Sorority House Massacre II (1990)

Directed by Jim Wynorski [Other horror films: Chopping Mall (1986), Not of This Earth (1988), The Return of Swamp Thing (1989), Transylvania Twist (1989), The Haunting of Morella (1990), Hard to Die (1990), Scream Queen Hot Tub Party (1991), 976-Evil II (1991), Ghoulies IV (1994), Sorceress (1995), The Wasp Woman (1995), Vampirella (1996), Storm Trooper (1998), The Bare Wench Project (2000), Raptor (2001), The Bare Wench Project 2: Scared Topless (2001), Project Viper (2002), Wolfhound (2002), The Bare Wench Project 3: Nymphs of Mystery Mountain (2002), Cheerleader Massacre (2003), Bare Wench Project: Uncensored (2003), The Thing Below (2004), The Curse of the Komodo (2004), Gargoyle (2004), Komodo vs. Cobra (2005), The Witches of Breastwick (2005), The Witches of Breastwick 2 (2005), Bare Wench: The Final Chapter (2005), Cry of the Winged Serpent (2007), House on Hooter Hill (2007), Bone Eater (2007), Vampire in Vegas (2009), Cleavagefield (2009), The Hills Have Thighs (2010), Dinocroc vs. Supergator (2010), Camel Spiders (2011), Piranhaconda (2012), Gila! (2012), Scared Topless (2015), Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre (2015), Legend of the Naked Ghost (2017), CobraGator (2018)]

Oh boy, this was a fun film.

So, first thing’s first, I guess I have to mention that the flashbacks shown here aren’t from the first Sorority House Massacre (which, in it’s own way, was an enjoyable film), but from The Slumber Party Massacre. Why they just threw that footage here to give this killer an origin is beyond me, but hey, they did. It’s a brave choice, really – instead of footage from the first movie, they throw in clips from an entirely different movie.

This film is on it’s own plane.

I think that I speak for everyone when I say that the VIP here is Mike Elliott, who is pretty much fun in every scene he’s in. He also can’t die, as he’s shot multiple times with a shotgun toward the end, and is still kicking. This is after being stabbed and strangled, so this guy is certainly a go-getter.

The main cast, though, consisting of Dana Bentley, Michelle Verran, Stacia Zhivago, Melissa Moore, and Robyn Harris, are all decent in their own way. This mostly takes the form of nudity and scantily-clad pajamas, but here, everyone plays their parts. I think that Harris (who is on IMDb under the name Gail Thackray) was the most attractive here, but let’s give these women their due and admit all are rather pretty. Some were even in adult films before this, so no doubt that played a part in their casting.

Story-wise, what Sorority House Massacre II comes with isn’t that unique, but it’s not exceptionally poor either, especially when some of the more silly elements (such as Mike Elliott’s red herring status throughout) are intentional. I will admit that they took a route toward the end that I really didn’t care for, so it could have been a bit better, but still, it was decent. I will admit, though, that the addition of Jürgen Baum’s character was pretty pointless, aside from giving us more nudity during the strip club scene (which was funny overall, especially with those two Middle Eastern mens’ catcalls).

None of the kills were great, but most were perfectly competent. Either strangling or death by hook, we did occasionally get some blood splatter, but that wasn’t something they focused on. More than anything, it was half-naked women running around a dark house (they could have escaped easily earlier on, as they could have outrun Elliott’s ploddingly slow character, but of course they didn’t) and trying to survive. In it’s own cheap way, it was fun, save for an element toward the end I could have done without.

The film’s laughable, to be sure, but I don’t think that’s overly damning. As soon as they threw in flashbacks not to Sorority House Massacre but The Slumber Party Massacre, I was in awe. The movie isn’t really played comically, but there were enough goofy things here to make me happy without becoming too overbearingly campy. The first movie is a better film, but this one isn’t a movie I could imagine ever having a problem watching again. It’s not great – and it maybe overvaluing the film to call it average – but that’s what I’m going with, because whatever else you can say about it, it’s a fun movie.

