Sorority House Massacre (1986) Review


I thought I saw this movie years ago but I think I confused it with the Slumber Party Massacre. But you know, when you get a group of girls together, it always means murder so I can hardly be blamed for the mix up. Plus the writer/director of this movie was the assistant director on SPM so there you go.

Sorority House Massacre is told to us in flashback. Beth is telling us what happened while recovering in the hospital. It all started when she went to that house….

Beth has been living with her aunt since she was a child. When the aunt dies, she really has no where to go so she decides to camp out at a sorority at her school. If she likes it well enough, she can live there. Immediately upon entering the house she is ill at ease. She doesn’t know why but Beth keeps having nightmares about it and a strange man who keeps trying to kill her. I’m sure it’ll all be fine, right?

At the same instant she walks through the door, a man in a mental institution starts freaking out. He’s mostly been quiet since he was admitted years earlier, after murdering his entire family. What could it be about Beth and that house, miles away, that set him off?

I don’t get it. No, literally, I don’t know what ‘egregious’ means.

Believe me, the ‘symbolism’ and ‘hints’ are shoved down our throats at every opportunity so we’ll get the point soon enough.

After a lot of slo-mo dream sequences and a bad fashion montage (basically an excuse to look at titties), the crazy guy escapes! I’ll give you three guesses on where he’s headed and the first two don’t count. While the hospital remains blissfully unaware, our sorority girls staying at the house over the holiday weekend decide to have a party with their boyfriends (and a set-up guy for Beth who actually turns out to be a real gentleman).

Since one sorority gal, Linda, is studying psychology, she decides she’s perfectly qualified to decipher Beth’s nightmares. She comes to the conclusion that Beth’s dreams are just her subconscious trying to tell her something. Wow, the money you spent on that degree is really paying off, isn’t it?


And now we get to the good stuff. John, Beth’s date, reveals the gruesome and tragic history of the sorority house. Turns out some guy murdered his entire family there about 15 years ago. As he describes the murder scene(s), Beth realizes her nightmares and visions match what he’s saying. That, along with the dime store hypnosis session earlier, is too overwhelming. What could it all mean?

Dear god, girl. All of us know what’s going on. Why don’t you?

Like, oh my gawd. We’re like, for sure, serious about this. Totally.

They finally come face to face with the crazy from the mental ward. (hint – here comes the big reveal) His name is Robert Hinkle and he is the man that killed his family years ago in this very house. And you know what else? Beth is his little sister, the only one to survive the slaughter.

But let’s have one more dream sequence just in case any of you out there are as dumb as a bag of hammers like Beth.

Now we’re back to the hospital as Beth finishes telling the tale to the sorority house mother. One quick jump scare and then it’s all over.

Wow. Where to begin…

Way too many dream sequences going on. There were two in the first six minutes alone. And then there’s all this dialogue that basically explains everything over and over and over. And over. Tale about a momma kitty being separated from her baby and the connection still existing between them. Beth’s writing class where the teacher talks about foreshadowing and deja vu. And while all this discussion about brainwaves is going on, Beth’s brother is having HIS brainwaves measured at the nuthouse.

Talk about heavy handed. Damn.

It probably goes with out saying (but I’m going to anyway), the acting is awful. Beth is so wooden. She hardly emotes anything beyond looking constipated. The rest seem like they’re trying way too hard to play goofy or geeky or slutbaggy. I mean, we all know they’re fodder but I wish they were more interesting.

The creators tried to make Robert Hinkle a poor man’s Michael Meyers. Stoic type, no emotions, goes after family, take a lot of hits but never really goes down, etc. And though part of me wanted to know Robert’s motivation (why did he keep seeing his murdered sisters in Beth’s friends thereby perpetuating his need to continue killing?) I was mostly bored through this whole flick.

1.5 Hatchets (out of 5) for the pickaxe to the chest

3 thoughts on “Sorority House Massacre (1986) Review

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