Friday, September 26, 2008

The Dorm That Dripped Blood ( 1982 )

The film responsible for the namesake of this blog attempt.

Morgan Meadows Hall, an isolated seven story dormitory stands empty. Corridors that were once filled with the vibrant sound of co-eds having sex and puking all over the place is now vacant - on the verge of being torn down. No more wild parties. No more keg stands and such. Five college students volunteer to close the dorm during the Christmas season. Soon, however, out of the dark recesses of the quiet building emerges a haunting and lethal menace. Mysteriously, all phone lines are cut and the students are plunged into the darkness of a powerless and increasingly frenzied gloom. In a series of grizzly murders by and unknown specter, the students begin to disappear. Did David Copperfield kidnap them and throw them off a train?

As the murder mounts and the high-pitched staccato of slaying continues, the remaining students realize their up against a killer who'll eventually kill them with a spoon or something. The dark halls of the dorm now hide the killers identity. Once the object of nostalgic affection, Morgan Meadows Hall has been hideously transformed into the most suffocating nightmare imaginable. Well, not to unimaginable. Is that a paradox? Right off the bat, bad news prevails as I this little 'hider-in-the-cranny' is directed by two people. Jeffrey Obrow and Stephen Carpenter are the biggest attention cravers on the face of the earth. Everything was evidently construed from the wonderful and articulate minds of these two people as their names are all over the back of the box, as well as the opening and closing credits. By God they wanted us to know they were a part of this film and was going to make damn sure we knew it.
The Dorm That Dripped Blood was an attempt by two guys who thought they could make a few bucks off the slasher craze started by 'Halloween' and 'Friday the 13th'. Did they succeed? Well, if you like terrible movies you'll love it. TDTDB delivers in many departments even tho some things are hard to see because of bad lighting. I'm sure either Carpenter or Obrow was responsible for being the DP, but decided to actually not use their name for a credit, pawning off the horrendous lighting job on some other poor soul. How generous of them.

Nevertheless, we start off with a guy who's running away from someone or something. He hides behind some bushes and thinks he's home free. Wrong. Someone jumps from out of nowhere and slices his hand in two. This scene has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the movie, but it's very welcomed, nevertheless.We are soon taken to an old dormitory (Morgan Meadows Hall) where Joanne, Craig, Patty, and Brian are doing their best to take inventory of everything in the dorm and sell it. Debbie (A young Daphne Zuniga) eventually gives the crew the news that she's not going to be able to stay for the whole two weeks and that her parents were on the way to pick her up.

Debbie's parents soon get murdered - Her mother choked to death by a wire from the backseat of the car - Her father whacked repeatedly in the head with a baseball bat with barbed-wire wrapped around it. Debbie comes to the parking lot to meet them, finds their bodies, faints, and eventually gets ran over repeatedly by this unknown specter. Anyway, there's the usual crap dialog - Patty likes Brian, but Joanne likes him too. But Joanne also has a boyfriend. Is he the murderous -jealous type? There's a small hint of a love triangle in the making, but it never takes shape.

A couple days down the road, Joanne is out back at the dump checking on 'inventory items' and meets up with a 'junkster' named Bobby Lee Tremble. He takes a liking to Joanne and talks her into taking a check for his junk purchases. Somehow, Bobby Lee acquires Joannes dorm number and gives her a call late one night. He wants the two of them to get together for a beer, but she turns him down. He and his hard dick decide to take a drive. If this isn't enough, we have a homeless balding, fuzzy-headed freak running around using the dormitory as shelter. After a few encounters with 'Hemmitt the Hermit', weird things start to happen. A buffet table gets smashed - Food gets stolen - The lights go out - The phone lines get cut - Is HE responsible? We do have SOME decent acting, even though the lead, Laura Lapinski, looks like a piece of cardboard taped to a stick that a puppeteer from the rafters was controlling. We also have some good slasher action going on in the form of drills, Groen pressure cookers, cars, baseball bats wrapped in barbed wire, the good old-fashioned butchers knife and even an incinerator. There's also a very good score that adds a little bit of eeriness to the film that it normally wouldn't have had. There's a couple good point of view shots, but nothing to write home about.

Spoiler Below

There's a GREAT down beat ending that I really didn't see coming. I'll admit, I love the ending - even tho the main lead also dies. It definitely gave room for a sequel, but it never happened. I would loved to have seen a sequel to this movie. The alternate title to this film is called 'PRANKS' - Even tho I don't think there was one prank throughout the whole film - Unless you count Craig throwing a fake spider into someone's eggs. Nevertheless, aside from all the bad things this film contains, it's worth the view. It's not particularly rare, but you'll probably have to snatch a copy from eBay or Amazon. Is it worth the seven eight bucks you'll have to shell out for it? If you're a true blue slasher fan, the answer is yes. If you're just a general horror fan who dislikes cheap grainy flicks, don't waste your time.

1 comment:

Adolfo said...

A lot of film snobbery usually ranks this one in the pits, and you know what? Let them pick on it. Usually, the victim becomes the victimiser. Guess that since it's not a 'Giallo' then it gets the guillotine.

Snobbery is overrated, 'The Dorm that Dripped Blood' is not.

p.s. thank you for the kind words. Your blog is bad-ass! That one night in jail sure suck. I'll make sure it happens once and never again.