Sep. 16, 2009 - Issue #726: Stready Rollin’ Men
This band of sisters is: Ice Queen (Leah Pipes), Slutty Spice (Margo Harshman), Token Ethnic (Jamie Chung), Bookish Virgin (everyone's favourite badly named celebrity child-actor, Rumer Willis), and Faintly Moral (Briana Evigan). Well, there's also Megan (Audrina Patridge), but she turns out to be the Corpsey One. They all have less emotional complexity than actual Bratz dolls, but slightly more posability—not to be confused, in this case, with points of articulation. Screaming, calling "Hello?" in dark spaces, saying "destroy the people we love" without laughing and being able to form the occasional post-teen sarcasm sentence—but not actual irony—do not count as articulation.
After the requisite fake-vomit scene and lipstick-lesbian kiss are ingeniously combined, Megan is, lucky for her, quickly removed from the film—death by tire iron—after a revenge-on-boys prank (Involving fake roofies! Hilarious.) taken too far. The sisterhood, imitating Steinem and co. to a wet-T, decide to emphasize the "secrecy" tenet of their cretinous clan. The movie's intellectual highpoint comes during their Aristotelian ethical debate over call the cops vs. hide the body: "I think about what I would want if I were lying where Megan is now." Then they dump her down a mine shaft and the plot follows, dropping us into dark spaces without any emotional gravitas, real scares, smart twists or even B-movie fun.
Faintly Moral, who puts on scruples like it's a new makeup she's trying, goes along with the coverup and, come convocation, she's at the sorority house, ready to be hunted by a graduation-gowned killer whacking off everyone who knows about Megan's death (plus an extra college party zombie or two) with a Swiss Army-style tire iron: "It looks like ... someone pimped it out." Grad the Ripper can kill pretty smoothly with it, making the supposed labour of Sorority Row's writers and director (who should be hooded in anonymity) look even more like bloody bad hackwork.
Unfortunately for bargain bins everywhere, after the only sisters who can get beyond their own cattiness are left standing, a pointless opening for a direct-to-DVD sequel is thrown in.
But at least, after this survey of university students as techno-savvy serial partiers with the compassion of Nazi youth-troopers, many ponderous build-ups leading to gruesome deaths, some gratuitous nudity before it's back to Girls Gone Dead, and a last-minute switch to a hokey, comic tone, there's a saving face. For those who'd been betting on how low Star Wars alumni could go, watch Princess Leia—Carrie Fisher as "House Mother Crenshaw"—blast up a kitchen with a shotgun as she tries to kill a Vader-reject in a black cowl.
Maybe it's the roofies, but that's got me thinking: Chucky vs. the Ewoks ...
Written by Josh Stolberg, Pete Goldfinger, Mark Rosman
Directed by Stewart Hendler
Starring Briana Evigan, Leah Pipes
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