I must start off by saying that I was grossly disappointed with this film. Not that I had high expectations in the first place, but preliminary elements such as being a mid-80s B-horror flick with the title it possesses, as well as having a director at the helm who had a hand in the original sub-genre film of its type, Slumber Party Massacre, it’s quite a long-shot from living up to those expectations.
Sorority House Massacre (1986) can be considered a rip-off to Halloween with its similar, but feeble, storyline. The film follows college-aged antagonist Beth (Angela O’Neill) whose brother ends up in a psychiatric asylum after murdering his entire family except for his little sister who escaped the tragedy that would subsequently haunt her dreams forever. As this traumatic event occurred at the tender age of five years old, fast forward to her late teens and forgetting much about the catastrophe, Beth unknowingly joins a sorority that happens to inhabit the very house where her nightmare ensued.
After having recurring dreams about a strange man warranting her death, she slowly (very slowly indeed) starts linking these delusions with reality and eventually realizes that her big bro is back and out to finish his dirty work.
Director and writer Carol Frank, like stated above, helped work on the much more exciting (and superior in every aspect for that matter) Slumber Party Massacre (1982) as the “assistant to the director” Amy Jones. It’s sad to think that Frank seemingly didn’t apply nearly as much depth into her directorial debut here, which not surprisingly was her last. Apparently she should have been taking more notes on defining stronger character development, implementing stylish effects (which is quite absent throughout as we see nothing beyond multiple stabbings with a small knife) and pacing her storyline. Even the splash of T&A presented doesn’t even help stimulate this flick any higher than below average.
Taking its poor acting (even for 80s B-horror standards), cliché scare tactics that never seem to work and a ridiculous finale involving a shovel (you’ll know what I’m talking about once you see it) into consideration, it’s an offbeat, slowly-paced for its own good attempt (even with a mere 74-minute duration) where the catchphrase “one and done” is well-deserved for so-called director Carol Frank.