directed by: Roberta Findlay
starring: Amy Brentano, Shannon McMahon (I), Dan Erickson, Marla Machart, Elizabeth Rose, Cjerste Thor, Patricia Finneran, Gretchen Kingsley, Bridgete Cossu, Randall Walden, Brain Charlton Wrye, John Fasano, Pam La Testa, Mikhall Druhan, Lynnea Benson
(back of video blurb):
"Eight beautiful, sexy sorority girls attempt to brave the night in an abandonned, haunted whorehouse in a horror story that will petrify the most jaded of horror film fans.
Unbeknown to them, their boyfriends have rigged the house with assorted practical jokes to scare the ladies witless. However, the old house seems to have a mind of its own. Before very long, our heroines face a triple-threat; the increasingly more dangerous practical jokes, a psychotic murderer and the brothel itself."
"Eat my shorts tampon breath- I really saw something!"
- Preparing the spooky gags one of the Frat boys sees some real spooky shit going down
Ack! A Roberta Findlay slasher movie? Now this I had to see. An enigma, Findlay is something of a rarity, a woman director in the exploitation market who, fairly often, out-exploits her male counterparts. To say her filmography, and indeed, her life had been colourful would be something of an understatement. Half of a successful directing married couple (along with hubby Michael Findlay) she came up with some fairly infamous stuff, not least of all the sensationalist SNUFF (1974) and the wonderfully titled SHRIEK OF THE MUTILATED (1973) (a Bigfoot on the loose pic that I still really want to see- another used to be TV horror (in more ways than one, believe me) SNOWBEAST (1977), but a late night TV re-run of that satisfied me that my childhood memories were sadly wrong, but, at the very least, my 70's kitsch needs were well and truly satiated!). OK, so this is the woman who came up with THE ALTAR OF LUST (1975), produced TEENAGE MILKMAID (1975), helmed the reportedly brutal ghetto opus TENEMENT (1985), whose husband literally lost his head in a helicopter accident back in 1977, and who hasn't directed anything since BANNED in 1989- what kind of slasher flick could this woman come up with? Think cheese; think sleaze; think dialogue that could get you arrested- then double it. BLOOD SISTERS is, quite literally, the dog's bollocks when it comes to bad (as in baaad, and dangerous to know) slasher flicks. It's cheap; it's cheerless; and you could make a lasagne with it, but, really, could you resist a 'haunted whorehouse of horror'- especially if there also happens to be a mad killer clad in a lace nightie on the loose chasing sorority girls? Not me, that's for sure.
Every film, even one quite as diabolically cheesy as this, needs a set-up and good God has this one got a set-up. As opening dialogue goes this takes the biscuit: two kids (a young girl and a boy), she turns to him and curls her lip, "You haven't got a father You know what you're called?" "A pervert!" (eh? Run that by me just one more time). Regardless of the fact that, as an insult, it didn't make a great deal of sense, the little boy runs towards a house and then stops outside. Inside - cutting to that old slasher movie fave: the point-of-view shot - we see what turns out to be a brothel, full of ladies of the night in ill-fitting lingerie whose idea of touting for business is mouthing, "What's your hurry b-i-g boy?" to the camera The standard POV tracking shot takes us to a room where a portly lady is entertaining a bit of trade, but a couple of blasts from a double barrel shotgun soon puts an end to that
Slap me hard and call me Marsha, if we don't fast forward thirteen (yes, thirteen!) years to Edmondson College, where a group of sorority sisters kneel around a table in silk gowns and recreate the opening scenes from that Daphne Zuniga slasher flick, THE INITIATION (1983). Oh, hold on a minute I don't think that is actually supposed to be intentional- my mistake. Glamorous sounding Linda, head of the sorority, oversees these preparations for the sorority hazing, intoning the usual bumph about having to spend the night in a haunted house and remaining unfrightened and stoic in the face of the unknown. Most of the girls listen intently (all of them your usual array of cut-price over-aged teen beauties- except for one in specs, with a face even a mother would slap, who I kinda guessed would be soon on the chopping block), however, two - quite rudely in my opinion - openly discuss the upcoming fraternity dance party during the ceremony. Naturally enough we segue straight into the beer swilling, mullet infested college party straight out of a hundred earlier teen horror flicks- complete with a sax soundtrack that I swear was irritating my fillings. The girls sit around and bitch and goggle in equal measures, especially at self confessed 'stunner' Diana whose groovy dance moves consist solely of flicking her hair, and who turns up with a bevy of boss-eyed boys, which cause one of the other girls to pout: "Diana has three- that's just not fair!".
I could feel myself slowly fading as this kind of thing continued, as I watched what seemed like endless footage of awkward extras trying not to look at the camera as they shuffled from one foot to another. Luckily Linda, the Machiavellian head of the Sorority, who has arranged the hazing to take place in (you guessed it)- 'the haunted whorehouse of horror', steps in to discuss that night's events with some of the boys (who are as elderly as the girls if their vanishing hairlines were anything to go by). "The guys are going up there to rig everything up", explains one, before getting excited by a prospective gag with a papier-mache axe; " as long as it's papier-mache.", warns Linda (perhaps having a slight premonition of things to come). ...