What Jim Wynorski’s “Hard to Die” has in common with “Die Hard” is that it features a high rise. And that’s about it. But I don’t blame it for being so shameless in exploiting the aforementioned action film, when “Hard to Die” is purposely exploitative and shameless to begin with. 1990’s “Hard to Die” also known as “Tower of Terror” and “Sorority House Massacre 3” is seventy minutes (Well if you cut out the montage from “Slumber Party Massacre,” the film is a cool hour) of goofy ridiculous fun intended to mock the horror genre at every turn. It’s a horror movie, a comedy, a slasher, a demon possession film, and a softcore porn romp all in one. And damn it, it’s still a lot of fun.
There’s really not much to say about “Hard to Die” except that its narrative is nothing but a hodge podge of plot elements mashed together for the sole purpose of featuring our buxom cast run around in lingerie. A group of gorgeous busty women working in a lingerie shop have to pull an all nighter sorting out stock for their sleazy boss. They’re also easily startled by the building janitor Orville, as played by Peter Spellos. He survived the previous confrontations from the past “Sorority House Massacre” movies and is still suspected of murdering the poor girls. Deciding to pass the time, they put on lingerie and scamper around, all the while taking showers together, bouncing and jiggling and making pretty funny jokes that reference previous scenes.
When a pizza delivery girl is called up to the building through the elevator, the mysterious killer of the movie sets her ablaze. Cut to one of the characters moaning “Where’s the girl with the food already? It’ll be char broiled when she gets here.” Yes, it’s that kind of movie. While “Hard to Die” is a loose sequel it’s also very much a horror comedy that spoofs all of the eighties film tropes, right down to the action flicks. Suffice it to say if that isn’t enough, the girls accidentally receive a package in the form of a locked box that unleashes a demonic spirit. When released, the murdering begins as someone is knocking off the buxom troop. Could it be Orville? Or could it be someone entirely unexpected?
For a movie that doesn’t require much in the way of acting ability, the cast of gorgeous women pull off their performances well, and Peter Spellos is very good as the enigmatic Orville. “Hard to Die” has a narrative that’s just absolute nonsense, but I enjoy how it seems aware of that, and uses it to deliver a hilarious and entertaining horror comedy. When the girls happen upon a gun store in their high rise, and one of the characters justifies being able to inexplicably handle a machine gun like a pro by declaring “My dad was a marine!” you just have to laugh and enjoy the ride.