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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

ALPHA GIRLS: A Satanic Sorority Slasher Semi-Comedy that Has Fun While You're Pledging


My wife asked me what I was watching. I told her Alpha Girls. She told me I was watching porn and should probably think about sleeping on the couch. Fortunately for me, Alpha Girls: A Satanic Sorority Slasher isn’t porn but a rather funny semi-serious take on two subsets of movies featured during the 80’s: Frat/Sorority Horror and Satanic Horror with, as the subtitle suggests, a deep root in popular slasher flicks of that same period. Being a fan of these movies having been weaned on everything from Night of the Demons to Hell Night to Sorority Babes at the Slime Ball Bowl-o-rama, I was excited from the moment I first enjoyed the preview and advertising for this low budget, independently produced feature film.

Synopsis (from the good folks at Alpha Girls):

Alpha Beta house is the oldest and most elite sorority in the world. Some of the most influential politicians, celebrities and scientists are Alpha Girl alumnae. After performing long hidden rituals, some of the sisters suspect that their good fortune is tainted by demonic evil. They quickly realize firsthand that the consequences of their curiosity are much more gruesome than any of them could have possibly imagined.

Trailer:


Did all of that pretty much mirror what you expect from a movie whose title is Alpha Girls: A Satanic Sorority Slasher? Good. I’m glad you realize that this movie is necessarily intended to be taken all that seriously or at least it’s meant to be taken as a serious sort of comedy, sort of gore picture with quite a few blood lettings and enough skin to keep your eyes on the screen instead of down your date’s shirt. This is a low budget affair, a film that let’s the blood as well as it can, but will not give the gross out factor that some fans of classic 80’s fare want to see. Yes, there are clever kills and plot twists that could give Chubby Checker a run for his money, but it’s a solid story that plays on the tropes of it’s predecessors. In the 1980’s, if you didn’t have money you shot tits or you shot dismembered bodies. We’re not quite there on either account i.e. the mams are bouncing across the screen and the latex factory didn’t go on back order because of this production. The movie doesn’t rely on gratuity alone to tell its story which means that you get pieces of unintentional humor, intentional humor and overacting. All three are perfectly acceptable in this subgenre homage.

If you can’t stand low to no budget movies that simply aren’t scary, this isn’t for you. It’s not frightening. It has moments where it’s campy and fun, like Halloween horror, but it won’t make you jump or wet your pants. Watching Alpha Girls to enjoy it means that you probably understand what the Shot-On-Video movement was in the 80’s (though this isn’t an SOV flick), you know why Linda Blair might not only be remembered for the Exorcist and you know that the devil is real and anyone with half a breast popping out of her shirt can summon him.

Alpha Girls capture a somewhat lost and found aesthetic that helps us remember when horror was simple, direct to video sequels weren’t just cash grabs, they were fun cash grabs that made us laugh and it’s okay to throw on a movie at a party and tune in during the kills. Strangely enough I also just watched Don’t Go to the Reunion which attempts a very similar homage. My initial take on Don’t Go to the Reunion was negative; that it played on 90’s horror too much and didn’t capture the 70’s “Don’t” movie flair. Come to think of it, they both pay respects to the slasher genre in a unique way. Funny. Trying to have a good time killing college kids in a unique way and even imitating popular kills from franchises past. An emphasis on skin, on or off the body. Each film plays on the themes of the genre well, and if you like Alpha Girls, I’m going to recommend you double feature it with Don’t Go to the Reunion (even the DGTTR didn’t grab me the way AG did).

Alpha Girls is available now. You can check it out VOD (links available on the website), visit the website here and make sure to follow screenings and other release notes on Facebook.

-Dr. TERROR

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