7/10

This is one of the films covered on Fight Evil’s podcast. Listen below as Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss Sorority House Massacre II.

Tremors (1990)

Directed by Ron Underwood [Other horror films: N/A]

Ever since I was a kid, I loved the Tremors movies. I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve seen the first three movies combined, so to say I grew up with them will be the best I can do. The first film isn’t the best horror film of the 1990’s, but I’ve always found it enjoyable, and nothing has changed.

It’s a pretty simple monster movie with a rather small cast, but Tremors keeps us entertained with the quality character building, interesting ideas, and a decent amount of humor sprinkled throughout (though never becoming too overbearing as to distract from the suspense). If one of the many monsters movies from the late 1950’s had been made around the 1990’s instead, this is definitely what they’d hope to be.

Kevin Bacon is one of those big names that I honestly pretty much only know from this movie. I mean, I’ve seen Death Sentence, and of course I’ve seen Friday the 13th, but as far as Bacon individually standing out, Tremors stands alone. He works fantastically well with Fred Ward, and seeing the two of them interact throughout the film is a lot of fun (“Legs that go ALLLLLLL the way up!”).

Of course, it should go without saying that Michael Gross (who I know best from Family Ties) is great here, along with his wife (played by country singer Reba McEntire), as a pair of gun-nuts who are incredibly fun to watch, and Gross himself has plenty of funny lines (deadpan, “For my cannon” is probably my favorite). It’s clear why Gross made such an impression, even more so than the stars that were Bacon, Ward, and Finn Carter.

The monster design here was pretty interesting, even though we’re basically talking about giant worms. They look suitably dull, and seeing them killed in various ways is fun enough, but also the fact that they do learn as the movie goes on gives them a little more of a fear factor, even though they’re never quite terrifying.

Also, let’s speak briefly about the setting, being the (very) small town of Perfection, Nevada. It was indeed perfection, as a population of about 14 people total has always amazed me, just seeing the way that these people would live as opposed to those in a larger town or city. I couldn’t imagine living in such a small place, and maybe due to that, this setting always stuck out to me as something really memorable.

Other films from the early 1990’s combined humor and horror better than Tremors did (I’m primarily looking at Arachnophobia, which came out the same year), but Tremors has been a pleasure to watch since I was a kid, and I still really enjoy the first three movies, and wholly recommend the first two if you haven’t seen them before.

8.5/10

This is one of the films covered by Fight Evil’s podcast. Listen below as Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss Tremors.

Night of the Living Dead (1990)

Directed by Tom Savini [Other horror films: Deadtime Stories (2009, segment ‘House Call’), The Theatre Bizarre (2011, segment ‘Wet Dreams’)]

To be honest, I was expecting something more from this remake of the classic 1968 zombie film, as I’ve generally heard positive things about from fellow horror fans, but after taking the time to finally watch it, I was very underwhelmed, and ultimately find the film a bit pointless.

The original Night of the Living Dead has never been a favorite of mine. Oh, I enjoy the movie well enough, and it definitely changed the trajectory of zombie movies, but it can sometimes feel a bit on the slow side. That said, I found a lot more to enjoy in that movie than I did here, and while this version tries to change some things up (such as the route that Ben takes toward the end), I can’t deny that it somewhat fell on deaf ears.

Tony Todd was perhaps the best thing about this movie. He wasn’t as good as Duane Jones, but he still brought a significant power to his character. Patricia Tallman was certainly a more useful Barbara here than Judith O’Dea was, but that’s one of those changes that I didn’t find myself loving. I pretty much think Tom Towles nails it, but still, compared to Karl Hardman, he’s not nearly as strong a personality.

Unless I’m missing something, I just don’t see what all the hoopla about this one is. It’s an okay zombie movie if you’ve somehow missed the original, or if you wish the original was in color, or if you like seeing a young Bill Moseley, but otherwise, I really don’t get it. Now, I understand that director Tom Savini had some clashes with Romero while working on this, and the remake itself was, in part, made to help Romero recoup his losses from the original film, but knowing all of that doesn’t make the film any better, at least not for me.

