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The House on Sorority Row

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Mark Rosman
Produced by John G. Clark
Written by Bobby Fine
Mark Rosman
Starring Kate McNeil
Eileen Davidson
Janis Ward
Robin Meloy
Harley Jane Kozak
Music by Richard Band
Cinematography Tim Suhrstedt
Editing by Paul Trejo
Jean-Marc Vasseur
Distributed by Film Ventures International (FVI)
Release date(s) January 21, 1983
Running time 92 min
Country  United States
Language English
Budget $425,000
Gross revenue $10,604,986

The House On Sorority Row is a 1983 low budget American slasher film directed by Mark Rosman. The film has become a cult classic among fans of the slasher genre.[1]



The story concerns seven sorority sisters who want to have a graduation party but the house mother refuses to let them have it. On the day of their planned party, the girls decide to play a practical joke on the housemother that results in her death. They hide her body in the sorority's unused swimming pool, but that evening as the party begins, someone starts killing the sisters one by one.


Katey, a graduated sorority sister, is pressured by her six sorority sisters into pulling a prank on their strict house mother, Mrs. Slater, who is known for carrying a sharp walking cane. The prank goes awry and Mrs. Slater is shot. The girls all agree to hide Slater's body in their dirty swimming pool until a graduation party being held in the house is finished. As the party begins, a guest wanders around the pool and is subsequently impaled through the neck by an unknown figure, wielding Slater's cane, and dragged away.

When other guests attempt to throw Jeanie in the pool, they are stopped by the sorority sisters. Later, to prevent the pool lights from coming on revealing Slater's body, Stevie, one of the sorority sisters is forced to go into the power room of the house located in the basement. While doing so, she is repeatedly stabbed by Mrs. Slater's cane. Sorority sister Katey meets her date for the party, Peter, with whom she neglects as the other girls worry why Stevie hasn't returned from the power room yet.

Vicki orders the girls to search around the house for Mrs. Slater. Morgan, enters Mrs. Slater'sroom and begins to sort her cloathing when a body falls on top of her. The sisters then find Slater's body which has mysteriously been moved to the attic, from whence it falls. Morgan, an attractive yet not-so-bright sister, hides in her room where she is lured to the door and stabbed. Having found Slater's body, the sisters decide to bury it in a nearby graveyard. Meanwhile Katey explores the attic of the house and discovers several children's toys. Diane, one of the sisters, is killed while waiting in her van for the other girls. Jeanie, the most nervous member of the group, is also attacked while running back into the house but manages to escape. However, after informing Katey about the attack, Jeanie is chased into the upstairs bathroom and is decapitated.

The party goers finally depart, leaving Katey and Peter in the house. Katey tells Peter to go home and finds a number on a chain she found near the gate. The chain has the phone number for a Dr. Beck who soon arrives and asks Katey where Slater is. The two discover the bodies of Stevie, Morgan and Diane in the pool. Meanwhile, Vicki, the mean unofficial leader of the sisters and her lackey Liz attempt to bury the body in the graveyard. Vicki orders Liz to bring the car around. While doing so, Liz has her throat slashed and Vicki is hacked to death in the process. Katey and Dr. Beck arrive at the graveyard only to discover their bodies.

After giving her a sedative, Dr. Beck reveals to Katey that Mrs. Slater had a son named Eric who was horribly deformed and mentally underdeveloped. Eric had actually been living in the Sorority House's attic and witnessed the shooting death of his mother. Katey is used as bait to lure Eric out of the attic so Dr. Beck can shoot him with a tranquilizer gun. However, the plan backfires when Peter comes through the door and is shot and Dr. Beck is viciously hacked to death by Eric who pushes him over a flight of stairs.

Katey grabs the hand gun that was used on Mrs. Slater and flees from the clown-costumed Eric, which is when she discovers Jeanie's severed head in the toilet. After a fight in the attic, Katey stabs Eric, and he falls through the attic hatch to the floor below. Katey peers down, and thinking that he is dead, is relieved. Katey lays in the floor and falls asleep. However, Eric then opens his eyes as the film ends.


  • Kate McNeil as Katherine
  • Eileen Davidson as Vicki
  • Lois Kelso Hunt as Mrs. Dorothy Slater
  • Christopher Lawrence as Dr. Nelson Beck
  • Janis Ward as Liz
  • Robin Meloy as Jeanie
  • Harley Jane Kozak as Diane
  • Jodi Draigie as Morgan
  • Ellen Dorsher as Stevie
  • Michael Kuhn as Peter
  • Carlos Sério as Eric



Filming details

The House on Sorority Row was filmed on location in Baltimore, Maryland [2] in 1982, with a budget of a mere $425,000[3]. In an interview with director Mark Rosman, it was revealed that Lois Kelso Hunt's performance is entirely dubbed, as her voice was deemed not "scary" enough for the role [4]. He also revealed that MGM was at one point interested in releasing the film, but Film Ventures provided the funds to the finishing touches of the movie.

Theatrical release

The film was released in US theaters on January 21, 1983, and took in $617,661 in its opening weekend on 153 screens, ranking a low #14 at the box office [5]. Surprisingly though, by February 21, 1983, exactly one month after its original release, the film had grossed $4,330,028, earning well back its minuscule budget. Its ultimate gross totaled up to $10,604,986, so by financial means, the film was a success.


The film's surprisingly elegant music score was written by Richard Band and performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The Washington D.C. based powerpop band 4 Out of 5 Doctors appears in the movie, performing several of their songs.[6][7]

DVD release

Elite Entertainment released The House on Sorority Row on DVD on November 14, 2000 [8]. The disc featured the film's original theatrical trailer as a supplementary feature. The DVD was re-printed and released again on November 18, 2003 [9]. As of 2008, the DVD is out of print and extremely difficult to find. However, the movie was re-released on January 12, 2010 on Amazon as a special 25 year special anniversary edition.[10]


The film was remade in 2009 by director Stewart Hendler. This version is titled simply Sorority Row and stars Briana Evigan, Rumer Willis. The killer in this movie uses a tire iron with blades and the girls kill one of their own, not their mother [11], Audrina Patridge, Julian Morris, Leah Pipes, Jamie Chung and Margo Harshman with Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher as the housemother. [12] The script has been rewritten by Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger. [13] The film was released on September 11, 2009.


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