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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sisters of Death (1977)

Revenge is a common theme in horror films, and it can provide a basis for an interesting, and entertaining film... and sometimes a guilty pleasure...

Five members of a secret society for women are invited to a reunion at an isolated Mexican villa, with no clue as to who invited them.  Soon however, the five women are terrorized by a sinister figure seeking revenge for something that happened seven years before...

"Sisters of Death" is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me.  It's not a great film, but for some reason, it appeals to me... not really sure why though.

The story is pretty basic, though not without potential.  It's certainly strong enough to support the events in the film.  The first time I watched it, I was actually surprised by the ending, which is a good thing.  The rest of the events are a little disjointed and even a little illogical.

There are one or two decent pieces of camerawork, but the majority of it is rather plain and ordinary.

Despite the fact that there are five very lovely looking women cast in this movie, there is very little titillation beyond a side boob shot (via a peeping tom POV), bikinis, and a scene where a big spider walks across a bare belly.  The gore is pretty minimal too: a strangulation (though the bruising make-up was pretty decent), a knife in the back (not much blood), an electric fence electrocution (nice smoking from the burns though), a gunshot wound (not much splash given the size of the ammunition used), and a fall from a window (decent blood pattern on the cement).

Of the actors, the two that stood out most were Claudia Jennings as Judy, and Cheri Howell as Sylvia.  I especially thought Cheri was fantastic in her role as a emotionally distant ice-queen.  You got the feeling that she was the leader of the group, with Judy close behind as the more popular girl.  The whole movie highlights Howell's skill, while the climatic scene puts Jenning's abilities on display quite nicely.  The remaining cast gave rather standard performances for the era and genre.  They weren't bad per se, but not fantastic either.

The biggest flaw of the film is its PG rating.  This severely limited the film's ability to push some boundaries, and be scarier and more mature.

Despite the gaping flaws in "Sisters of Death," I still enjoyed myself for some reason.  But since I can't exactly articulate it properly, I'm going to have to put this movie in 'The Ugly".

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