Frat House Massacre DVD Review
Written by TGM
DVD released by Synapse Films
Directed by Alex Pucci
Writen by Draven Gonzalez
2008, Region 1 (NTSC), 116 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released August 9th, 2011
Rane Jameson as Bobby
Chris Prangley as Sean
Jon Fleming as Mark
Niki Rubin (as Niki Notarile) as Diana
Ryan Ross as Drater
Lisa DiCicco as Erica
Adam Simon as Moose
Andrew Giordano as Tim
Frat House Massacre revolves around a group of morally bankrupt frat boys from Delta Iota Epsilon (DIE, get it?) who take rush week hazing to an extreme level. These popped-collar douchebags enjoy tormenting and torturing pledges to the point of death. Sprinkle in some blatant drug and alcohol abuse with a heaping helping of date rape and bisexual innuendo and you’ll swear that you’re watching A Clockwork Orange: The Animal House Years. When one of the fraternity members suddenly develops a conscience, his frat brothers murder him. His essence is then somehow transferred to his younger biological brother, who is languishing in a coma from a previous car accident. Just go with it, OK?
Possessing the body of his brain dead little brother, our protagonist wipes off the coma drool and crusted eye boogers and goes off to pledge the very same fraternity where he was just murdered in an attempt to seek vengeance. By now you’ve likely come to the conclusion that this story is beyond ridiculous. Never mind the implausible “mind transference” crap or the fact that there appears to be a frat on campus that murders its pledges at the apparent rate of two a week. Forget that they openly snort coke, and rape the hell out of the comely coeds with reckless abandon. Disregard the fact that this all goes down without any investigation whatsoever, not even by some form of inept campus security. Granted this movie supposedly takes place in the '70s when things weren’t so politically correct, but when a campus has a higher disappearance than matriculation rate, I’d expect someone, even a rent-a-cop, to take notice.
Despite its extremely goofy premise, Frat House Massacre has a few excellent things going for it. You simply can’t talk about this movie without mentioning its fantastic kill scenes, all mercifully utilizing glorious old-school practical effects. I also applaud the ambitious decision to set this movie in the '70s. The story, while absurd, could have easily fit into modern times, full of vapid 20-somethings obsessing over Twitter and their iPods (and who really wants to see more of that?). The production team was quite successful in mimicking the look of a horror flick from the '70s and early '80s (although I could have done without the uncomfortably long disco boogie dance party). Unfortunately, the biggest problem is that Frat House Massacre is simply not a very fun film to watch. Obviously I wasn’t expecting a comedy, but it takes itself way too seriously and never seems to embrace the spirit of the older films it’s trying to pay homage to. Old school slashers, while often scary and at times brutal, still manage to sustain a level of innocence and tongue-in-cheek humor that is sorely missing from Frat House Massacre. It’s unsatisfying and somewhat unsettling (and not in a good way) to watch something showcasing current day cynicism and viciousness glazed in a late '70s era coating. While everyone certainly “looks” the part, they still act and sound like new millennium assholes creating a disconnect that is difficult to overlook.
I will admit that upon hearing the title: Frat House Massacre I had anticipated and assumed a more traditional slasher flick with a hulking Mike Myers-esque sociopath carving up college kids. Unfortunately what we ultimately get, while much more complex, is nowhere near as entertaining.
Video and Audio:
The audio and anamorphic widescreen video are neither spectacular or offensive.
Frat House Massacre offers a Director's Commentary, Crew Commentary, Deleted Scenes, and a Making Of Featurette.