So once again we have survived.

Sorority Row

tn_sororityrowBruceSometimes when we talk about all these horror remakes it seems kind of senseless, you can’t even tell what they’re thinking when they pick which movies to remake. But the reasoning behind this one is clear: HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW is one of our culture’s most recognized and beloved stories ever. The name recognition alone is invaluable, even if you change the name, like they did here. But the idea of a killer going after sorority girls to avenge a prank gone wrong, you can’t just make something like that up. You gotta remake it up. You buy the rights to it, then you change what the prank is and who is accidentally killed and who gets revenge and how they do it and why, and you change the title and most of the characters and events.

I trust I’ve made my case. This young generation was hungry for a movie that is not named after but is slightly similar to a whole bunch of movies they never heard of including HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW. These producers and filmatists could feel that hunger, they could hear the growling stomach of the zeitgeist, and they delivered it this pizza. And we, as a culture, used a coupon and didn’t tip.

mp_sororityrowSORORITY ROW doesn’t aspire to more than being a stupid throwaway forgettable slasher movie, so it doesn’t fail that bad. It has a couple funny kills, like the one where the girl has a wine bottle hammered into her mouth, and I forget the other one. Most of the characters are deliberately hatable, especially the Kim Catrall wannabe alpha-bitch leader who bullies her sorority sisters into covering up the accidental killing of their friend so as not to risk her relationship with a senator’s son. There’s also a good-girl character who felt the most guilty about what happened (kind of the Sue Snell of the movie) and we know she’s good because we’re told she did unspecified “charity work” during the year the movie skipped over. That’s how guilty she felt.

Bruce’s daughter Rumer Willis plays the shy girl with glasses, and I wouldn’t dream of giving away whether or not she finds the inner strength to turn tough and snuff the killer at the end, let alone if I was disappointed that she doesn’t say “Yippy ky yay, woman hater” or anything along those lines.

Unfortunately there’s not too much to recommend this movie, although I did laugh at some of the dumb dialogue and behavior, and I appreciate that. I know that girl getting killed was an accident, but I do think it was poor judgment to say she’s dead and it’s time to dismember her body and then have everybody turn their back on the guy who really believes they’re trying to dispose of a body. He stabs her with a tire iron, so the movie’s avenging slasher uses a tire iron with fancy blades attached to it. We’ve seen several people murdered with this weapon and understood what it was and then near the end they have a character look at it and point out explicitly that it’s a “pimped out version” of the tire iron. Thanks for the Cliff’s Notes, lady.

At one point there was some graffiti by the killer and I was trying to figure out what the hell “the tapi” is before I figured out it was a run-together “Theta Pi must die.” And I laughed because then I remembered that when this was in theaters I kept seeing ads with “thetapimustdie.com” and I couldn’t figure it out then either, it just looked like “the tapi must die.” It’s all Greek to me, ha ha, get it.

Hopefully these writers did a better job with PIRANHA 3-D. If not, hopefully the directational chops of Alexandre Aja and the magic of 3-D piranhas chewing shit up will make that one more memorable. The direction here is fine, but nothing special. Every once in a while there’s a really beautiful shot, or a funny one, like when the girls come walking in slow motion out of a burning house like a bunch of badasses. They think they’re the opening credits of RESERVOIR DOGS or something, but they’re all showing off their cleavage and one of them has no pants on.

sororityreservoirdogs
How does the remake top the original? Well, it’s more expensive. The parties are much bigger, with an elaborate tracking shot around girls in pajamas having a feather and pillow fight while bouncing on a giant trampoline, or playing in a mountain of bubble bath suds. There are more extras and they are more carefully modified with delicate hair tints, laser tans and advanced titty customization.

The real Game Changer though is how much they use text messages, cell phone cameras and the light from their phones. This is a crucial update because real sorority girls would watch the original, which has none of that, and wouldn’t understand what the fuck was going on. To them it might as well be a western or a Roman gladiator picture. This was the only way to get them to relate. Somebody should put some texting in all the Shakespeare plays to make them more relevant to today. And A CHRISTMAS CAROL. And SCREAM. That movie holds up but the cell phone technology is so out of date. Most people don’t even own cell phones in that movie! It’s like in BULLITT how they have that computer that fills up most of a room. Laughable.

