Full Moon’s 1988 cult film is something of a hideous movie that will make many cringe, roll their eyes, and have fun just the same. Admittedly “Sorority Babes” has something of a nostalgic value as I can still fondly remember watching it on late night cable in the nineties trying to figure out what in god’s name this movie was. Finally being able to grab a copy, I now know why “Sorority Babes” isn’t going in to the film registry any time soon. Obviously, it’s not a good film, but it surely is a film that’s so bad it’s really damn good.
It has all the tropes of the eighties we love, the synth score, the nerdy college guys, the sexy sorority babes, and the dated special effects that not even music videos of the decade were touching. Quite often the budget shows in this schlocky horror comedy, but I had so much fun nevertheless. Three nerdy numbskulls from the local campus has just gotten word that the Tri Delta initiation ceremony is happening that night and they’ve decided to sneak to the their house and watch the happenings with gaping jaws and giggles. The entire first half of the film plays like “Revenge of the Nerds” where the three dorks are being taunted by the sorority girls after they’re caught spying on two of the pledges bathing naked after being sprayed with whipped cream.
Why were they sprayed with whipped cream? I don’t care, but it’s a fun sequence. This movie is about as obligatory as it gets looking for any excuse to elicit lesbian undertones every chance it gets. So we’re given a very long paddling scene, a showering scene, and many more pointless sexual themes that just add to the trashy fun. The Tri Deltas are making the three nerds and the two pledges fish out a prized trophy from the local Bowl O Rama, and in the middle of horse play and fumbling, they happen to unleash a demonic imp from a trophy who spews horrific one-liners at them and is about as funny as Robin Williams as the Genie in “Aladdin.” Surely enough the imp is freed and he’s offering up wishes!
Everyone whets their whistles except for nerdy Calvin who fears the Imp is up to something, and the bad ass Spider, a punk rock chick who broke in to the bowling alley to steal and refuses to also ask for a wish. Surely enough the Imp is up to something as his wishes end up being cons, and the three frat girls watching from the cameras become the very monsters they enjoy watching on TV. The entirety of the film is spent with Calvin and Spider as they struggle to find a way to stop the Imp, and avoid the monsters, all of whom are merciless in their attacks. They tear people up limb from limb and even broil someone’s face in a fryer. My absolute favorite aspect beyond the Imp (who rightfully should be in local comedy clubs delivering zingers), is Linnea Quigley who is an entertaining heroine as the punker Spider who refuses to run and hide and is more intent on stopping the Imp and battling the super strong monsters.
Her corny pep talks matched with her dated apparel makes for one banner heroine. I’m still trying to figure out why no one in this popular bowling alley never found the Imp before these saps. But don’t try to think about it. Director DeCouteau features some really funny gags including bowling with a severed head, and one guy’s wish for the girl of his dreams who is so aggressive she begins to inflict bodily pain on him. And for what it’s worth, the film still has a very gritty and barebones quality about it that shines for anyone interested in re-visiting some eighties grade A cheese. Hell, say what you want about this movie, but it’s a proud place holder in my collection. It’s trash, there’s no arguing that, but in the end it’s entertaining trash and one I can enjoy if I want to remember horror comedies that were much more prone to creativity and originality and not just completely reliant on shocking us in to submission with its cynicism. “Sorority Babes in the Slime Ball Bowl O Rama” is a guilty pleasure and one I intend to indulge in for years to come. Old Uncle Impy guarantees!