Franchise Review: Sorority House Massacre III: Hard To Die

While doing the inventory for a lingerie outlet in a high rise office building, five attractive women are terrorised by a series of bizarre killings.

It’s not a sequel, it’s not exactly Horror, so what is it?!

I honestly didn’t know what to think when I watched this film, I was expecting more of the same themes and such from the previous two releases but instead we got something, well, completely different. With this third release was a complete left turn.

With this third release we got more of an action film than the usual b-movie Horror, talking of b-movie, this is exactly that. It’s unapologetic in the fact it features a lot of nudity, in fact it embraces it and uses it to lure more viewers. Look at the one sheet and tell me that isn’t a marketing ploy.

This isn’t to say the film isn’t any good, in fact it’s hilarious and so highly entertaining, it’s actually more entertaining than it has any right to be. Director Jim Wynorski goes all out here and is known for not bothering what people think of his work, like I said earlier it’s an unapologetic film.

The acting is what you’d expect, especially since most of the cast is actually from “Sorority House Massacre 2”. But in this feature they seem to be having so much more fun and as a viewer this becomes infectious and you’ll find your face hurts from grinning too much.

“Sorority House Massacre 3 – Hard To Die” is a film not to be taken seriously, it’s sets out to be fun and entertaining an it does exactly that.

Miscellaneous facts about the film:

Director “Arch Stanton” is actually Jim Wynorski. “Arch Stanton” was the name on the grave next to where the loot was buried in ‘Sergio Leone”s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966).

Melissa Moore’s character, Tess, mentions her big date upcoming with agent “Walter Paisley”. This is Dick Miller’s character name in Bucket of Blood and other films. Wynorski also cast Dick Miller as janitor Walter Paisley in his movie, Chopping Mall.

The film was released on home video under three separate titles: “Hard to Die”, “Sorority House Massacre 3: Hard to Die”, and “Tower of Terror”.

Shot in ten days.

Actress Kelli Maroney’s character, D. Mason Keener, pays homage to her love interest in Night of the Comet (1984), Marc Poppel, whose character’s name was Danny Mason Keener.

Had a limited theatrical release in 1992 as ‘Tower of Terror’ with an NC-17 rating.

The movie was filmed on leftover sets from a recent comedy Roger Corman had produced. He asked Jim Wynorski to recreate Sorority House Massacre II on these sets with the same cast.

Deborah Dutch joked in an interview that you can’t star in a Jim Wynorski movie unless you’re willing to be naked and shoot a shower scene, and that’s what she and the actresses did. Wynorski works very fast during filming so the shower scene was basically an assembly line. He had the crew set up the camera by the shower. Then all the actresses stood in line wearing robes. One by one they took turns dropping their robes and getting into the shower naked while the crew shot close ups of different parts of their bodies from different angles. After they all took their turns, the crew shot a group shot of all of them showering together.

The characters of Orville Ketchum, Lt. Block, and Sgt. Shawlee return from Sorority House Massacre II (1990), played by the same actors. Gail Thackray appears as a different character.

Deborah Dutch said Jim Wynorski taught her the “correct” way to shoot a shower scene in an exploitation movie. She said it’s “over the boobs, make sure you get a lot of suds, and then pull up your leg. When the camera moves up and down over my legs and over my boobs, I look up to the ceiling as I do my neck (laughing), and I show my toes for the foot fetish people. With B-movies, there’s a certain art to it when you take a shower, so it’s really fun.”

Jim Wynorski created the role of Jackie specifically for Deborah Dutch.

Written and filmed as ‘Nightie Nightmare II’, Nightie Nightmare being the title of the just-completed Sorority House Massacre II (1990) at the time.

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