The original film is a classic for good reason, but this isn’t really anything I could ever see myself wanting to spend time on again. I went into this one hoping for a lot more than what I got, and I won’t say that I’m not disappointed with this one.

5.5/10

Mirror Mirror (1990)

Directed by Marina Sargenti [Other horror films: Child of Darkness, Child of Light (1991)]

A satanic mirror? Sounds like it has potential. And really, Mirror Mirror did, and I wish that I could have liked it more. For something like the first half of the film, I was enjoying it pretty shamelessly, but then the second half happened, and the route changed, leaving me an old and bitter man.

This same type of plot has been done in later films, such as the Canadian television movie Devil’s Diary, so it didn’t feel that fresh to me (despite the fact this came out 17 years earlier). It’s an interesting idea, what with a teenage girl becoming addicted to the power of an iffy mirror, but it went down a path I didn’t much care for, and while the end redeems a bit of the lost potential, it was too little, too late.

Playing the goth teen Megan, Rainbow Harvest (which is indeed her real name, apparently) really felt like a slightly older Winona Ryder’s Lydia. She had a solid punk/new-wave/gothic look that I sort of liked, so of course she was picked on mercilessly by others in the school. Her mother, the well-known Karen Black, was pretty solid, though I felt somewhat bad about where the movie eventually took her.

One of my favorite sub-plots in the film dealt with a class president election between bitch Charleen (Charlie Spradling, from Meridian, a movie I saw not long before this one) and the one nice girl, Nikki (Kristin Dattilo). I’m a sucker for politics, so seeing an underdog campaign being fought against the establishment bitchery was a solid source of entertainment. It didn’t hurt that Dattilo was an attractive actress, and Spradling had a lovely nude scene later in the film.

It’s when the mirror, which has been causing some distressing incidents in Megan’s life, such as a massive nosebleed suffered by someone during lunch, or a brutal asthma attack a teacher has, starts sharing the power with Megan, and she becomes almost a witch, that I start losing interest. Because at this point, the strange outcast girl becomes the dangerous, school-shooter type (instead of guns, she has an evil mirror, but what’s the diff?), and she loses much of the sympathy she fairly possessed beforehand.

Now, it gets a little better, as Nikki tries to save Megan from herself, but by that point, things are pretty much a lost cause (both Megan and and Nikki have lost loved ones, so any victory at that point would be hollow anyway). Still, we got a solid death by steam in a locker room shower, and someone else gets impaled by glass, so it’s not all bad. The suspenseful garbage disposal scene, too, was worth seeing.

As a movie overall, though, Mirror Mirror fell flat, which was a damn shame, as it really did start off decently well, only to lose it’s way as the movie goes on. It’s a movie that’s probably good for a single watch, but unless my view on this one changes the next time I see it, it won’t become a 90’s favorite of mine.

6.5/10

Arachnophobia (1990)

Directed by Frank Marshall [Other horror films: N/A]

Truthfully, I can’t think of a single thing I dislike about this film.

The cast here is close to flawless. I pretty much like every performance, my favorites being Frances Bay (Happy Gilmore), Henry Jones, Roy Brocksmith, James Handy, Mark L. Taylor (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids), Stuart Pankin, Julian Sands, Harley Jane Kozak, Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom), and of course, John Goodman. Goodman’s character is golden anytime he’s on-screen, and Daniels just does a fantastic job here playing a lead you can definitely feel sympathy for.

With so many great scenes, it’s really impossible to point out where the best portions are, but a scene that always terrified me (and still does today) was the segment in the house when the spiders finally swarm. They crawl on the television, crawl out the vents, crawl out the sink – you name it, the spiders are there. That scene is somewhat hard to watch, but there’s no denying it’s effective.

Also, I want to give a lot of kudos to the twenty minute opening. It’s a fantastically atmospheric opening, what with the rainforests and bugs of all sorts falling from trees. It’s just a great beginning to a film, and sets the tone beautifully in a way that isn’t always common for a lot of movies.