Speaking of SCREAM, remember Carrie Fisher’s horrible cameo in SCREAM 3? Hopefully not. She has a small part here that’s much better. She’s the gruff house mother, hated and accidentally killed in the original, but not in this one. She survives long enough to go after the killer with a shotgun. Good for Carrie Fisher.

Another thing about SCREAM: I’m not sure but I think we might’ve hit that horrifying moment when we have a wave of slasher movies that are nostalgic for that wave of slasher movies that came after Kevin Williamson got nostalgic for the wave of slasher movies that came after HALLOWEEN. It’s not postmodern at all, praise Jesus, but it’s got that I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER guilty secret vibe and it has the SCREAM whodunit, unmask the killer like Scooby Doo at the end type story, complete with the red herrings and the URBAN LEGEND style completely arbitrary solution to the mystery. Seems like they probly filmed the whole movie and then spun a bottle to see which actor got to be the killer. Anyway it definitely seems more like it’s trying to be like those ’90s slashers than like HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW. Even the poster there looks pretty ’90s.

God damn, we’re old, aren’t we? What are we doing watching this shit?

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 at 3:53 am and is filed under Horror, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

46 Responses to “Sorority Row”

  1. I take my hat off to you, Vern. Finding something interesting to say about this film is an impressive feat. I was supposed to review this for our site, but after watching it I sat in front of the computer for fifteen frustrating minutes and gave up.

    Very bland, forgettable film. I think the only part I liked even a little bit was Carrie Fisher going on a badass rampage with a shotgun.

    “What are we doing watching this shit?”

    That’s a fucking good question.

  2. Cell-phones are something of a plot burden to horror movies. Survival horrors usually get away with having a
    remote location with no cell coverage, but anything set in a modern urban environment needs to deal with the
    issue, otherwise the audience isn’t going to accept it. it’s a fine line though because you could end up with gratuitous
    product placement.

    Here in the UK the Orange mobile network sponsors 2 fo 1 Wednesdays, and have a great series of ads where
    a couple of Orange movie execs have film ideas pitched at them by various celebs (Seagal even starred in one) which are then twisted to showcase the latest development in cell-phone technology. The latest, btw stars Danny Glover, bemoaning the film he’s been forced to make (Dial Hard). Sorority Row sounds like the sort of twisted movie the Orange execs would make.

  3. BTW please excuse my constant, cack-handed paragraphing – my office pc uses a really old browser and won’t wrap text.

  4. I liked this one sorta/kinda. Better than the original anyway, which wasn’t very good to begin with. And that’s pretty much what I’ve been saying all along: If you’re going to remake a horror movie; remake one a bad one so there’s nowhere to go but up. At least those Hollywood assholes are finally starting to listen. (Either that or they’re just running
    out of horror movies to remake.)

  5. Also, I predict the next Hollywood horror fad is going to be the remake reboot. That means we’ll soon have another Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, possibly starring someone off Twilight or High School Musical, for Vern to rip into.

  6. Hey Vern how you find time for this crap but still no Hellboy 2? Stop torturing yourself and see a good movie.

    (Hellboy 2 is the 2nd best superhero movie ever after Spiderman 2)<<<<<FACT CHECKED

  7. or, check out the Cold Prey movies and see how Norway handles a slasher movie. (pretty darn well, imho).

  8. Pretty sure Vern said he wouldn’t write a “proper” review of Hellboy 2 because Del Toro wrote a forward for Vern’s first book, so he didn’t want to raise any integrity issues with whether he could write a’fair’ review. Though he’s commented in some other review comments that he liked the film.

    Though personally I found it messy, it solved problems of the first film, but then went and created new ones.

  9. I’m not sure what it is but I can’t stand Rumor Willis (and she keeps showing up on TV shows I watched) and was hoping she would die a horrible death in the movie.

