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Sorority House Massacre II

tn_sororityhousemassacre2slashersearch13I didn’t like SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE, but man, SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE II is not SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE caliber. This one is a Jim Wynorski joint, so I guess it’s not really meant to necessarily be a real movie. This is one of the five movies he did between 1989’s RETURN OF SWAMP THING and 1992’s 976-EVIL II. Another one was SCREAM QUEEN HOT TUB PARTY under the pseudonym Arch Stanton. He has his thing he does. He churns them out and has fun and they usually have a little likable goofy humor in them, and then there is the rest of the movie.

In this one, five interchangeable college babes have to spend the night in an old house they have just purchased for their sorority house. The power and phones are not hooked up, there’s no furniture and also the reason they could afford the place is because a bunch of people were murdered there 5 years ago. But they have to stay in this scary place to meet the movers in the morning.
But you know, they’re not taking it too seriously, it should be a fun scary night with the girls. They look around and find a few objects possibly associated with the murders, plus a ouija board. They decide to go into the basement, drink some rum and try to contact the spirits of the dead.

Here’s the weird thing: they all separately get into their underwear before meeting in the basement. Like if you say “let’s use the ouija board” everybody automatically assumes that means in your underwear.

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According to IMDb, alternate titles include NIGHTY NIGHTMARE and JIM WYNORSKI’S HOUSE OF BABES. There is alot of them walking around in their underwear shining flashlights around, even though the lights seem to be on. I guess it’s supposed to be candlelight, since there are enough lit candles in the place you’d think they’d be setting up for a big DESPERADO type sex scene. But there’s no guys here, so there is mild hinted-at-lesbianism and sensual showering. After what seems like longer than a feature length movie it finally cuts away to another location: a strip club where a girl is doing some intense jiggling with no music playing. When she rubs against the pole it makes a cartoony sound effect like rubbing a balloon. I believe inappropriate sound effects might actually be a Wynorsky trademark, because there’s a pretty hilarious sound in MACH 2 when Brian Bosworth kisses a lady. [UPDATE: Scratch that. That’s Fred Olen Ray. Easy to mix up with Wynorsky.]

You know what’s nice, these girls aren’t as snobby as you might expect, because one of them has a boyfriend that by the look of him you’d think they’d either regard either as their dad or their potential abductor:

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Way to go, that guy.

Here’s something interesting: the incident that happened five years ago was NOT the sorority house murders seen in SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE, and also it wasn’t the previous murders that happened in that house before it was a sorority house. No, this was a different massacre that happened here. A creepy neighbor named Orville (Peter Spellos, FREDDY’S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHTMARE) comes in and tells them all about this guy Hokstedter who killed his wife and daughter when they were living there. It flashes back and if this doesn’t look familiar from the first SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE:

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…that’s because it’s footage from the first SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE. What the hell is going on here? His story does not match the events of SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE, but the images do. Maybe this means that the girls are very familiar with that movie so when he tells them about the killings that’s how they picture it. Or maybe it’s just an acknowledgment that SLUMBER PARTY is way better than SORORITY HOUSE so let’s just pretend this is a sequel to that.

For what it’s worth, the County Herald agrees that it’s more of a slumber party massacre than a sorority house one:

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Other than girls casually wearing fancy underwear this one doesn’t have alot to offer. If it maybe had some good FRIDAY THE 13TH style gore effects somewhere maybe it would be more fun. A typical death scene in this is a shot of a shadow of a hook raising, then chopping downward and then blood squirts onto the wall. Nothing wrong with that except that they do it twice.

The most memorable parts are when one of them crawls under a table, then jumps up and hits her head on it:

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And another part where the dunk the killer’s head in toilet. That should probly happen to Freddy and Michael and all those guys.

That’s not nearly enough to make this a worthwhile movie, though. One of the writers, Mark McGee, got a story credit on EQUINOX. Another one, J.B. Rogers, went on to direct AMERICAN PIE 2. Weird. He also did the TV movie about Schwarzenegger running for office.

The cast includes Melissa Moore from ANGELFIST and Michelle Verran, better known as the porn star Barbii (LOOSE ENDS V, BACKDOOR TO HOLLYWOOD 4, A.S.S.). I have to admit, I never really got into this idea of the “Scream Queens.” I like a good Final Girl, but it seems like the connotation of the term “Scream Queen” as well as the actresses it’s usually used to describe are something not as cool. They don’t seem like people, they’re like Playboy models getting terrified and not knowing what to do. I don’t know what’s supposed to be so fun about that. Stop screaming and get an ax, your majesty.

This seems less like an actual existing horror movie and more like the fake one that they’re watching within a movie. From the lack of clothes to the constant cuts to scratchy stock footage of a fake lightning strike, it seems like the clueless parody of what slasher movies are supposedly like, but never are actually like. Except in this case.


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 Thursday, October 17th, 2013 at 2:12 am and is filed under Horror, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

13 Responses to “Sorority House Massacre II”

  1. this movie sounds right up my alley!