Sometimes when a movie’s good, you can harp on and on about it. I did such with Bedlam, and I’ll likely do so again. But for Arachnophobia, it seems pointless – the cast is great, the story is great, the suspense is great, the music is spectacular, and everything else is great to. Easy top score, and a highlight of the 90’s.

10/10

This is one of the films covered on Fight Evil’s podcast. If you want to listen to Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss this one, listen below.

A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell (1990)

Directed by Brett Piper [Other horror films: They Bite (1996), Drainiac! (2000), Psyclops (2002), Arachnia (2003), Screaming Dead (2003), Bite Me! (2004), Shock-O-Rama (2005), Bacterium (2006), Muckman (2009), The Dark Sleep (2012), Queen Crab (2015), Triclops (2016)]

Well, with a title like this, how can the movie go wrong?

The sad thing is, while the film is so far from good, it’s actually a somewhat hard movie for me to hate. I certainly think it carries with it a charm that many other lower-budget films lack entirely, and while I don’t love the very fantasy-feel of the film, I can’t deny that they did well with what they had.

I think that, by far, the worst part of the movie is the introduction, which has our lead Nymphoid Barbarian explaining how the Earth got decimated and why society (or what’s left of society, which is very little) lives on a post-apocalyptic planet. It’s cringy, and doesn’t even make sense, as later in the film, the character (who was a little girl when the war started) has no idea what books or lighters are, which leads me to think she should have been born generations after the Event.

Personally, that’s the biggest flaw I found with the film. It just didn’t seem necessary, and might lead people to the untrue conclusion that A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell has some comedy influences, when it really doesn’t. Sure, the title itself doesn’t help battle against that stigma, but the movie and plot itself is pretty straight, if dodgy effects don’t cause one to burst out laughing.

This said, I actually thought that most of the makeup and special effects ranged from tolerably competent to rather charming, in the case of the Claymation monsters. There was a wide-range of terrible creatures, from scaled lizard men, to dwarf-type things, to giant worms (somewhat reminiscent of Beetlejuice, actually), along with giant crab-type things. They often didn’t look great, but honestly, I sort of liked it, and I enjoyed it far more like this as opposed what many modern movies would do, and just CGI the shit out of everything. A guy getting his arm eaten off was good fun also.

The dialogue wasn’t much to be proud of, but the story came across fine. Linda Corwin didn’t strike me as much a ‘nymphoid,’ but whatever. As the main antagonist, Alex Pirnie did fine, and ditto for Paul Guzzi as Corwin’s side-kick. Perhaps my favorite character was Mark Deshaies, who played a rather bad-ass disfigured man.

Another thing that deserves a small mention are the settings, my favorite being a decent-looking castle which held a distinctly evil aura. It might be fantasy 101, and the same could be said for the somewhat threadbare plot, but it was done well despite the budget.

Like I said, A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell is a hard movie for me to actually hate. I was by no means fond of it when I first saw it some years back, but it’s grown on me. I still don’t think the movie’s that great, and I definitely don’t think it’s a film that I’d rewatch all that often, but I will admit to finding the film, despite it’s problems, a charming little addition to the fantasy/horror genre.

6/10

Spontaneous Combustion (1990)

Directed by Tobe Hooper [Other horror films: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), Eaten Alive (1976), The Dark (1979), Salem’s Lot (1979), The Funhouse (1981), Poltergeist (1982), Lifeforce (1985), Invaders from Mars (1986), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986), I’m Dangerous Tonight (1990), Night Terrors (1993), Body Bags (1993, segment ‘Eye’), The Mangler (1995), The Apartment Complex (1999), Crocodile (2000), Shadow Realm (2002), Toolbox Murders (2004), Mortuary (2005), Djinn (2013)]

It’s a shame that this movie, despite the potential I sense, is such a mess. To me, that seems clearly due to the script, which doesn’t really feel right.