  10. Like Vern says, there are a couple of memorable kills and maybe an amusing line of dialogue or two in this one. But as for the filmmaking itself, I have nothing but contempt for it. It’s one of those horror movies where its clear that the director had no interest in or understanding of the genre. It’s all choppy, rhythmless, strobe-light editing and no effort to build any atmosphere or tension… It looks like more thought went into designing the long tracking shot Vern mentioned of a bunch of girls partying than any of the suspense set-pieces. Basically, the sign of a filmmaker who is trying to establish commercial credentials (look, I can photograph teen girls looking pretty!) and not so much trying to craft a memorable horror film.

  11. You know, you consistently write better when you dun like something. Combo of snarky, sarcastic, self-amused inner Vern and gold-hearted, good-natured optimistic Vern is my favourite Vern. I got some suggestions for more of that guy Vern:

    Dark Harvest 2: The Maize
    Vampire Blvd
    Big Sister 2000
    Rollergator
    Search For The Beast
    Hollywood High School Part II
    The Room
    Ben & Arthur
    Curse Of Bigfoot
    Da Hip Hop Witch
    Manos: The Hands of Fate
    The Party At Kitty And Stud’s
    The Magic Christmas Tree
    Curse Of The Zodiac
    Green River Killer
    BTK Killer
    The Weird World Of LSD
    Ring Of Terror
    Ax ’Em

  12. dieselboy, I hate to disagree with you but Hellboy 2 was an awkward mess. Not even close to the freshness of the first one. I’ll grant you it looked great but the whole M.I.B. vibe of it really spoiled that world for me. Everybody was so casual and jokey about the monsters and the dangers. In the comic only Hellboy himself could afford to be casual because he’s nigh indestructible. For everyone else it was a deadly serious threat. Also, the final set looked cheap and that mechanical/magical army looked like something right out of a video game. Totally insubstantial.

  13. I liked Hellboy 2, but Condorman and Zebraman are the two best superhero
    movies of all time.

  14. Well, Hellboy 2 was better than The Dark Knight (but not as good as X-Men 2 or Spiderman 2).

  15. Have to agree with darryll on Hellboy 2. The whole time I was trying to figure out why I wasn’t liking it more. I like the individual pieces of the movie so much more than the whole.

    Nice review Vern. Agree completely. It didn’t exactly fail so much as it just didn’t succeed at anything. Not a complete waste of time, but it’s pretty depressing that it even exists

  16. Personally, I reckon the reason everyone digs HELLBOY 2 so much is because it’s so much better crafted than HELLBOY 1. Same great character, more interesting background.

    I like HELLBOY 1. Don’t love it. Like it. I don’t think I love HELLBOY 2, but I’d like to give it another watch. Don’t reckon I’ll be watching SORORITY ROW anytime soon, though.

  17. While I have an enjoyment of both, I like Hellboy 2 less than 1 because the problems of the first one got dialled up rather than toned down. It gets goofier, Hellboy becomes more of a jerk (having Myers shipped off to the Antarctic, being willfully insubordinate rather than more accidentally so in the first film, being a dick to Krauss, ignoring the whole thing from the first film where he and Manning were seeming to get along more), not to mention arguably dumber. The visuals were great, but I think the darkness of them clashes to much with the script and events. The first one played it more straight by adapting actual stories from the comic more, so their seriousness and tone were more prominent.

  18. Maybe it’s time for slashers to takes a dirt nap, kind of like they did pre-Scream in the 90’s. I don’t know, maybe it’s time we just stop making them for a little while until some young hot shot with a vision comes up with some new take. This remake/homage/meta stuff is just going around and around in circles, like a snake eating it’s own tail or something. Let’s have something new, please, for the love of God.

    How about a sudden wave of Edgar Allen Poe ‘updates?’ Like MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH in a sorority house? Or THE TELL TALE HEART for the Twilight crowd?

  19. Brendan-I guess Wes Craven has been confirmed to be working on Scream 4 soon so it looks like the retirement of slasher films might have a ways to go.

