FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE...beware yon spoilers!

Dec 10, 2009

like sisters

From David DeCoteau, director of The Brotherhood comes...dun dun dunnnnn...The Sisterhood, a tale of stuff that totally happens.

The stuff totally starts to happen right away as some girl and some guy are making out on some bed, when all of a sudden some other person in a robe comes in and the make out girl is all "I'm so sorry! Don't do anything to me or I'll tell all your secrets!" and she splits, but the robed figure chases the girl up to some rooftop and then the girl falls off onto some sidewalk and dies. The Sisterhood means business!

Some time later, Christine (Jennifer Holland) arrives at College University (or some shit), a place of higher learning that suspiciously resembles a chain hotel.

But no matter! It's what's inside College University that counts- and what's inside is Barbara Crampton, professor of Abnormal Psychology! Surely Barbara Crampton has a wizened old painting or two tucked away in her attic, because she apparently hasn't aged at all since her Re-Animator days.

...you are getting sleeeeepyyyyy...

During class- which is held in a room that suspiciously resembles a hotel conference room- a magic marker floats up and writes CHRISTINE on a dry erase board (that's right- no chalkboards at College University!). Christine freaks out and runs away- what's going on here? Was it a truly magic magic marker?

Christine runs back to her dorm room (which suspiciously resembles a hotel room) and promptly uses her brain power to light a candle. Christine, you see, has eerie powers! Did she write her own name on the dry erase board? Don't worry: the movie never tells you, but in the end, that's the only logical explanation. However, if that's true, then it's not logical that Christine would flip out over it. Don't worry: nothing in The Sisterhood makes sense.

Meanwhile, there's a sexy sorority on campus called BAT (Beta Alpha Tau or some shit) and they're interested in recruiting Christine. This turns out to be a fortuitous development, for Professor Barbara Crampton asked Christine to pledge- there's something hinky going on at the BAT house, and apparently only Chsitine and her eerie powers can stop it. What's the evil secret of the BAT house? You may want to sit down for this:

They sit around drinking wine and making out!

Yes, girls making out with other girls, even though they're girls. I mean...that's the evil that Professor Barbara Crampton is talking about, yes? And the "temptation" that Christine must avoid while she's in the company of BATs? It must be, because there's nothing else going on at the sorority whatsoever. I mean, when Professor Barbara Crampton says "You can't allow them to entice you into doing anything you've never done before, or you'll be one of them!" and it coincides with this shot:

...well, what are we supposed to think? Duh, it's all about catching The Gay. Not surprising, as this is a David DeCoteau film, and his films tend to be totally gay without being at all gay because gay doesn't sell but David DeCoteau is gay and makes gay stuff. Pick up The Brotherhood or any of the zillion sequels, put on some gay glasses, get out your homo decoder ring and see what you think. It's fun to spot veiled messages!

The messages at the BAT house don't stay veiled for long, however, and as a new pledge Christine is forced to stand by awkwardly and watch HBIC (Head BAT in Charge) Devin (Michelle Borth) make out with some other chick as techno music plays.

Then some wind appears out of nowhere, and the scene is still awkward and not at all erotic.

Devin tells Christine that they have to wait a week to perform the real initiation ceremony, because the ceremony requires a full moon. Of course, the moon has been shown in the film about 86945 times by this point, and it's already full.

And thus begins a cycle: Christine goes to the BAT house, there's making out, techno music plays, Professor Barbara Crampton reminds Christine to resist temptation, we wonder why Professor Barbara Crampton is so uptight, blah blah blah.

Devin has somehow gotten wind of Christine's eerie powers and asks for a display. Christine obliges, literally, turning into a display from Spencer's Gifts:

What are these eerie mind powers, I wonder. She sparkles and can light candles, but they're just called "mind powers"- not telekinesis, not telepathy...then I remember that The Sisterhood doesn't make any sense and I stop wondering.

It seems that Devin is truly evil- she sleeps with Christine's goody goody "I'm waiting for marriage" not quite boyfriend Josh, and she totally corrupts him! He goes from being a studious nerd:

...to walking around the hotel campus dressed all in all black. He keeps his shirt open, he stops caring about school, and he...and he...wears sunglasses!

This humiliation only strengthens Christine's resolve to fight against the temptation of wine-drinking and bisexuality, much to the relief of Professor Barbara Crampton. They have a meeting in which everything and nothing is explained: apparently Devin is immortal and has been corrupting innocents for 400 years, while the ancestors of both the teacher and the student have battled her throughout the centuries. Christine is all, "Oh."

