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October 18, 2014

Yet Another 31 Nights of Halloween: Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama


Sorority Babes – Trash

I’ve brought this up before in the past, but trash cinema and my childhood are very closely linked. Between “USA’s Up All Night” and “Monstervision” my formidable years between the ages of 8-13 were spent staying up until around 3 am when the TV would finally turn to color bars, watching horror, exploitation, and other trashy films all night. Rhonda Sheer and Joe Bob Briggs were my TV aunt and uncle who would come over ever Saturday night and show me the films from their private selection, and while that sounds creepy and borderline grounds for starting a police investigation, I wouldn’t give it up for anything. This brings me to this review, and a film I’ve been talking about reviewing forever. It’s the cult “cult” classic from 1988, “Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama.”

“Sorority Babes” is the classic yarn about horny teens who just want to see some naked sorority girls. On this night, The Delta Delta Delta Sorority are having their initiation, and you know what that means; whip cream and paddles of course. Babs, the house mistress of Tri Delta, along with Frankie and Rhonda are putting their new initiates, Lisa and Taffy, through the ringer. This brings us to frat boys, Calvin, Jimmie, and Keith who decide to crash the party, but are caught by Babs. Seizing the opportunity to further embarrass Lisa and Taffy, Babs suggests that they have to go to the local mall with the boys and steal a bowling trophy to complete their initiation.

Upon arrival at the mall, the group meets Spider, a punk rock chick with a propensity for profanity. Unbeknownst to the group, Babs, Frankie, and Rhonda have followed them to the mall and look on in the security room. Having finally found the trophy, the deed is done, but with a little bad luck, the trophy falls and unleashes a horrific entity; an imp with a soulful voice willing to grant wishes. Of course these wishes come with a price as the imp transforms Frankie and Rhonda into his demon brood and orders them to kill the rest of the group. After hiding and hearing some exposition from the mall janitor, Calvin and Spider devise a plan to capture the imp and save the day.

This film is by no means to be taken seriously, hell it’s barely a horror film, it’s pure 80s trash at it’s best. The lighting is shoddy, the effects are iffy, the camera work is sub-par, the acting is laughable, the premise is ridiculous, the nudity is well……great, and that is what makes this film so much fun. It’s the epitome of “so bad, it’s good” and it’s one of those guilty pleasure flicks that I’ll never forget. It’s like Saturday Morning Cartoons; some people grow up on different things in life, I happened to grow up on trashy 80s films that aired in the wee hours of the evening.

Aside from being ironic in my last paragraph, there are a few things to point out in this film. One, the lead, Calvin, played by Andras Jones, looks surprisingly like River Cuomo from the band Weezer. The resemblance is uncanny, and looking further into the film, namely it’s soundtrack, I find it spooky that in the credits there is a song called Killer Love by Kurt Cuomo. Just an odd coincidence that likely means nothing, but I find it funny. The other thing is that this film stars Linnea Quigley, one of the premier B-movie Scream Queens of the 1980s. Quigley plays Spider, the hardcore punk rock chick. Not sure why I’m throwing that out there, but while she is billed as one of the stars, and if you like her in this film, you’ll love her in “Return of the Living Dead” as Trash. It’s okay…..I’ll wait.

Moving on, all in all, this film is great fun if you are open-minded enough to giving “Sorority Babes” a chance. I feel like this is a film trapped in time, and would be lost to a generation that is looking for torture porn and found footage horror. There are slick odes to other films throughout, and while it’s cheesy and otherwise pretty cheap looking, its nonetheless a fun time and a trip down memory lane.

Fun Fact: The trophy, although appearing to be metallic, is actually made of balsa wood.

October 10, 2012

31 Nights of Halloween, Tales From the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight

Tales From the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight – Schlock

There is nothing wrong with schlock horror, especially when its well made schlock horror.  The schlockiest of schlock was back in the late-80s when “Tales From the Crypt” premiered on HBO, modeled after the controversial comic books from the 1950s.  There really isn’t a need to get into “Tales” right now because I’m sure I’ll talk more about it down the line.  In the meantime, let’s keep the good times going on the “31 Nights of Halloween” with “Tales From the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight” from 1995.

By the time 1995 rolled around the final season of “Tales” had already ended (sadly) but HBO still had a relatively lucrative property, so the most logical step for the series had to be a movie; and thus “Demon Knight” was born.  “Knight” borrows a lot from other splatter films, and the creature designs have a “Evil Dead” “Hellraiser” and “From Dusk Till Dawn” influence all over them, (“Dawn” came out a year later in 1996).

The film takes place in the fictitious Wormwood, New Mexico where a mysterious drifter named Brayker, played by William Sadler, is on the run from a mysterious collector, played by Billy Zane.  Without giving anything away, Brayker is forced to band together with a group of misfits in a church-turned-boarding house against a demon horde looking to obtain a mysterious key filled with blood (there is a lot of mystery in this movie as you can tell).

All in all, “Demon Knight” is a crap ton of schlock, but fun schlock.  It has chills, spills, thrills, and a ton of blood.  Zane is a standout as “The Collector” and eats up all of his scenes, and the rest of the cast hold their own, including a young(er) Thomas Haden Church, and Jada Pinkett.before she added the Smith.

The shlock factor is in full effect for the entire movie, and actors are hamming it up, but it makes the movie fun and moves swiftly without getting bogged down in too much exposition (it’s there, but it doesn’t dampen the tone).  There’s no reason not to check “Demon Knight.” It’s good clean, bald Billy Zane, fun.

Fun Fact:  Schlock, derived from Yiddish, means something cheap, shoddy, or inferior

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