By Richard Winters
My Rating: 2 out of 10
4-Word Review: Yet another slasher flick.
If, based on its misleading title, you’re figuring this thing will be filled with hot sorority babes having their late night beer parties ruined by an unscrupulous masked killer who does unethical things with an ax then you’ll be sorely disappointed as that is not what you’ll get here. Instead you’ll be treated to a story about five volunteers who clean out an abandoned dorm that looks more like a business building, so that it can be renovated into apartments. During the process they become menaced by a mysterious killer who begins hacking them off one-by-one.
This movie’s one and only claim to fame is that it marks the film debut of Daphne Zuniga who gets promptly killed off within the first 15 minutes by having her head run over by a car! The rest of the cast is not up to the acting standards of a high school play including leading lady Laurie Lapinski whose monotone delivery does nothing to enliven the proceedings.
The gore is okay and probably the only reason I’m giving it 2 points. The scene where the killer beats a man’s head in with a bat looks pretty realistic and the part where he drills into another man’s skull isn’t bad either. The tension though, or what little there is of it, is hurt by having long stretches that feature nothing but extraneous dialogue and wooden characters.
Some fans of the film will point to its so-called surprise ending as a redeeming element. Yes, the identity of the killer is not who you’re expecting, but you know that from the start since the character of the mentally unstable John Hemmit (Woody Roll) is too obviously pushed as being the suspect from the beginning, so you know it has to be someone else. Finding out who the real killer is not interesting as it has no real connection to anything that came earlier and was pretty much done in a random way where the writer/director choose a character you’d least expect, so it would seem like a ‘great revelation’, but with no other logic behind it.
Dull and uninspired this is yet another in a long line of rip-off slasher flicks that adds nothing unique or interesting to the genre and unless you want to see Zuniga in an early performance it’s not worth seeking out.
Alternate Titles: Death Dorm, Pranks
My Rating: 2 out of 10
Released: April 12, 1982
Runtime: 1Hour 28Minutes
Directors: Stephen Carpenter, Jeffrey Obrow
Studio: New Image
Available: DVD, Blu-ray, Amazon Instant Video