Face-Off: Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama vs. Sorority House Massacre II

Inspiration for Face-Offs can come from anywhere, and in this case it was the impending release of the comedy NEIGHBORS 2: SORORITY RISING. A movie about sorority girls? The horror genre has some of those, and I decided a couple of them should go to battle this week. Preferably ones that had "sorority" in the title. That's how we end up with this fight between a pair of late night cable classics, David DeCoteau's SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-O-RAMA and Jim Wynorski's SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE II (I picked part 2 because part 1 would get trounced).
As part of their sorority initiation, pledges Taffy and Lisa, accompanied by a trio of pervs caught spying on the girls, have to break into the mall bowling alley and steal a trophy. Unfortunately, the trophy they choose is home to a nasty little imp who traps them in the mall and goes after them with his magical powers, aided by some maniacal minions.
Joe Bob Briggs wrote up a list of essential rules for how to make a horror film, and SHM2 checks off nearly every one of them. A story doesn't get more simple than this: a group of sorority girls buy a murder house for cheap to fix up as their new sorority house. During their first night in the place, someone starts picking off the scantily-clad young women one by one.
This one has a great cast full of familiar faces, starting off with three of the most popular scream queens of the 1980s - Brinke Stevens and Michelle Bauer, playing Taffy and Lisa, are joined by Linnea Quigley as a badass burglar called Spider. SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE's Robin Stille plays the sadistic head of the sorority, and the guys include NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4's Andras Jones and NIGHT OF THE DEMONS' Hal Havins. Plus, Buck Flower!
British actress/model Robyn Harris makes for a fine heroine and her co-stars, including the statuesque Melissa Moore, fill out their nighties quite well, but the actor who really the steals the show is Peter Spellos as creepy neighbor Orville Ketchum. If you ever watch SHM2 or its companion film HARD TO DIE, you'll never forget Orville Ketchum, and you'll wish Wynorski would get around to making the promised ORVILLE IN ORBIT.
Voiced by Dukey Flyswatter, the imp is an entertaining little creature who grants wishes that don't turn out quite how the wisher was hoping they would. However, most of the dirty work is handled by the sorority girls who fall under the imp's spell, one of them taking on the look of THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, another growing scales. They're kind of silly, but they're not to be trifled with.
Stock footage from SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE that has nothing to do with the story being told fills out the back story of Clive Hockstatter, who murdered his entire family before being impaled by a neighbor girl. Now Hockstatter is back, not in body but in spirit, possessing a sorority girl and using her body to murder her friends. In female form, Hockstatter is a pale, deep-voiced maniac who is clearly having fun.
The imp says his minions are inept, but they can really mess a person up. A head is torn off and rolled down a bowling lane, a face is fried, a body is cracked like a wishbone. There's also quite an impressive full body burn. No kill is mind blowing, but there's a good variety of methods.
Most of the violence in this film is dealt out to a misunderstood Orville Ketchum. The actual kills aren't all that special. The weapon of choice is a hook and we mainly just see the killer grab their victims and drag them to the ground, then the hook swings and blood splatters.
SLIMEBALL has a lot to offer for viewers whose intentions are less than pure. You have Brinke Stevens and Michelle Bauer in various states of undress, including full frontal nudity from both of them, even getting paddled and having whip cream sprayed all over them. Linnea Quigley's character has an interesting fashion sense, wearing a ripped-up shirt that nearly reveals her breasts.
As the girls settle in for the night, Wynorski methodically shows each of them nude, some just changing clothes, others soaping up in the shower. Then he has them put on skimpy nighties and sleep shirts that they'll be wearing for the rest of the film, putting most of their skin on display for 2/3 of the running time. If that weren't enough, the cops on the case also take in a strip club performance.
Although I have seen SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE II many more times than I have watched SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-O-RAMA, revisiting it frequently ever since a childhood viewing on The Movie Channel (an airing that may well have been hosted by Joe Bob Briggs), when these two movies go head-to-head I have to give the win to SLIMEBALL. The imp provides more fun than Clive Hockstatter does, and as entertaining as it is to watch Orville Ketchum get battered around, there's no contest in the kills department. And how could it lose with a cast like that?

Do you agree with the outcome of this Face-Off, or do you think SHM2 should have made it on the honor list? Share your thoughts on these movies by leaving a comment below. If there are any movie match-ups you'd like to see in future Face-Offs, you can send me your suggestions at [email protected].



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