HOUSE OF EVIL- UK video cover
3 stars   Cheese Rating: 50% Fiesty Fondue!

" When the NIGHTMARE ends...
the TERROR begins!

directed by: Mark Rosman
starring: Kathryn McNeil, Eileen Davidson

(back of video blurb):

       "On a dark and windswept rainy night, a middle-aged woman gives birth.

       Twenty years later she is the hated house mothet at a New England college. She makes apoint of interrupting the girls while they are 'entertaining' their boyfriends, forbids parties and even the major college sport, drinking. The girls decide to get revenge with a practical joke. It backfires HORRIFICALLY!!!

       Now someone or something is stalking them. And for the first time they find the attic door unbolted...

" a skillfully made horror picture that marks a promising debut for writer-director Mark Rosman, onetime assistant to Brian de Palma (Scarface)"-LOS ANGELES TIMES

"Plenty of genuine chills and all the deadliest taste"-WHATS ON AND WHERE TO GO

"nasty surprises and bizarre bits of business...a neatly offbeat finale"-CITY LIMITS

"screen smart slash with panache"-TIMEOUT"

choice dialogue:

"You understand?...I must find him!...
You are the last one of your friends're the bait!"

slash with panache?

       Great little movie this one- and probably the best of the dorm slashers.

       In a black and white prologue, a woman gives birth, at home, during a thunderstorm. When she asks the doctor if the baby is all right he shakes his head. Her screams echo through the night...sorority girls of the HOUSE OF EVILThe action moves to the present day and the house, now a sorority dorm, is home to nubile young ladies painting their toe nails blood red and packing up their lingerie. It is the end of term and the house is closing for the holidays. Everyone is leaving- apart from a group of seven girls planning an illicit party at the weekend. Mrs. Slater, house mother (and woman from the prologue) refuses to let the party go ahead and further angers the girls by slashing one of their waterbeds ,with the sharp tipped walking cane she carries everywhere, after interrupting some rumpy-pumpy. Furious, the girls plan " good old fashioned sorority prank."- to pay her back, once and for all, for her meddling. The prank goes tragically wrong- Mrs. Slater lies dead. Panicking, the girls weigh the body down and it sinks to the bottom of the outside swimming pool. For appearances sake, and to avoid suspicion, the party goes ahead. But, much to their horror, Mrs. Slater’s body vanishes from the swimming pool and ,whilst the party continues to swing, the girls begin to meet grisly ends at the hands of someone carrying Mrs. Slater’s lethal cane....

       Director, Rosman, managed to make an exciting and stylish film- regardless of ,what was evidently, a meagre budget.Fun and games in the HOUSE OF EVIL He is helped by a likeable, and generally talented , cast- especially Kathryn Mc Neil who is great as the movie’s ‘final girl’. There is also a fairly intriguing subplot and there are enough twists and turns to keep the most jaded slasher-fan on their toes. Rosman also shows a flair for the macabre; a head turns up in the toilet bowl, children’s toys appear before many of the murders and, in an especially effective scene, Mc Neil discovers all her (dead) friends floating in the same pool that they dumped Mrs. Slater’s body. This film has a little something for everybody! For that ‘cheese’ fix the party scene is pretty entertaining and gore-fiends should be fairly satiated by the lively death scenes. There are distinctive shades of DIABOLIQUE and ,especially at the end, BLACK CHRISTMAS, but the film is good enough not to seem like a blatant rip-off.

       Clever, entertaining and ,occasionally, quite scary. What more could you ask for?!

BODYCOUNT 10  bodycount!   female:7 / male:2 (& 1 budgie)

       1) Middle-aged woman shot dead
       2) Male teen given bloody tracheotomy with Mrs. Slater's cane
       3) Female teen stabbed to death with cane
       4) Female teen impaled on cane
       5) Budgie found murdered!
       6) Female teen has hand impaled and then stabbed to death with cane
       7) Female teen decapitated with knife
       8) Female teen has throat cut
       9) Female teen hacked to death with cane
       10) Middle-aged man hacked to death with cane