The newest horror slasher on the block is a remake of “House on Sorority Row“, now shortened like “Fast and Furious” or “Black X-Mas“. Of course there should only be griping from the most hardcore and old school horror buffs for this film, because the original isn’t currently in print on DVD and ebay copies are going for ridiculous prices.
The original movie was about a group of girls who play a prank on their house mistress, only to accidentally kill her. They try to hide the body until the big party is over, but it disappears and the girls start to get slaughtered one by one. The new movie is similar, but not identical. This time they kill one of their own and try to keep the secret for months before the killing starts. As it is, the movie is a little closer in tone to “I Know What You Did Last Summer“.
Putting aside the fact that it is a remake, the movie delivers about everything you’d hope for from an exploitation movie about a sorority house. We’ve got hot girls, nudity, violence and some really bitchy cat fights! This movie isn’t meant to be over analyzed and taken seriously. It has no background other than a good old fashion slice and dice 80’s stab-you-if-I-can to draw from and that is how it should be watched.
All of the girls turn in good performances. Briana Evigan plays our classic slasher heroine; thoughtful yet strong, Leah Pipes plays a great bitch with what seems to be the greatest of ease. In fact, the entire ensemble has good chemistry. While Jamie Chung is fun, sexy and irresistible and Rumer Willis delivers a good subtle performance, all of the best lines and character moments are given to Margo Harshman who plays “Chugs”; a character who has all of the raunchiest dialogue and one liners, giving the movie more balls than most remakes these days.
All performances except for that the killer are pretty decent, though the film does have a sense of unreality to it. It isn’t surreal so much as it is unrealistic. Characters give reactions at times that seem unbelievable but make for a faster and funnier movie. Again, this isn’t the kind of movie you’re really going to analyze too hard.
One stand out performance is by none other than Princess Leia herself. Carrie Fisher is a bad ass with a shotgun! Of course it’s still a bit of a disappointment that she isn’t the center of the movie like her character would have been if this were a closer adaptation to the original, but come on, when is the last time you saw Carrie Fisher holding a freaking shotgun? What, like Blues Brothers in 1980?
There could have been more gore on screen, but the movie jets along at a decent pace worth forgiving this minor infraction. In fact, isn’t until the last scene of the killer’s reveal that the movie truly weakens. While in the original the killer is tied neatly to the plot, this time the killer is almost random and inefectual. Checking the imdb, it’s hard to say which of these guys plays the killer, but further analysis reveals Julian Morris‘ UK heritage. This has to make him the killer because he couldn’t quite cover up his accent. Although I’ve said that this isn’t a movie that needs to be over thought, the weak killer reveal is of some importance to the studios since it really doesn’t give the franchise any legs for sequels as is. The killer also has a pretty lame signature weapon; a modified tire iron that comes accross as more of a production design element that the producers could be a visual trademark. Each spoke of the “cross” shaped tool now has blades and sharp thingys attached to them.
So at a brisk pace, with at least a few pairs of naked boobs, some nasty deaths a cool cast of hot tweens and Carrie Fisher toting a shotgun, I think I got pretty much what I was looking for. You won’t have to feel too guilty about pledging Sorority Row.