I have two big issues with this film. One, as I mentioned, is the story itself. The prologue takes 22 minutes to get through, and once we do, we’re stuck with characters that seem interconnected but don’t know they’re interconnected, a secret plot, some radio psychic, mysteries from the past coming back to haunt a character, some subplot about a nuclear plant that doesn’t seem related at all to the rest of the story, and syringes of glowing green stuff that was never once explained.

The plot goes all over the place, and I don’t think things were put together particularly well. That prologue took way too long to get through, and most of the present-day story isn’t overly captivating either. Some of the special effects (and I really mean some, as there are some really bad scenes here) work out well, but the story itself is just a mess. Maybe I just missed something, but it seems to me there were still quite a few unanswered questions by the end of the film, and it just grated on me. Things just felt disjointed at times.

Secondly, and this may be controversial, but I was deeply underwhelmed by Brad Dourif’s acting throughout this whole film. I know his character is in an odd place, so some of it can be excused, but it wasn’t just the odd scene out where I thought he was just a bad actor. I loved hearing Chucky’s voice, and I get the fact his character’s going through a confusing and emotionally-wrecking period, but his acting didn’t do it for me here at all, which is shame, as he generally is pretty enjoyable (such as his role in Death Machine, which came out four years after this).

I’m not saying that Spontaneous Combustion doesn’t occasionally have charm, but from a personal standpoint, I don’t think I’d watch this again anytime soon, as I honestly enjoyed very little of this film, despite the potential I really thought it had. I could tell from the beginning that the tone just felt off to me, and it pretty much stayed that way throughout, all the way to the ending which also just didn’t do it for me at all.

Tobe Hooper has, no doubt, done a lot for the horror genre, but this one is definitely not one of his better works in my view.

4.5/10

Meridian (1990)

Directed by Charles Band [Other horror films: Crash! (1976), Parasite (1982), The Alchemist (1983), Ragewar (1984, segment ‘Heavy Metal’), Pulse Pounders (1988), Crash and Burn (1990), Trancers II (1991), Doctor Mordrid (1992), Dollman vs. Demonic Toys (1993), Head of the Family (1996), Hideous! (1997), The Creeps (1997), Blood Dolls (1999), Puppet Master: The Legacy (2003), Dr. Moreau’s House of Pain (2004), Decadent Evil (2005), Doll Graveyard (2005), The Gingerdead Man (2005), Petrified (2006), Evil Bong (2006), Dead Man’s Hand (2007), Decadent Evil II (2007), Dangerous Worry Dolls (2008), Evil Bong 2: King Bong (2009), Skull Heads (2009), Evil Bong 3: The Wrath of Bong (2011), Killer Eye: Halloween Haunt (2011), DevilDolls (2012), The Dead Want Women (2012), Puppet Master X: Axis Rising (2012), Ooga Booga (2013), Unlucky Charms (2013), Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong (2013), The Haunted Dollhouse (2013), Trophy Heads (2014), Evil Bong 420 (2015), Evil Bong: High 5 (2016), Ravenwolf Towers: The Feature (2016), Evil Bong 666 (2017), Puppet Master: Axis Termination (2017), Evil Bong 777 (2018), Puppet Master: Blitzkrieg Massacre (2018), Deadly Dolls: Deepest Cuts (2018), Death Heads: Brain Drain (2018), Vampire Slaughter: Eaten Alive (2018), Bunker of Blood: Chapter 6: Zombie Lust: Night Flesh (2018), Bunker of Blood: Chapter 8: Butcher’s Bake Off: Hell’s Kitchen (2019), Corona Zombies (2020)]

I went into this one with lower expectations, but was pleasantly surprised at first. But then the movie kept going down paths I didn’t much care for, and come the end, I found Meridian a somewhat tedious and difficult film to fully enjoy.

Of course, being a Full Moon flick, Meridian does have some charm to it, and it also boasts some decent performances from both Sherilyn Fenn and Charlie Spradling, not to mention Hilary Mason, and though some of the ideas themselves were interesting, the movie evolves into a messy romantic flick à la Beauty and the Beast, and not a particularly worthwhile version.

