Production: Screamkings Productions
Distribution: Synapse Films
Release: August 9th, 2011
It’s 1979 and disco is on its way out. “I will survive” by Gloria Gaynor is still managing to top the charts, but similar songs are not long for this world. And unfortunately for the pledges working hard to earn their way into the Delta Iota Epsilon (D.I.E.) fraternity, survival is becoming harder and harder for them as well. Because what the outside world doesn’t realize is that Mark, the fraternity president and all-around asshole, is actually far worse than they could imagine. In fact, the man is a cold-blooded murderer.
Sean (Chris Prangley) is a conscientious and polite young college student who was raised by Olivia (Georgia Gladden), a friend of the family, following his parents untimely death. His younger brother, Bobby (Rane Jameson), isn’t quite as well-mannered and mature, but you get the impression he’ll probably outgrow it.
Although Sean hits the college scene before Bobby does, the plan is for them to stick together, pledge the same fraternity, and hang tight once they’re both on campus. But on the eve of Bobby’s high school graduation, his vehicle is hit by a drunk driver and the young man is put in a coma. His older brother, Sean, is understandably devastated, and goes back to college walking with a heavier step.
However, he soon finds out that his brother’s accident is the least of his worries, as the fraternity he has joined begins to torture and kill the pledges who apply. Mark (Jon Fleming) is the frat president and also the ring leader of the newly implemented blood sports. And when Sean decides that everyone has gone too far, Mark declares him a traitor to the fraternity and sets his fellow frat brothers loose on him.
But before all is said and done, buckets of blood will be spilled on both sides of the conflict, plenty of plot twists will emerge, and quite a few breasts will be bared as well. Because Frat House Massacre does more than live up to its name, it actually manages to exceed the speed limit and leave the b-movie competition in the dust. It’s a damn good movie, in more ways than one, and actually pulls off the rare feat of making you care about the story just as much as the blood being smeared across the walls.
Frat House Massacre takes place in 1979, and it does a wonderful job of creating a period-appropriate atmosphere, complete with retro soundtrack, late 70’s clothing and hair styles, and even goes the extra mile by hazing the screen slightly with a moderate filter that makes the movie look like it could have come from that period. And while some films have attempted this, and often gone too far overboard, in the case of Frat House Massacre, it’s actually subtle enough to never be a distraction.
The acting is extremely solid across the board, and dialogue is delivered in a believable manner. The frat brothers involved with killing pledges all seem convincingly feral and bloodthirsty, while their hapless girlfriends play the roles of reluctant date-rape victims and innocent collaborators in a convincing manner. In fact, you might recognize the actress whom portrays Diana, the girlfriend of the womanizing psychotic called “Moose.” It’s Niki Notarile from Methodic, another film I reviewed back in October of 2011. And I’m happy to report that this time around, Ms Notarile was more than willing to drop trou for the betterment of the film. Gorgeous lady, by the way.
Because Frat House Massacre has such a strong focus on story, rather than a simple action-heavy formula, it’s actually a bit slower than most horror films. However, don’t let that scare you off, because I’m the king of ADD, and even I was fully drawn into the experience. I never found the film to be too boring or drawn out, and in fact, I think the eventual blood and guts were made all the more captivating by having a solid narrative to back them up.
This is an extremely good movie with plenty of action, both in terms of violence and sex, but also isn’t afraid to tell a good story and takes it time in doing so. I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys a good slasher flick, but also to people who enjoy getting involved in a captivating story as well. Check it out, gang. You won’t regret it.
This film receives a score of:
8.5 out of 10