t make sense. I even looked up and read up on co-op dorms to see if I could find anything that would indicate that this kind of work would be part of the students’ responsibilities, and I still didn’t find anything. This just seemed like a not-so-well-thought-out explanation for why the campus would be so isolated. Why not just construct a plot in which the students were there to take make up tests or lived too far away and couldn’t afford to go home? At least that would have made sense. 

And let’s talk about the obvious red herrings. Now, usually I am one to embrace the use of harbingers of impending doom, and red herrings. In this case, I had a huge problem with it. The first reason is because I could tell right away that the John Hemmit character (the local weirdo lurking about) was both a red herring and a harbinger of impending doom. And the others on campus insensitively pegged him as a stalker and killer because he was different. To me, that’s problematic. There was something obviously off about John Hemmit, but instead of reaching out to him and trying to be kind to him, everyone wrote him off, bullied and intimidated him with little to no evidence to support their accusations of him. At the very least, they could have just left him alone. It also makes it hard to feel sorry for the Final Girl because she’s the one who led the pack in making everyone else believe Hemmit was a threat. Maybe instead of assuming someone is dangerous because they don’t behave socially the way we want them to, or because they’re often alone, perhaps people should consider that they’re just lonely? Now, this may be me being overly sensitive on the subject because of certain social issues at the forefront of political discourse right now, but all I know is it made me mad watching while this movie. 

The red herring and harbinger is just one of many tropes used in this film. And therein lies the problem. Unfortunately, The Dorm That Dripped Blood is so bogged down in tropes and clichés that is doesn’t have anything to set itself apart from the many other slashers of the decade. It’s generic and a completely forgettable at best. You can pretty much check off every slasher trope. Isolated teens? Check. People doing stupid things like splitting up? Check. Overly macho male character who makes the mistake of trying to antagonize the killer? Check. 

But there’s one thing that really pissed me off about the movie, and that’s the twist. Or rather, the motive of the actual killer that’s revealed in the twist. I don’t want to give too much away, but suffice it to say that the killer is mad because the Final Girl is in love with someone else and not him. So…he decides to kill all his friends as well as the Final Girl, Joanne, for revenge? Because not only does he feel entitled to Joanne’s body and affections (how dare she not be interested in him, and doesn’t she know that that gives him the right to take her life), but this unfulfilled sense of entitlement makes him so angry that he takes it out on people who have nothing to do with his misogynist entitlement and macho bravado. 

Look, by now I don’t need to go into too much detail about how this is problematic to me as a feminist and as a woman. I’ll just say that it turned an otherwise watchable (if boring) film into something that made me so mad, I wouldn't consider watching it again. 

Slasher Honey Rating: 0 crappy actor screams out of 5

The Dorm That Dripped Blood is available via Amazon Instant Video, YouTube, & blu-ray!

Did you ever do a reno on your own college?
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