The main idea and setting here are both fine. The two girls seeing the traveling magic troupe was solid, and the variety of troupe members was admirable (which led, on a side note, to a scene that reminded me a lot of the 1932 Freaks, in which a dwarf is walking down a table and pouring wine in peoples’ cups). It’s true that dinner sequence, followed by a drug-induced rape scene, held a certain engagement to it, but then the movie spirals into unenjoyable territory.

What’s the main issue, then?

After Fenn’s character is raped, she falls in love with the individual who raped her. That alone pissed me off, if truth be told. Drugging women then raping them, and then having one of the women in question subsequently fall for one of the guys involved is beyond the pale, and past that point, I couldn’t bring myself to care for Fenn’s character, nor Malcolm Jamieson’s (he played a pair of twins, Lawrence and Oliver). And once this happened, it only left one central character to root for, being Spradling’s, but funnily, past this point, she only appears sporadically, and is of little importance to the rest of the story.

I’ll admit that both Sherilyn Fenn and Charlie Spradling were pretty attractive, which is definitely true during their nude sequences (Spradling being my preferred of the two). I don’t know Fenn from anything, but Spradling was in both the disappointing Mirror Mirror and the promising Puppet Master II. I liked her character here, quite a lot more than I liked Fenn’s, but like I said, past a certain point, she doesn’t really add much, aside from occasionally being seen working on uncovering a supposedly plot-important painting. Hilary Mason was fun, and there’s a somewhat cool twist involving her character, but much like Spradling, she doesn’t do that much.

Malcolm Jamieson was a fine actor here, but I didn’t care for either of the characters he played (and their on-screen conversations were just melodramatic to the extreme), and ultimately, while he probably did a perfectly fine job, I just didn’t care much for him, much of which can be put on the route that Meridian went.

I knew next to nothing about this movie before watching it, and that’s good, because I already went in with somewhat low expectations, so if I knew where this one went, it would have been even harder to get through this one. Meridian is somewhat interesting, and it definitely could have been a good film (another Full Moon feature, Subspecies, came out the following year, and is pretty good), but this one just doesn’t have what I’d hope for.

5.5/10

This is one of the films covered on Fight Evil’s podcast. If interested, listen to Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss it below.

Maniac Cop 2 (1990)

Directed by William Lustig [Other horror films: Maniac (1980), Maniac Cop (1988), Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence (1992), Uncle Sam (1996)]

Having not seen this sequel before, I wasn’t overly sure what to expect. I’d mostly heard positive comparisons to the first movie, and I wasn’t disappointed, as it’s a solid sequel and an enjoyable film, though I believe the first is a bit better.

The cast was decently solid. I truthfully didn’t care much for Robert Davi’s character, but the performance, as a lead, was pretty solid. Claudia Christian was decent, and gave a great performance at times, such as that rather thrilling handcuffed-to-a-car scene. I was somewhat taken aback by the route Bruce Campbell’s character took, but in retrospect, while disappointing, it made sense. A few interesting faces pop up, including Clarence Williams III (who I know best from Tales from the Hood) and a small cameo from Danny Trejo.

If there’s one acting misfire here, it’s from Leo Rossi, who played a talkative serial killer who just got on my nerves, and seemed to add a somewhat lighter feel to the film (at least in his scenes) than I would have hoped for, and overall, I really didn’t care for the addition of his character. It didn’t particularly seem necessary, and didn’t do the atmosphere any wonders.

Otherwise, the movie’s pretty solid, with a good plot, great massacres (I really liked both the police station and prison scene), and a couple of memorable kills, including a quick neck-snap that I really appreciated. Perhaps one of the best scenes takes place in a shooting range, but there were plenty of great scenes throughout the film.

I don’t think Maniac Cop 2 is quite as good as the first movie (a lot of it has to do with Rossi’s character), but I do think it’s a pretty solid film, and well worth the watch. If you enjoyed the first one, I’d guess this one would come across as rather palatable also.