  20. There should be a slasher movie of people stalking talkbackers of Vern’s website that talks shit about slasher movies. :)

  21. I saw a sketch on a comedy show once which was a spoof horror trailer has a guy reading the test results on his grandma’s autopsy
    “She died of…Natural Causes”
    Voiceover Guy: NATURAL CAUSES. (a bad horror movie production)

  22. Lawrence, aw man, don’t go sicking slashers after me. That’d be a huge pain in the ass.

  23. Lawrence: That’s just ridiculous. We all know that no one takes slashers seriously. In fact, I’ll list several reasons why I think you … wait a minute, someone is at my door.

    [Screams heard off screen as Jareth is whacked with a pick axe.]

  24. Ok, quite a long one this, so bear with me. I’ve tried to keep this fairly spoiler-free; there are spoilers, but nothing that would ruin any movies I’ve mentioned for you.

    If I’m a conoisseur in anything, it’s body-horror. (“Bodysnatchers”, “Puppet masters”, that kind of thing.) But if anybody’s a conoisseur in bad teen mystery horror slasher flicks from the 80s, 90s and 00s, it’s probably me; so let’s take a look at how “Sorority Row” stacks up to some of the best of the rest.

    STOCK FEMALE CHARACTERS:

    – The bitch: “Sorority Row”‘s is certainly on the level the one from the original “Prom Night” but lacks the edge of “Scream”‘s Gail Weathers. “Valentine” had Denise Richards, but she couldn’t quite pull it off. “Cherry Falls”‘s bitch is a bit part in comparison to SR’s, but is memorable enough. The same is true of “I know what you did last Summer”. “Terror Train”‘s bitch is pretty un-memorable even by eighties slasher movie standards. So overall I think “Sorority Row” comes out ahead here.
    – The brain: I wasn’t impressed by Sorority Row’s brainy character. But she does get her chops at the end. I just wish I knew more about her. I quite like also that the brain isn’t the first or second kill, since she normally is in this kind of movie – look at “Valentine” for example.
    – The nympho: Dies too early for me. Look, nobody is EVER going to beat Tara Reid’s performance as the radio DJ in “Urban Legend”, so why do these films even try?
    – The token black / Asian chick: is still black / Asian. She’s sassy, streetwise, and killed two thirds of the way through the movie, in company with every single other black / Asian character that’s not played by a famous R&B or rap star in a slasher film.
    – The innocent-turned-heroine: I actually liked this one. She does a good job of taking a slight role and making it more sympathetic, and a whole lot less annoying, than the girl from “Ellen” in “Urban Legend”. I think Brittany Murphy from “Cherry Falls” really owns this role though. “I know what you did last Summer” is the odd one out here, since the heroine’s IQ and charisma both drop about fifty points between the first film (in which the heroine is the only one who realizes who the killer is ahead of time) and its sequel (in which the entire audience knows who the killer is from five minutes in, but it’s a total shock to everyone on screen).
    – The unexpectedly well-characterized non-stereotypical character: Nope, Sarah Michelle Gellar isn’t in this one, sorry. You can’t have everything.
    – The badass older female: “Reece” from Urban Legend is just a play on old blaxploitation movies, but I’m glad they brought her back for the sequel. Carrie Fisher does well in this role, and gets the chance to go shotgun-happy for a while. It’s far from the most entertaining thing in “Sorority Row” but I give it points for effort.

    STOCK MALE CHARACTERS:

