Blood Sisters (Roberta Findlay, 1987)

posted in: Duane, Jocelyn, Joint Review, Review | 0
COSDS - Blood SistersA group of sorority pledges have to stay in a “haunted” abandoned whorehouse as part of their initiation into stupidity. Are the strange happenings there just a good ol’ fashioned college prank courtesy of Sigma Phi or have the ghosts of dead whores decided to take their revenge on the living?
vlcsnap-2013-04-26-11h25m26s1441vlcsnap-2013-04-26-11h25m26s144Duane: Of the handful of Roberta Findlay’s (Tenement: Game of Survival, Snuff) movies that I have seen I have to admit I did enjoy them for one reason or another. They’re low-budget, usually sleazy quickies that always seem to deliver some sort of entertainment value no matter what; and she certainly learned the ropes the right way back in the 60s as half of the notorious Findlay duo known for churning out roughies for the grindhouse market with her husband Michael Findlay (The Curse of Her Flesh, Shriek of the Mutilated). She’s got some serious street cred, there’s no doubt – they weren’t described as the most notorious filmmakers in the annals of sexploitation for nothing. However, I do have a hard time now watching her horror films due to an interview I once saw of her shitting all over them claiming they were stupid and juvenile. It’s hard to respect a filmmaker’s body of work when you know she doesn’t respect the genre in the least and was just looking for her next mortgage payment, you know? 

Jocelyn: Yea, I totally get that. She even said on the DVD that she needed the cash, horror was an easy market and after tossing in the requisite tits and sleaze, her job was done.  She seems to have a pretty no-nonsense attitude about the filmmaking process; not everyone can paint the Sistine Chapel, some people just shit on canvas. They both have their fans, right? Her films always offer something of value, specifically if you’re a pervert who likes your flicks on the sleazy side (which as any loyal reader will know we clearly fall into this category). This movie was kinda interesting cause despite it having no heart it still managed to entertain and not just on the basest of levels (sexuality, so-bad-it’s-good vibe), I actually thought there was some suspense built up in the house. Perhaps it’s just because the idea of myself in that situation genuinely scares me, maybe that’s why I feel the film was successful in this area.

vlcsnap-2013-04-26-13h27m25s71Seriously though, how long did they take to establish that the girls were having fun and dancing at that party in the beginning? Talk about padding the run time?! There was at least 15 minutes (which, incidentally, felt like 15 years) of close ups of 80s tits in sweaters dancing, the girl who was supposed to be the slut with three dates flipping her hair around in some sort of sense-memory gone horribly awry and the token chubster and his friend Joe Cool running around being “wacky.” Jesus.
Who was your favorite pledge? Mine was Marnie without a doubt. What a perfect, 80’s slice of slut! Her nails, make-up, that stuck-up attitude; when she had her big sleazy scene watching the ghost-whore and her trick…If I had a dick it would’ve been hard. SO HARD. 

D: Yeah Marnie was the obvious choice; I was all over that shit. Next time I will make note of how hard my dick is in these situations, so you can live vicariously through me. The stuck up attitude really got me going, I wanted to teach that whore a lesson SO bad. The slutty one with the 3 dates was kind of hot too. As for that frat soirée, I’m glad you mentioned the “crazy” dudes. What the fuck was with the heavy one literally picking everyone up? Like everyone. I’d have punched him in his fucking mouth.

vlcsnap-2013-04-26-11h24m41s199As for the rest of the film it’s very formulaic, heavy on stereotypes (in addition to the aforementioned, we also have the token neurotic Jewish girl; speaking Hebrew and fretting about everything, and the “fat” girl who apparently can’t be anywhere without a bag of chips in her hand), and not so great with the atmosphere or visuals. I did actually like how parts of the film looked, there were a few scenes where it almost had an older 70s-era feel to it; the way they were lit coupled with the film grain. I didn’t have the same feeling of suspense that you did though. Blood Sisters also suffers from poor pacing for something that was just supposed to have been slapped together after drinking the bong water. Nothing really significant happens until the last reel; which typically isn’t a bad thing if you have strong character development and a decent mood set – unfortunately this film had neither of those things in any real capacity. I don’t mean to make it sound like I’m being hard on the film (I just typed “hard on”… nyuk) because in actuality it’s a pretty entertaining romp through 80s slasher territory. How do you go wrong with girl-on-girl hooker ghosts? You don’t.
J: Agreed. This film is in dire need of some blood and guts. If it had managed to have some really awesome kill sequences it would’ve landed on everyone’s fave slasher list. Waiting until the third act to off everyone definitely did this film no justice, but there were enough quirky things about it to keep me interested. The sequences of mesmerizing-ghost-sexuality were a unique and perverse twist and although none of the whores were attractive, Marnie kept me glued to the screen.  
The part that kinda confused me was that all of these ghost-whores weren’t actually killed, at least that was never shown on screen or even alluded to. There are two murders in the beginning; one very specific hooker and her trick….cut to thirteen years later and somehow they’re all ghosts?! Huh? But again, with the sleaze factor present and being able to see sluts walk around in lingerie I guess it wasn’t too hard to overlook.
D: Indeed. The kill on the bed I did enjoy a great deal, not because it was graphic in any capacity, but for its sheer brutality. I can certainly appreciate the misogyny perpetuated there. 
vlcsnap-2013-04-26-13h51m33s217That safety vest scene is one of a couple “WTF” moments that left me scratching my head while chuckling at the same time. Upon further reflection though I wonder if those bits were meant to be tongue in cheek – there’s the one part where the van won’t start and one of the girls states “Just like in any good horror movie, the van won’t start”. It seemed to me at that moment that Findlay was rolling her eyes at the genre in general, as we’ve already said she clearly looks down her nose at it. It’s things like this that make it hard for me to watch her films now without a bit of animosity.
J/D: This film was definitely worth the watch; you can’t really go wrong with Findlay. Despite all of the things that are missing from the table, there’s still enough meat on that carcass to satiate anyone who loves trips down the path of the more obscure slasher-films-of-yore. 

Official COSDS Nunspank Rating: 

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Jocelyn lives on 35 acres of woodland in an undisclosed Appalachian location. When not boozing it up or fighting the power she's tending her organic garden or collecting punk/soundtrack albums. Her best friends walk on 4 legs. She does not own a cell phone.

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