  2. Amazingly, HARD TO DIE has the same cast and plot down to Hockstattwr. I wonder if he made even more than two movies out of this. Still, two versions of the same movie at the same time is pretty amazing.

    SCREAM QUEEN HOT TUB PARTY is wonderful. It literally just five segments of individual nudity and then group nudity. Each unique and all good natured too. I still have my VHS copy. Maybe I should hook up the old VCR to watch it again.

  3. Griff you would love it. I must have liked Wynorski. EVIL TOONS was him too, right? Two scenes of animation, five or six scenes of topless women including I recall a pillow fight.

  4. So this guy is the Godfrey Ho of slasher movies?

  5. The real Slumber Party Massacre sequel, though, is AMAZING. It’s about teenagers running from the ghost of a serial killer who dresses like Prince and has an electric guitar with an electric drill on the end of it. He even stops right before a kill to do a musical number about how much he loves his drill.

    I mean, obviously it’s not as genuinely good as the first Slumber Party Massacre, but it is completely fucking insane.

  6. I find Jim Wynorski’s softcore pseudo-movies really fucking boring. They don’t work as real movies and there are far more efficient ways to beat off.

  7. Fred: Things get even more complicated when you realize that HARD TO DIE is a pseudo-sequel to this movie. The character of Orville described in this review returns as the hero in that movie, having flashbacks to both SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE II (I think—I’ve never seen it, oddly) and SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE. I might be remembering this wrong, but I think somehow all the carnage in HARD TO DIE is caused by the spirit of the SPM killer, which gives him a pretty impressive body count for a nerd with a drill.

    Clearly, the Wynorskiverse has more layers than Vern is willing to admit.

  8. The Original... Paul

    October 17th, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Majestyk – I have very little to say about the movie (I haven’t seen it and it’s really the wrong period for me to seek it out) but for a second I got “Hard to Die” confused with a Seagal movie. Natural enough, given the title, but that in turn brought an image into my head of a group of underwear-wearing girls in a sorority house being terrorised by a ponytailed (is that a word?) Aikido master. Now THAT’S a movie that I’d pay to see.

  9. My foggy memory of SHM II — pretty skimpy on the skin, but maybe I’m thinking of one of the other films. My one degree of separation from the ’80s Scream Queens: I once worked with a guy who dated Brinke Stevens and Linnea Quigley. He eventually earned a Producer credit on some of Jess Franco’s later DTV movies by helping to bankroll them. About three times a year, I catch up with Wynorski’s and Fred Olen Ray’s softcore DTCs when my cable provider gives me a free weekend of Cinemax, HBO, and Showtime.

  10. Majestyk: And that’s how young Franchise Fred was born.

  11. I rewatched this one while on a Wynorski kick (following a viewing of POPATOPOLIS, the hilarious and kind of heartbreaking documentary about him whilst in the middle of the slapdash three-day shoot of THE WITCHES OF BREASTWICK) and realizing that this was the infamous movie Julie Corman instructed him to make behind her husband’s back on existing sets over a week while Roger was out of town. Wynorski came up with the “the movers are coming tomorrow” idea to explain the empty sets, hired the bustiest girls he could find, spliced in some footage from a better movie, and put like three inches of black space in between all the credits to pad out the running time to a just barely acceptable 77 minutes. At the end of the week, Roger came home and wondered what the hell this mystery movie was that nobody told him about. After he saw it, he instructed Wynorski to make it again, but for him and not his wife this time. And thus HARD TO DIE was born. Its more or less the same movie, but the sets he was reusing were from different movies, hence the empty office building setting replacing the empty house.

    Considering that both movies were made basically as a series of pranks between a husband and wife who made movies like other couples have date nights, I’d say Wynorski did an alright job. When he phones it in, nobody is lazier, but he was still young and enthusiastic on these two, and I find that there’s more care put into the framing and lighting than you’d see in most slasher movies of this era and budget level, and it’s completely shameless about its exploitation elements in that endearing/eye-rolling Wynorski way. Look at his early films, like CHOPPING MALL or especially THE LOST EMPIRE, and you see a guy who could have been a lesser Sam Raimi or Joe Dante: a post-modern jokester with a Catskills sense of humor and the chops to get a lot of production out of a little budget. The problem is that he then got so good at cutting corners that his work became nothing BUT cut corners, and he became the guy who could turn almost nothing into barely anything. He stopped striving for excellence and started striving for passable.

  12. “He stopped striving for excellence and started striving for passable.”

    And often fell well short of that

  13. I’m just happy that he seems to be balancing out his not-even-technically-a-movie mammary-based parodies for masturbators with no wi-fi with occasionally watchable SyFy Originals about giant lizards and spiders and such. For a while there it was nothing but THE BREASTFORD WIVES and CLEAVAGEFIELD. I know the dude likes tits but that can’t be particularly fulfilling creatively.

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