    – The heroine’s boring boyfriend: look, you have Paul from “Urban Legends”, Adam from “Valentine”, Kenny Ascott from “Cherry Falls”, Derek from “Scream 2”, they’re all the same. Occasionally they’re portrayed as suspects, or even killers, but beyond a last-minute twist, they don’t offer much to the movie despite being there during pretty much the entirety of it. The first two “Scream” films mastered the art of making the boring boyfriend an interesting character – thanks in part to good turns by Skeet Ulrich and Jerry O’Connell in Scream 1 and 2 respectively – but “Sorority Row” wisely doesn’t attempt this and keeps the boyfriend out of it for most of the film.
    – The nympho’s jock boyfriend: weirdly not present, although the token Asian girl gets a jock boyfriend to compensate. Generally these films keep this one present for an extra suspect / cannon fodder, but they’re never anything more than red herrings. Fun fact: “Urban Legend’s” jock boyfriend Parker gets a triple-legend kill (involving three separate legends about pop rocks, a dog and a microwave, and a babysitter receiving anonymous phone calls from somebody in her house). It’s beautifully staged and shot with just the right amount of avid farts.
    – The bitch’s rich boyfriend – present, correct, and with token over-controlling rich father as company. He’s definitely superior to the rich boyfriend from “Scream 3”, who gets killed too early on to be memorable. “Sorority Row” doesn’t, I fear, make the most of this character, although towards the end he gets to go batshit-crazy and chop down a door with an axe.
    – The older wise male – sometimes he’s corrupt or lecherous (“Scream”‘s headmaster), sometimes he’s a head-in-sand bureaucratic type (“Urban Legend”‘s headmaster), sometimes he’s a genuine mentor figure “Scream 2″‘s David Warner works well here). “Sorority Row” is missing an older male, but one really wasn’t essential for this movie.

    THE GIRLS:

    All present, correct, looking good and in skimpy tops and underwear for most of the movie. Sorry, children of the eighties, but the 90s and 00s movies did this one best.

    THE KILLS:

    Sorority Row is definitely lacking here. For one thing, the death of the “bitch” is over in seconds. Look, in “Prom Night” the killer stalked her for over five minutes, real-time, before finally getting knife-happy. You don’t set up a character this good – and “Sorority Row’s” bitch character is in my opinion in the top rank of bitch characters, some of her dialogue was fantastic – only to have her go out when the killer throws a tool at her as an afterthought and pins her to a wall. If you want to see how to do a good kill, watch Parker’s death in “Urban Legend”, the opening scenes from the first two “Scream” movies, etc. Compared to those, “Sorority Row” doesn’t stand up at all.

    THE MYSTERY ELEMENT:

    Usually it’s either the boyfriend, the best friend, or a rival – professional or amorous – of the heroine or her non-killer boyfriend. I do think in this case that the killer is particularly weak though. The motive doesn’t make sense and there’s really no clues (although you could probably guess just by his / her character or lack thereof). “Sorority Row” also eliminates far too many suspects by making it clear that it’s not one of the girls. Besides which, they do that annoying thing where there’s only really two possible suspects, as with the likes of “Terror Train” and “My Bloody Valentine” (both versions). The “Scream” films had loads of juicy suspects so you could try and figure out what was going on; and in both the first two “Scream” films, there were clear signposts pointing at the killers before the ending. In contrast, “Cherry Falls” has no false suspects at all, but the challenge there isn’t so much “work out who did it” as “watch who did it and try to see what they’re up to”.

    THE KILLER:

    Very, very disappointing, this is probably “Sorority Row”‘s weakest area. The motive is weak, the acting is bad. Not as bad as “Urban Legend”‘s killer in the final reel, but then that person’s performance was so gut-wrenchingly awful and laden with such clunkers in terms of dialogue (“I prefer the term eccentric, but then I guess I am a little nutty” being my personal favorite line from any slasher movie ever – four people were hired to check that dialogue, folks!) that it almost got to the point where it was enjoyable as high camp. “Sorority Row”‘s killer, on the other hand, is just not a very memorable character. There seems no reason for them to have gone off the deep end. To me “Cherry Falls” will always have the best killer – the actor or actress portraying them was having an absolute blast in the role, and it showed.

    THE TOTAL ABANDONMENT OF LOGIC / REALISM IN FAVOR OF COMPLETE INSANITY:

    “Sorority Row” never quite reaches the dizzy heights of “Valentine”, in which a struggling artist who has to live in his girlfriend’s spare room somehow finds the money and the time to cover an aircraft hanger in high-quality TV screens for one single temporary exhibit in what is actually one of that film’s LESS bizarre moments; but I give it (Sorority Row) credit for reaching for the stars, even if it fails to shoot the moon in the process. Case in point: the opening requires that a crazed man accidentally stabs a girl to death while five of her friends are standing within ten yards of them both. And they let that happen how? Who gave him a weapon?