7.5/10

This was covered on Fight Evil’s podcast. If interested, listen to Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss this one below.

Pledge Night (1990)

Directed by Paul Ziller [Other horror films: Snakehead Terror (2004), Swarmed (2005), Beyond Loch Ness (2008), Yeti: Curse of the Snow Demon (2008), Troglodyte (2008), Ba’al (2008), Iron Invader (2011), Ghost Storm (2011)]

In many ways, Pledge Night feels more like an 80’s movie than it does a 90’s, which probably makes the film a bit better. It’s not great, by any means, but there’s enough here to keep me entertained, and having seen this one twice now, I can say it’s somewhere around average.

There’s one thing I want to get out of the way first before jumping into this one: I detest and abhor fraternities and their hazings. It’s nothing more than psychological (and sometimes physical) torture, bolstered by nothing but pointless tradition and the psychology behind sunk costs. You can find a list of those who have died during hazing practices, and once you understand that many in Greek life still willingly join organizations that haze, and don’t speak up about it, you may be able to understand my utter disgust with sororities and fraternities.

I bring that up because the first forty minutes of this movie deals with the hazing of six pledges to [insert random Greek alphabet here]. Is some of it harmless? Sure, but almost all of it is psychological torture, and shows that the organization is not one worth being in to begin with. As a few of the pledges say, though, if they hadn’t attempted to pledge to a frat, their fathers would be disappointed (macho men wanting their sons to go through abuse – great parenting).

After forty minutes of this, we get to the horror, in which the zombie/demon of a previous pledge who died during a hazing (which is within the realm of possibility, as to this day, kids are still being killed by Greek life) returns and goes on a rampage. Oh, also another Greek brother also kills a few people, but it’s not entirely clear if that guy was just driven to his behavior by his own mental instability or somehow possessed by Sid, the returning pledge.

Of the six pledges, only James Davies fails to make an impression. It’s true that both David Neal Evans and Robert Lentini don’t add much, but as this is the only acting role from either, I don’t much hold that against them. Dennis Sullivan (who is memorable only due to his hella slick haircut) and Craig Derrick are both fun, but neither really gets that much to do past a certain point.

The two main characters, played by Todd Eastland and Shannon McMahon, are good, though I will admit to McMahon being virtually indistinguishable from the other Sorority girls there (all three had small nude scenes, so kudos there, I guess). Michael T. Henderson is pretty solid in his role, and Arthur Lundquist, who played the potentially possessed Frat brother, really did come across as reasonably insane at times (that cackle was top notch).

I wouldn’t say many of the kills are really good, but there are a few memorable ones here regardless, such as the cherry bomb scene, a strangulation sequence, an okay electrocution, and this dude getting stabbed in the back multiple times. That last kill mentioned was almost my favorite, but then a girl got killed by an electric egg beater, which wasn’t much in the way of gory, but it did have character.

The problem here is that the killer, Sid, spews these one-liners which really lack comedic value. Up until his appearance in the film, one could easily be excused for not seeing this as a comedy-horror, but then Sid comes in and ruins the perception. It’s not as bad as Freddy later got, but it wasn’t really worth it either. Related, there is one scene in which Sid emerges from someone’s body, which reminded me of a much lower quality version of the classic scene from Freddy’s Revenge, so hey, that’s worth seeing.

I will say, though, there was one funny line – ‘Maybe we should turn the light off as a group’ – that cracked me up considerably.

Pledge Night isn’t a movie I loved when I first saw it, but it is reasonably watchable. It’s enjoyable to an extent, and while I wish they had gotten to the horror aspects quicker (forty minutes in seems a bit of a long wait), it’s still okay. If you’re a fan of late 80’s horror, this movie fits the bill, so give it a go. Just be aware that it may not stand out come the credits.

6.5/10

This is one of the films covered on Fight Evil’s podcast. Listen to Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss it below.