Friday, 8 July 2016

Watching: Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (1988)

I'll be honest. Aside from Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death, David DeCoteau's Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama may just be the best film title I've ever heard. And its as easy as that. Maybe one of the most shocking things about sensationalist cinema is how easy it is to sell a film on a crazy title. Of course, the title is probably the best thing about this film, but that's not to say that there isn't something here to endear it to the B-movie crowd.

The two main draws to this film are the women and the imp (interestingly, the film was released in the UK with the less convoluted and unsensational title of The Imp). We witness the film through the view point of three classic 80s dorks, who are unhappy with watching monster movies and getting drunk. One of them, however, happens to know that the local all female Tri Delta sorority is having their initiation at midnight for two new recruits. Shamelessly, they decide to go the house, just in time to witness the new recruits receive a spanking from the three other members, in just their panties! Pretty tame stuff, but at least we've established what kind of film this is now.

These dorks are audacious enough to demand more, so actually break into the house to witness the be-spanked initiates wash before their next trial. Like something out of a cartoon, these three idiots line their heads on top of one another to actually watch these poor girls through a partially opened door and, phwoar!, they're naked! Of course, they're quickly found out, and the 3 existing members of Tri Delta see fit to punish the peeping toms by punishing the initiates. Doesn't make sense, but hey, I wasn't exactly expecting it to. They insist that if the girls want in the sorority, they have to go steal a trophy from the local bowling ally before the mall opens, and take the three sex criminals along with them. As you can imagine, the men love this idea, but the girls are forced into a situation they really don't want to be in. Nice one, film!

After breaking in, they find a punk girl called Spider (Linnea Quigley) breaking into pinball machines, who the more harmless one of the dorks, Calvin (Andras Jones), quickly warms to, because he's young and horny and half her clothes are ripped off anyway. Stealing the trophy, they drop it and out comes our devilishly charismatic imp (Michael Sonye, or Dukey Flyswatter as he's credited as). Like The Monkey's Paw, the imp grants these little rule-breakers a naive wish, only for it to obviously blow up in their faces. Calvin and Spider are the only two to not make wishes, as they're far too cool for this kind of moronic supernatural brainwashing.

The imp ends up turning the Tri Delta girls into zombie like creatures (including an inexplicable Bride of Frankenstein zombie), who hunt down the others, and it quickly becomes clear that Spider and Calvin are going to be our final heroes. Annoyingly, we see very few of the kills on screen, as we only see reaction shots and squelchy sound effects. We are even denied the bowling ball to the face shot, possibly the one kill you wait the whole film to witness. 

Spider and Calvin manage to find a janitor (George Flower) that seems to know all about the imp and his previous murder spree, and inform them that they just need to encase it for all this madness to stop. While he doesn't live long enough to see out the end of the film, he does get to deliver one of the best lines of the film ("God damn that fucking imp!"), as well as provide some much needed humour and structure to a film that was quickly going nowhere.

They defeat the imp, trapping him a coffee tin. With eight mutilated bodies littering the mall, and the sun rapidly rising, they leave before the cops get there to go back to Spider's squat for some dorky-crusty-punk sex. Unfortunately, they just leave the tin on the pavement, almost guaranteeing a similar massacre to happen mere minutes later.

As I discussed last week with my review of The Suckling, B-movies are sometimes best remembered in retrospect, when you can magnify the fun parts, the embarrassing parts, the sick parts. This movie contains some incredibly strained acting, with some fantastically indulgent voices, voices that sound like the type you'd make when acting out a childs bedtime story. The dorks are misogynistic, and their punishment really didn't fit the crime. Quigley as Spider was maybe the best character (apart from the predictable ending), but maybe was because, somewhat ironically to the sex-ploitation intentions of this film, she was the least likely character to take any bullshit from anyone, and therefore redeemed it from being as basely exploitative as it could of been.

Can I say I've learnt my lesson never to judge a book by its cover? Nah. I just really want to watch Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death now.

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