    THE LAST TWIST:

    While the “Scream” films notably forego the “final twist”, “Sorority Row” uses the old cliche of hinting that the killer might have come back from the dead at the end. Wow, with the exception of “Carrie” and Urban Legend” and “Friday 13th” and “Roadkill” and “I know what you did last Summer” and “I still know what you did last summer” and a few others I could name, I don’t think that’s ever been done before. On the plus side, at least they didn’t have an unexpected and uncaught accomplice or killer show up in the last reel (“House of Wax”, “Valentine”, “Black Christmas”, “Cherry Falls”, etc).

    THE CONCLUSION:

    If all you’re looking for is pretty girls and some awesome dialogue from the chief bitch character (who really stands out in this one) then this film’s definitely worth a shot. If you like trying to guess who the killer is or want some interesting or inventive kills, don’t bother. Personally I enjoyed it on a basic level. In the ranks of slasher movies of this type, it definitely gets a 6/10, and if it had gone all-out with its kills and had a better killer it could’ve got higher. On the scale of movies in general it can’t be more than a 3/10 or 4/10 though.

  25. Paul – good research, thanks for that. I’ve seen several of those but don’t remember them enough to piece together all those common tropes, so bravo there. Also I am horrified to realize how necessary it is now to specify originals or remakes in these discussions, because I really wasn’t sure on Prom Night and a few others you mentioned.

    About the ending of SORORITY ROW (SPOILER obviously): I thought the scar on the wrist was supposed to mean it was the guy who killed the girl during the prank who was now going crazy. Didn’t he slit his wrists at one point? I already forgot. But that was what I thought was going on while watching it.

  26. Paul: Let me ask you the question I ask all fans of body horror: what do you think of TETSUO THE IRON MAN?

  27. Jareth, I’ve never seen or heard of it. (Thought “Tetsuo” was a character in “Akira”? That’s the only place the name means anything to me.) But I’ll check it out.

  28. Do check it out, Paul. TETSUO is crazy shit. If you like it, move on to MACHINE GIRL, TOKYO GORE POLICE, and the masterpiece that is ICHI THE KILLER. You don’t know from body horror until you see how the japanese roll.

  29. Vern,

    Way off topic, but the Bruce logo at the top reminded me: please tell me you are planning on reviewing COP OUT this weekend. I seem to recall you saying you’ve softened a bit on Kevin Smith, but I’m still fascinated to hear your take on his collaboration with one of your favorite actors.

    The reviews so far seem rather hostile, although Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic have only posted a small number of them, so the consensus might change a bit by Friday.

  30. Yeah, Paul, you pretty much have to see TETSUO if body horror is your bag. It’s like a Japanese ERASERHEAD, but with a giant metal boner instead of a skinned goat fetus. There’s also a sequel that I didn’t like very much because it lost a lot of the grittiness of the original and turned into kind of a live-action superhero anime thing.

    I’m not a huge fan of the recent spate of Japanese gore movies (too much of a good thing, maybe), but they usually have some form of machinery/flesh transmogrification that should fit your needs nicely. I would add MEATBALL MACHINE to Darryll’s list, as well as Miike’s FULL METAL YAKUZA.

  31. Mr. Majestyk: Your remark neatly answers a question that kept going through my head when I watched MACHINE GIRL: why am I not enjoying this?

  32. Paul: The word Tetsou is just a proper name, like Paul, so it was bound to show up more than once in a Japanese movie. Maybe somewhere in Japan at this moment, two guys are trying to figure out if BRONSON is a bio-pic of Charles Bronson.

    I have no idea if director Shinya Tsukamoto was making a reference to anime with his film. But like Darryll said, no one does body horror with the same gusto as the Japanese.

    And if you’re a horror fan in general, and haven’t already seen it, you must watch PULSE (KAIRO). Not to be confused with the crappy American version.

  33. I have Pulse on DVD, but haven’t watched it yet. I will soon though, and let you guys know what I think of it.

  34. I think you guys mean something different regarding “Body Horror” than I do. The idea of body horror as I understand it is paranoia-driven – a person, or their close relatives, start getting taken over by alien “things” that look and act much like them, but aren’t. It’s been done with pod people (Bodysnatchers), annelids (The Faculty), an alien beast (The Thing), etc. “Machine Girl”, while it was definitely worth watching, wasn’t body horror.

