[v=arEhoUT0ang]nspired by a few set-pieces at Roger Corman’s studio, Jim Wynorski put together a screenplay titled “The Séance” and ended up filming it with the correspondence of Corman’s wife, completely behind his back. Sounds like the workings of a cheap liaison out of a Lifetime movie, doesn’t it? Anyway, Corman eventually saw the finished product, loved it and decided to make it a sequel to Sorority House Massacre. So this obviously explains why it’s so much better than the original; mostly because it was a Jim Wynorski film, but also because it wasn’t actually intended to be a sequel in the first place. In fact, it has more in common with The Slumber Party Massacre, sharing somewhat subtle touches like the faux Charlie’s Angels pose, a television airing of Hollywood Boulevard and a not-so-subtle use of Slumber Party footage as a cheap way to supply flashbacks even though they’re completely unrelated stories. That was a tad annoying, I admit. I still don’t quite understand what the point of that was.
The film starts when a fresh group of college girls buy the old abandoned Hockstatter place with intentions of fixing it up and turning it into the hottest sorority house in school. But of course this house was abandoned for good reason; five years prior, a crazed family man brutally murdered his wife and kids there and no one has touched the place since. As a bad storm approaches, the girls get an unwelcome visit from their creepy neighbor, Orville Ketchum, who explains that he was actually there at the time of the murders and inevitably gives the girls quite a scare. Now with the need for a little excitement, they reluctantly decided to do some exploring and enter an ominous basement filled with psychotic trinkets and keepsakes, including a convenient Ouija board. So with the help of some “liquid courage” (a.k.a. alcohol) they stupidly use this Ouija to contact the deceased murderer, at which point things quickly go awry and thus the fun begins.
Even though it may seem obvious who the killer is right from the beginning, we’re left second guessing as the gloved maniac remains hidden in the shadows for the duration of the first half. There are a few surprises in store that freshen up this tired slasher formula. Yes, it all comes off pretty cheesy, but it makes for great entertainment. The true mystery of this film, however, is how these girls got into college in the first place. After only about twenty minutes into it, we have a haunted house, a Ouija board, a bad storm and a creepy slob living across the street who seems to be watching their every move…Yeah, I’d stay in that house too. But what would slashers be without stupid girls making stupid decisions, right?
Most appropriately, the actresses portraying these sorority girls aren’t exactly what you’d call talented. In fact, you’re more likely to find better acting in a porno. But then again, most films made by Jim Wynorski could esaily pass as softcore porn anyway. He’s quite the pervert if you ask me. I mean sure, we all enjoy a little T&A in our slashers, but this guy is completely shameless with his ever present gratuitous nudity. Before any fun is to be had, these girls make sure to get naked and change into the skimpiest lingerie possible and, of course, remain in this attire for the rest of the film. They even take cold showers and lather up their bodies as slowly as possible because they don’t want to go to bed feeling dirty. And to top it off, there’s a relatively pointless scene in a strip club…as if there weren’t enough naked girls already.
There’s also a good amount of humorous scenarios throughout the film, both intentional and unintentional (mostly the latter), keeping us entertained even when there’s no blood being shed. At one point, one of the suspects gets quite the brutal beating from a heroine and ends up not even being the killer. How great is that?! And when there’s no blood or humor, there are plenty of breasts. Jim Wynorski is just plain brilliant. Okay, well, maybe brilliant is way too strong a word but he sure knows how to make an entertaining cheesefest. To quote Joe Bob Briggs, “There may have been better horror films made, but not with this many women in their underwear.” I think I’ll just leave it at that.