Hooray, the moon is finally full(er) and it's time for the initiation ceremony. It looks like every other evil college initiation ceremony you've seen: there's the requisite robes, coffin, candles, and "belonging to the darkness"es.

But oh no for Devin! Somehow she didn't notice that one of the four robed figures is actually Professor Barbara Crampton, who reveals herself to be...Professor Barbara Crampton, Vampire Slayer. Yes, it seems that the BAT girls are all vampires. I would have noticed this earlier, except it wasn't even vaguely alluded to whatsoever for the first 80 minutes of the film.

The final showdown the world has been waiting hundreds of years to be is a real nail-biter. Christine uses her eerie mental powers!

This causes an Adobe lens flare.

This weakens Devin long enough to allow Professor Barbara Crampton, Vampire Slayer to plunge a stake into the vampire's heart. This causes Devin to turn into the opening title sequence from The Thing...

...and then she explodes. SHE EXPLODES.

Just when you thought the world was safe, however, things poop on your neck: the world is not safe! Christine makes a mad grab for power and becomes head of the BATs! She and her sisters head off into the sunset to presumably make out and drink wine, because that's all they ever do.

Just when you thought the world was unsafe, however, things poop on the poop on your neck: the world is totally unsafer! Apparently it takes more than exploding to stop the mighty Devin, who is still alive. Or undead. Or whatever the fuck she is.

What's odder than the fact that she survived being blown up, however, is that a girl was buried all bloody and fanged with a stake sticking out of her chest and nobody seemed to care. I guess the coroner and funeral home of College University Town are really phoning it in at this point.

Wait, I forgot- The Sisterhood doesn't make any sense! I know I've made it seem as if it might make a little sense, but it doesn't. It really doesn't. In fact, it feels as if there are large pieces of the script missing- huge leaps of logic in conversations that are cobbled together out of nothing.

Though there's lots of making out and wind machines and techno music and underwear-clad boys and girls, none of it is a turn on at all. No one ever has sex or really does much more than awkwardly kiss and sway back and forth while almost-hugging; it's odd, because you think that sex would be a big selling point of a movie like this. It's not even remotely the softcore movie you're pretty much expecting, but it acts like one. The Sisterhood is...I don't know, eunuchcore or something.

The biggest shock of all, however, is that this film was released in 2004. It feels so damn 1990s, from the music to the hair to the clothes (vests!) to that Melrose Place-esque arm-in-arm stroll out the gates of College University.

I really can't recommend The Sisterhood...or can I? I mean, I was entertained, just not in the way you want from a horror movie. Make of that what you will. The upside to all of this is that Barbara Crampton got a paycheck. Fuck yeah!

11 comments:

Theron said...

This shit totally happens yo.

RJ said...

A David Decoteau movie about girls?! I refuse to believe it. What happened to the auteur behind such homocamp classics as Leeches! A.K.A. The Attack of giant prosthetic phallaces on a swim team?

Stacie Ponder said...

Don't worry- he still manages to work in plenty of lingering shots over bare chests, too. If this movie made more sense, it might be that all the men who consort with the BATs are bisexual, too, but that's probably reaching...then again, it's fun to look for veiled references in David DeCoteau films!

JA said...

I can never ever sit thru one of his movies from start to finish but I like the fact that he keeps making this shit anyway. He's dedicated.

thomwade said...

"What's odder than the fact that she survived being blown up, however, is that a girl was buried all bloody and fanged with stake sticking out of her chest and nobody seemed to care. I guess the coroner and funeral home of College University Town are really phoning it in at this point."

Number one cause of death on college campuses across America (and in Romania) is a stake through the heart. Really. I thought you would know that.


;)

Christopher said...

Was this the Criterion version that you reviewed? Because I heard the original director's cut made more sense and all. Plus, it has the Francois Truffaut commentary track.

Andrew said...

"Eunuchcore" is my new favorite word. I have no idea how I'll work it into a conversation, but this I swear- I SHALL!

MaxTheSilent said...

Apparently one of the main reasons Robert Rodriguez cast Marley Shelton in the likes of PLANET TERROR is because she looked freakishly like young Barbara Crampton.

Me, I'd take either as a tasty treat.

Banned In Queensland said...

"Devin (Michelle Borth) make[s] out with some other chick as techno music plays."

...well, I aroused.

The Dreaded Rhubarb said...

Must fight sudden desire to watch entire DeCoteau back catalogue. Must fight.

deadrodentyping said...

"This humiliation only strengthens Christine's resolve to fight against the temptation of wine-drinking and bisexuality, much to the relief of Professor Barbara Crampton."
Hey, we've all been there.