While looking through some things in his old room at his parents house he came across this mint Starlog magazine featuring the Soldiers of the Future…and Wil Wheaton vowing, “I’ll never save the Enterprise again!”.
I have so much to say about this film. WAY too much to waste everyone’s time reading about it in a blog post.
Oh, okay you twisted my arm.
So, I’ll start by saying that I believe this film to be one of the more underrated horror films of the 80s. While it did have the “dead teenager” zeitgeist on the surface, it elevated the trend of the slasher movie with a mystery surrounding the curious history of the sorority house and a certain inhabitant. It also contains an INCREDIBLE final scare that I will not give away here.
The film (which, I admit, does have many laughably bad horror film moments) tells the story of sorority that is on the eve of having their end of the year party. The sisters pull a prank on the strict house mother, which ends badly. And by badly I mean the house mother ends up wrapped in a rug and buried in the backyard pool. Once the party starts, things get out of hand. And by out of hand, I mean the girls involved in the prank start getting brutally murdered one by one, all while trying to figure out who is after them. Here is the trailer.
The film also features two wonderful musical scores.
The incidental music was composed by Richard Band, who comes from a big Hollywood pedigree and has written some great horror film scores – Re-Animator, Silent Night Deadly Night, From Beyond, to name a few. The theme song from this film is available for download on Amazon. And as a footnote to my complete and utter geek out over HOSR (yeah, “HOSR”, I just did that) – I know it SO well that I noticed on the CW’s promos for The Inner Circle, they were using the music from this film. I actually ran into the living room thinking that the movie was on TV. I thought to myself that whoever in the promo department at CW picked this song, they rock and I want to meet them.
The OTHER music in this film, which leads me to my personal connection with this post, is by an 80s rock band out of DC – 4 Out Of 5 Doctors. The melodic power pop band was featured in this film AS the band at the sorority party. At that time, they were up and coming in DC, signed to CBS records and on their way to breaking big. Sadly, it never happened for the 4 docs, but their legacy is preserved by the FIVE songs they perform in the film. Yes, five. It’s absurd as to how much screen time they got in the movie. If you watched the trailer above, you’ll notice how much freaking trailer screen time they get. (I will say though, it doesn’t match the amount of screen time The Doobie Brothers got in the very special bootlegging episode of What’s Happening.)
So, how does this all connect to me? Well, many many years ago, the rights holders for this film hired my writing partner and I to create a treatment for the sequel. Unfortunately for us, maybe fortunately for everyone else, the film never happened. (They did remake the film as Sorority Row, which I have not seen.) During the time working on the treatment, we took a copy of the original film and re-cut it to parody VH1’s Behind The Music, which centered on none other than…4 Out Of 5 Doctors. I then contacted Cal Everett, the band’s lead singer, via a Google search and sent him a copy. He loved it (or tolerated it, because we made a LOT OF FUN of the band) enough to send me a CD rip of BOTH 4 Out Of 5 Doctors LPs. It was one of those personal triumphs that when I tried to explain the very convoluted story to my friends, it was mostly met with blank stares. And now, ten years later you can purchase their only two albums on their site at 4outof5drs.com. Of course, if you watch The House On Sorority Row, you’ll get to hear a lot of the music during the five performances.
The film was written and directed by Mark Rosman, who has gone on to a very successful TV directing career. According to IMDB, this was his first film. And I think, regardless of the film’s sillier moments, he set out to make a smarter, better looking and better sounding horror film than most of the Friday The 13th ripoffs that were prevalent in the era. I believe he succeeded.
With our own Patrik J. Doody’s excellent Salem’s Lot Post earlier today it seemed only right to share these two behind the scenes photos of that excellent Tobe Hooper directed miniseries. I’m going to have to take up Patrick’s challenge tonight and not only watch the scene with Mike Ryerson (Geoffrey Lewis) waiting for his teacher, Jason Burke (Lew Ayres), in his bedroom before I go to bed but the whole movie…in the dark…possibly with the covers over my head.
Of course a huge thanks goes to Quint for the two photos above at Ain’t It Cool News for his continuing Behind the Scenes features, he really does give us movie fans an excellent post to look forward to everyday!
A big thanks to friend of the Retroist, Patrick J. Doody, for this awesome scan of the HHNH 2007 Map/Brochue! Which you can plainly see included some Icons of Horror that should be very familiar to any horror movie fan.
Make sure to click the photos so that you can see the larger sized images over on Photobucket. I love the Scarezones and Houses for that year:
Friday The 13th: Camp Blood – After a half century of murder and mayhem, the eternal evil of Jason Voorhees still haunts the ruined remains of Camp Crystal Lake.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Back In Business – Leatherface and his family of cannibal crazies have taken over the condemned Blair Meats Factory, bringing a new level of terror to the heart of Texas.
A Nightmare on Elm Street: Freddy’s Nightmare – Freddy Krueger is coming home to where he was conceived (The Westin Hills Asylum) to raise a nightmare army of the insane as a final act of revenge against the town of Springwood.
Halloween Horror Nights Orlando also included Leatherface, Jason, and Freddy but they enlisted that nefarious Clown of Evil, Jack Schmidt or as he is more commonly known Jack the Clown to be the Ringmaster for the Carnival of Carnage. I don’t suffer from Coulrophobia but I have to say that Jack certainly gives me the creeps. Check out this awesome HHN Orlando commercial they did…probably one of the greatest besides the Usher in my humble opinion.
Thanks to frequent visitor to the Retroist, Patrick J. Doody, for this awesome scan of the 2006 Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood Map/Brochure. Make sure to take a moment to click on the pics, they will link you to the original scans in a much larger format. I like the warnings for those planning on attending the event as well as the restaurants you could visit, like Mel’s Diner and the Flintstone’s “Beastly BBQ Pit”!
It looks like the Icon for HHNH 2006 was the Director, a filmmaker that…created movies so disturbing and grotesque that he was chased out of his own country. Now the stories differ slightly from HHN Orlando and Hollywood. From the Horror Nights Wiki: “Paulo was hired by Universal Studios Hollywood to create their ultimate horror movie of all time. Before they allowed production to begin, Universal requested that Paulo submit a short film detailing his project to preview it for executives. However, when Universal viewed the graphic short film which contained real torture and death, they claimed Paulo’s sick vision was too graphic for movie audiences. They then had the project cancelled for good, and banned Paulo from ever stepping foot into Universal Studios again. But Paulo did in fact, take up residence in an abandoned backlot set at the park, vowing to get revenge on Universal. Aware that Paulo was hiding on the backlot, Universal still allowed their annual Halloween event to run in 2006, but warned visitors that real horror would be created by Paulo.
The Director appeared at the event in Terror Tram: Director’s Cut.”
I have a feeling that getting the Director and our own Projectionist together to discuss films…would be a very bad thing for all of us!
Thanks to Tobatto2287 over on YouTube for uploading this light show featuring the Director and many, many classic horror movies. It’s the perfect video to not only demonstrate just how much effort goes into the Horror Night events but to get your juices flowing to watch some of these films again!