[ review by the Erk Threlfall]
Here we go again, another one to file under 'pointless sequel snooze-fest'. The first SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE had a certain cheesy charm mainly due to the fact that it was filmed during the great taste famine that was 1986. In this 1990 follow up, it's hard to laugh at the fashions, due in most part to the fact that the lead actresses aren't wearing any clothes! In fact, it's hard to find anything amusing, frightening or just plain entertaining about this bore-a-thon.
SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE II was originally filmed under the title 'Nightie Nightmare', a far more apt name, as the film has little to do with SHM part 1 and more to do with skimpy lingerie. In fact, as if to prove that the movie has nothing to do with Part 1, it actually features flashback footage to SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE, which I initially thought was some kind of shoddy oversight by the productions personnel. But according to director Jim Wynorski, this footage was thrown in as an afterthought to beef up the films running time. (Check out the excellent 'Old Hockstedder Place' website for an in depth interview and also loads of other info on massacres of both the 'slumber party' and 'sororoity house' variety)
The plot is as flimsy as the leading ladies outfits. Five top heavy girls arrive at an old sorority house and plan to do it up. Since there is no electricity, the girls decide to spend their first evening there prancing around in their underwear and playing with a ouija board that they found in the basement. Earlier that day, their bizarre, raw meat eating neighbour, Orville Ketchum, told them all about a massacre that took place in the house. The girls decide to contact the spirit of the killer, a Mr Hockstedder which as you can predict, ends in a scantily clad disaster. For starters, the planchette/diviner or whatever you call it, skates off the ouija board and into the fireplace. This leads one of the personality deprived ladies to exclaim "lightning must've hit the house and created a huge electrical charge". This is followed by a string of girls being killed mostly off screen. We see the shadow of a hook swiping at the girls and blood splashing unconvincingly across the walls.
Special effects (and clothes!) aren't the only thing this film is short of. Although there are plenty of worse films out there, talent is in short supply both in front of and behind the camera. Each actress seems to have been cast for two great big wobbly reasons only. The direction is pedestrian to say the least and the mundane sets look like they're straight out of an early 80s Australian soap. There's a VERY slight element of mystery as to the identity of the killer, just don't expect a giallo-esque revelation at the end. Director Jim Wynorski certainly has a fair amount of celluloid atrocities attached to his name (976-EVIL 2 anyone ?) although in his defence he did make the entertaining CHOPPING MALL (1986) which suggests that given time and money he could deliver the goods. However, with SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE 2, it looks like he was given 15 pounds and 2 days to produce his film. Somehow, Roger Corman was suitably impressed with this effort and provided the funds for a remake, 1990's HARD TO DIE which I haven't seen but is reported to be a superior, more action oriented picture than this pile of pants.
I'm sure 99 per cent of us all the fear the dreaded words 'direct-to-video' and it's films like this that give us reason why. If a 75 minute wonder-bra advert is your cup of tea then maybe you'll like it, although if that's what you're after then there are better places to go. Like Amsterdam for instance. One to avoid.
Justin: To be honest, I'd read Erik's great review a few months ago (he then very kindly provided me with a copy of the film so I could take some screen snaps), and I'd put off watching the damn thing for the multiple reasons he lists. Funny thing was, then, that when I did finally sit down and pop it into the VCR I actually ended up quite enjoying it (which I'm sure says more for my low standards when it comes to this kind of trash after I've had a few glasses of red wine than it does for Erik's taste!).
Yes, it is pretty bad, an exercise in sloppy film-making from beginning to end (in one scene you can see the shadow of the squeezy bottle someone is crouching and holding ready to squirt blood up the walls!); there is an absolutely pointless sub-plot involving two cops who only seem to be there so we get a protracted pole-dancing scene (er, that's not with the cops, btw); and to cap it all those flashbacks to SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE, where Wynorski has the audacity to invent some spurious legend which has nothing to do with that film. However, there was a certain tongue-in-cheek campiness which made it just about watchable for me. Perhaps because I expected nothing I couldn't be too disappointed.
It's certainly no CHOPPING MALL, more's the pity, but if you've had a skinful and you want a mindless wallow in bargain basement hell, away from the prying eyes of those with a modicum of good taste, then you could do worse than this (no, really!).
female:8 / male:2
1) Female killed with drill (flashback)
2) Female stabbed in stomach (flashback)
3) Female killed with drill (offscreen, flashback)
4) Male stabbed with machete (flashback)
5) Female stabbed offscreen
6) Female stabbed offscreen
7) Female killed offscreen
8) Female stabbed in chest & throat
9) Female shot
10) Male shot