Sorority Girl (1957)

Stunning Susan Cabot is Sabra, a troubled young woman indeed. Despised by her mother and hated by her sorority sisters, Sabra has plenty of dough but no friends and nothing but hatred for the world and everybody in it, including herself. She tortures the poor chubby li’l pledge that has been assigned to her as a “little sister”, at one point even giving her *gasp* a good spanking! Events soon spiral out of her control, though, and her slippery slope of loathing soon leads her to blackmail, extortion, and revenge. And when I say “soon”, I mean “soon”, because the whole darn movie is only 60 minutes long! I like SORORITY GIRL a lot. In addition to Miss Cabot (who gives her best performance ever here, despite the fact that at age 30 she was a little long-in-the-tooth to be a sorority girl), you’ll find Barboura Morris (the sexiest of all ’50s AIP starlets, in this guy’s opinion), June Kenney (well remembered from ATTACK OF THE PUPPET PEOPLE), and the ubiquitous Dick Miller (somewhat surprisingly playing a character not named Walter Paisley).

Roger Corman said that AIP presented him with the script and asked him to make the picture quickly and cheaply (no surprise there); Corman was used to being involved in his screenplays, so he worked on it as quickly as he could while filming commenced. He shot the picture at the USC campus and rented, rather than built on a set, the sorority house, to accomplish maximum frugality. It gives the film a nice college atmosphere (watch the cast hanging out at USC landmarks just to show they were really on campus).

The film’s hour running time allows for no humor, and suspense builds nicely to the picture’s climax. (I shouldn’t say NO humor; look for the lamps in Sabra’s room: they are ballerina legs with tutus for shades!) In the end, when all of the sorority sisters finally confront Sabra on the beach (“You’re not human – you’re something the SEA cast up!”) I actually felt sorry for the poor little sociopath.

SORORITY GIRL originally played as a double-feature with MOTORCYCLE GANG, and that film is also recommended.