  35. Paul,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_horror

    That’s the definition of body horror I’ve always heard. Think David Cronenberg.

    What you’re describing sounds more like invasion films; I’ve never heard those described as “body horror” before.

  36. Paul – Wikipedia has this to say: Body Horror, Biological Horror, or Organic Horror is horror fiction in which the horror is principally derived from the graphic destruction or degeneration of the body.[1] Such works may deal with disease, decay, parasitism, mutilation, or mutation. Other types of body horror include unnatural movements, anatomically incorrect placement of limbs to create ‘monsters’ out of human body parts, etc.

    So, given that, I would say those japanese films fall into the body horror category. I would argue that the Body Snatcher genre you describe is a slightly different but related genre. The difference is marked by the copious amounts of blood and guts involved in the deconstruction of the body. Further, I would argue that a movie you placed in the Body Snatcher genre, THE THING, actually belongs in the Body Horror genre because the alien beast, rather than assuming control over a host body, actually destroys the original body and copies it. It is the violent destruction of the body that places it firmly within the Body Horror genre as defined above.

  37. Don’t worry, Paul, TETSUO is plenty paranoia-driven.

  38. And Mr. Majestyk already mentioned this, but it can’t be said enough: giant metal boner. TETSUO has a giant metal boner. It spins.

  39. URBAN LEGEND is probably my favorite of those 90’s slashers, of course I find urban legends creepy so….

  40. And TOKYO GORE POLICE has giant machine gun boners. Also, check out the trailer for ROBO GEISHA. It has butt swords.

  41. Butt swords? Man, that tops the vagina laser in ATTACK GIRLS SWIM TEAM VS THE UNDEAD.

  42. Griff – yeah, that was a good one, although it falls prey to the old disease of having the three least interesting and most irritating characters being the last ones standing at the end. Some of the kills wiped the floor with “Sorority Row” though.

  43. Just saw Sorority Row during a long lunch.  Paul’s right, a 4/10 as a film.  

    Woe is 21st century feminism if these screenwriters keep getting work.  Seriously, these girls constantly reduce their priorities of thought to nothing but their looks and trivial relationships.  It’s a shallow characterization of sorostitut– er, of young American lady college students, a disgusting portrayal of an absurd stereotype which, for the purposes of this film, was hilarious.  I need to take these writers out for a drink with one of my girlfriends.  

    (upon seeing Megan’s corpse, which has decayed for 8 months) “She looks terrible.”  

    (upon almost being killed by the killer’s axe in a “Here’s Johnny!” moment) “Definitely not marriage material.”  

    And several other such moments had me toning my six pack.  Yeah, I know, why the hell do we watch this?  Well, it’s not like I paid to see it, so there’s that.  Free food always tastes good and so on.  
      

  44. grimgrinningchris

    August 13th, 2015 at 8:12 am

    I finally watched this last night and actually enjoyed it. If the killer reveal had been better (the who and the what AND the why), this would actually be a pretty legitimately good slasher.

    Must say my favorite part was Brianna Evian’s “FUCK!!!” when she falls through the floor during the finale. *spoiler*

  45. grimgrinningchris

    August 13th, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Evigan

  46. I have so much time to waste these days that not only I watched it, I watched the extras, and the writer, the director and the producer talk about their desire to do something similar to “the classics of the golden ages of slasher movies” and the way they describe the “rules” of those “classics”, you know they’re actually thinking of SCREAM, I KNOW WHAT YOU DID, URBAN LEGENDS or VALENTINE. Cherry on top: the writer is so familiar with the classics, he mentions “Freddy Krueger and his hockey mask.”

    And it’s weird because at the same time, their stupid movie has all those little references to the original, the cane, the name of the sorority, the guy who yells “I’m a sea pig”, so they’re somewhat familiar with it and thought they had to be cute about it to please fans, even though they were clearly making a movie for kids who think the horror genre was born with SCREAM, not people who watch semi-obscure 80s slashers.

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