Blu-ray Review: The House on Sorority Row (1982)

July 4, 2021

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Vicki (Eileen Davidson) and her sorority sisters are ready to have a little bit of that ol’ party-hardy magic that all graduating college students are so damn balls deep into, but one thing stands in their way to achieving all of that flip-cup nirvana… Mrs. Slater (Lois Kelso Hunt), a real bitch of a house mother if ever there was one… and also the victim of some sort of birthing mishap which I’m positive won’t factor into this narrative at all…
Anyway, Vicki’s got a gun, and after a half-assed prank gone wrong, Ironbox Slater finds herself tits up in the sorority house’s swimming pool. Oh well, time to have a rager!
Accidental death or not, someone must have witnessed that murder biz, because soon someone is offing our heroines one by one in various and sundry violent ways, and not even the soul-stirring tunes of 4 Out of 5 Doctors (think a Nick Gilder cover-band that decided writing their own material was a shit-hot idea… even though it clearly wasn’t) can tame the beast that prowls this night!
Will the chaste Kathy (Kate McNeil) have the stones to figure out this monstrous mystery, or will she fall prey to whatever is putting the death on her sorority gal-pals?!!
Here’s one that should be on the “must-own” list of every single one of you stalk n’ slay aficionados out there!
Full of preposterous twists and red-herrings, naked flesh, and some choice (if low-rent… and I mean “low”, as writer/director Mark Rosman had to create and add those effects after the film had wrapped) gore; The House on Sorority Row  is one hell of a ghoulish good time from the golden age of slashers, the eerie eighties!
It doesn’t hurt things that there are some truly entertaining performances in this fright flick as well with McNeil playing the ultimate girl-next-door heroine and Davidson turning in an unhinged turn as the party at all costs… and I mean all costs as the ultimate sorority sister.
Speaking of “performances”, Lois Kelso Hunt still manages to exude cruel wickedness and generate some audience sympathy as Slater… no small feat considering her voice is beyond obviously dubbed… it wouldn’t have surprised me if she busted out a “Paging Mr. Herman… ” before the credits rolled.
While the dubbing is truly special, there are plenty of special features on display on this Blu-ray release from MVD Entertainment (through there MVD Rewind label)… Best. Segue. Ever.
First up on the bonus material front are two audio commentaries with director Mark Rosman (one solo, and one with Davidson and McNeil), followed by a host of interviews featuring: actresses Harley Jane Kozak (covering her entire career), Davidson (which is an odd interview format for something like this as it’s actually hosted by a cheerful lady named “Kat”, as are the next two interviews following… ), and McNeil, Rosman, and composers Richard Band (another nice career-spanning chat) and Igo Kantor… so yeah, every aspect of the film’s production is well and truly covered!
Also included are an alternate black and white version of the film’s opening sequence, a series of storyboards for an unfilmed ending that would have really made this flick stand out, a mono audio presentation of the film with the opening appearing as it does up yonder, and the film’s trailer and TV spots.
Familiar yet strangely unique, The House on Sorority Row is a true gem of a slasher flick that will doubtless satisfy your original recipe stalk n’ slay cravings!


You May Also Like…