Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Sorority Row

Illustration for article titled Sorority Row

Late in the dire college slasher flick Sorority Row, the killer takes some time away from impaling hateful victims to explain why the world will be a better place without all the awful people who didn’t survive the movie. And you know what? The psychopath has a point. Nobody in Sorority Row has a shred of decency—it’s like the school from The Rules Of Attraction with a lobotomy and a botched boob job—so the maniac in the black robe can’t help but emerge as the sole sympathetic character by bumping off soulless sorority sisters one by one, mercifully putting an end to annoyingly glib one-liners about the joys of “roofie sex” and putting “hos before bros.” Sorority Row might be utterly lacking in suspense, surprises, and wit, but nobody can say it doesn’t have a hero.

Based loosely on the equally low-rent 1983 horror film The House On Sorority Row, this Sorority Row opens with one of those wild ’n’ crazy college parties populated by hard-bodied power-drinkers that only happen in movies that end up playing after midnight on premium cable. (There’s even a slow-motion pillow fight, an event that has not happened even once in real life.) The pretty but vacant sisters of Theta Pi—led by bitchy blonde Leah Pipes and somewhat less bitchy brunette Briana Evigan—decide to spruce up their kegger by playing a prank on a boy who cheated on one of their friends. They end up accidentally killing one of their sorority sisters, then, rather than reporting the incident like anyone with a semblance of morality or intelligence, they cover it up. Which, of course, ends up being a bad idea when Theta Pi members start getting stabbed with automotive tools in the shower (though not before gratuitously exposing their lady parts).

The film can’t quite decide whether it should acknowledge the inherent stupidity of characters who talk about exchanging anal sex for Oxycontin and justify not going to the police because they don’t want to risk losing their totes successful boyfriends, or just hope audiences don’t notice. The blatant attempts at humor mostly fall flat, but a third-act catfight manages briefly to detour the film into fairly enjoyable camp. It’s a welcome laugh in a movie that otherwise takes all the fun out of copious gore and naked co-eds.