Thursday, February 17, 2011


I hadn't seen this since the ragged days of my brain-damaging teenage insomnia. Somehow, I never managed to pick this up as a rental, but that's probably a good thing. At 16, I had already developed a rabid lust for Brinke Stevens, and I would have burst a vital blood vessel over her shower scene.

An absolutely stellar credit in director David DeCoteau's catalog, "Sorority Babes in the Slime Bowl-O-Rama" starts off with two horny frat dudes cajoling a nerdy third into joining them for a peep show at the “Felta” Delta house. Upon arrival the boys are treated to a panty-shot paddling, administered by kinky head sister Babs. After the boys are caught spying, the Deltas force them to accompany the pledges during the next phase of initiation: the after hours theft of a trophy from the mall bowling alley. After breaking and entering, the kids run into punk burglar Spider. They procure the trophy, but a fumble busts the thing open and an imp appears to grant each of them a wish. It isn’t before long that their desires completely spoil, and the imp turns out to be a sinister force out for blood.

The average dummy might dismiss this film as simply being cheap and terrible, but DeCoteau demonstrates a powerful film making prowess by materializing a surprisingly strong b-film with an astonishingly low 90k budget. There’s something to be said for firmly holding the reigns of a multi-million production. After all, the larger the scale, the more corners there are for chaos to breed in. Still, I doubt most studio directors could make a film like this happen with such meager means. DeCoteau has made a routine of squeezing gallons of blood from a single pebble. The man is a superior artistic force.

The movie is also well-acted, given the material. Once again, just as a competent director can get a lot of mileage out of ten million dollars, a capable performer with top notch material usually wins out and probably walks away with more credit than they deserve. A great performer can take sub-par material and make it work. The charismatic Andras Jones, as chief frat nerd Calvin, turns in yet another likable performance. Most will probably recognize him as Rick, Alison’s brother from the poisonous “A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master.” Regardless of the material, Andras rises like cream in nearly every film he’s in. It’s a shame more frequent use of the guy was never made. Despite remaining fully clothed, Linnea Quigley shines as the deliciously bratty Spider. This is a red letter performance from Quigley, who's often cast off as mere scream queen. She's given more to do here than usual though, and it's very apparent that she isn't just a b-caliber actress, but actually has a fascinating and bizarre style. Michael Sonye, who plays the delightful Mengele in "Surf Nazis Must Die," surprises as the man responsible for the Imp's ghetto Big Bopper voice.

The copy I own was recently rescued from Salzer’s Video in Ventura, California, where it had once proudly occupied the Cult section. At some point in the last decade or so, Salzer’s management created another section which they preposterously dubbed, “Offensive.” It was there that “Sorority Babes” had languished until I had it snatched. I’m not exactly sure why this film was deemed offensive, but I blame the neo-puritans and their regressively moralistic views. There’s nothing offensive about this film unless nudity makes you uncomfortable. Personally, when I think offensive, the extremity of “Salo; or the 120 Days of Sodom” aggressively hedges out the bullshit paddling scene from “Sorority Babes.”

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