Not every sorority slasher is created equal. Some are the greats of the genre: the Black Christmases of the bunch. Some are middle-of-the road and forgettable like…um, that one about the sorority sisters that get killed because of a prank? (Or was it on initiation night?) Then there are some real turds like Blood Sisters.
I don’t like to tear down a movie, but this lockdown has made my brain thirsty for entertainment. I did not find it in 90 minutes of this movie. The scores for the film probably should have warned me off. But I’m a sucker for an 80s slasher. And let’s face it, I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to films. When I saw the movie poster, I knew I had to watch Blood Sisters.
Just look at it! It’s incredibly and dynamic, bringing forth images of early 80s Lucio Fulci. I was expecting some House by the Cemetery-level madness. I did not receive it, but please: send my regards to the illustrator who made this incredible piece of art:
As far as the plot goes, we’ve all been here before.
A young boy kills his mother who is a whore at the nicest brothel you’ll ever see. Thirteen years later, a group of sorority pledges are forced to go to a house (surprise – it’s the brothel) to spend the night and complete their initiation.
When the girls arrive, they discover that the house has been booby trapped by some frat boys. As they try to complete some sort of scavenger hunt, they’re terrorised by the pranks. They also see visions of the whores who used to work at the house.
Soon the girls get killed off one-by-one, but because of the pranks, it takes them a while to realise what’s happening. Once they do understand there’s a killer on the loose, it takes them a while to get together and figure out what to do. They sit in the van for a while. They get cold. They go into the house to warm up. They get tired of waiting for their friends. They look and get killed.
The mystery isn’t particularly built up. We know someone was murdered from the opening scene of the film and a diary a couple of the girls find. Why there are ghosts of all the whores isn’t entirely clear. Only one of them and her trick was murdered. The rest were told to pack up by the police. When we finally get the killer’s reveal my immediate reaction was ,”Who’s this dude?”
I wanted to be more inspired by Blood Sisters, but it just felt too much like a lot of other movies I’ve seen (Mil gritos tiene la noche and The House on Sorority Row are the main two that spring to mind first). There’s something distinctly dated about this movie – well behind its time. I had to keep reminding myself that this came out in 87 and not 81. You can tell this is reaching peak slasher fatigue: the stories are all incredibly recycled by this point.
Part of me expected something slightly different, considering it was helmed by Roberta Findlay (wife of Michael). But if anything, this felt more misogynistic than the usual slasher fare. Sure, some of the dialogue is slightly more on-point (the girls are constantly complaining about the cold), but none of them have any stories or any distinct personality traits. There girl-in-glasses and girl-who-runs. The rest of them are basically all the same thing, but perhaps that’s the mistake of having too large of a cast.
I would have loved at least a few more minutes set in the past before jumping into the future. Learn more about the sex workers, but alas. Maybe I’m expecting too much out of my slashers.
This movie could have even been more interesting if it really leaned in to the supernatural elements. Make the girls possessed! Not just temporarily to get a sex scene in, but flesh it out – make these girls become women of the past! Imagine the mayhem that would ensue! But ultimately, the ghosts really don’t serve a purpose other than to remind us of what happened at the beginning of the film.
Despite this being my least-favourite sorority slasher I’ve ever seen, I’m definitely going to seek more of Findlay’s work out. I hear this wasn’t her crowning achievement, and I’m always willing to give second chances.