Friday, December 16, 2016

Confessions of Sorority Girls (1994)

Alyssa Milano Month continues on B-Movie Enema.  For our third installment, we hop over to Showtime to listen in on some Confessions of Sorority Girls.

This movie is actually also known as Confessions of a Sorority Girl as it was originally released.  If that sounds familiar to some exploitation fans out there, it's because it was part of a series of made for TV movies produced by Showtime that acted as loose remakes of 1950s movies of the same title.  Now, a producer on this series of remakes and a co-writer of this movie is Debra Hill.  She's best known for producing several John Carpenter movies.  So this is coming from a certain amount of talent.

You might notice two more things about this movie.  First, our theme month is edging ever more sexy with Double Dragon being an utterly safe and unsexy premise (no matter how charged they tried to make Scott Wolf's character) and Deadly Sins moving toward a more mature theme before this movie.  Now, we're just going right for the sexy exploitation factor.  The second thing you might see from the DVD box cover to the left is this also stars Jamie Luner, another sexy 90s girl.  These things should make for a movie that will please my eyes at the very least.

IMDB also perpetrates the sexiness with the description: "Attractive but warped college co-ed Sabrina resorts to lying, cheating, blackmailing, seduction, and manipulation to get what she wants."  That makes for a nice, short, direct explanation of what we have going on here.  So, I'm-a just gonna dive right in to my review.

I love where this could lead.
What's kinda awesome is that this takes place in the 1950s and starts with Sabrina (Luner) driving her cherry red Thunderbird down the street and smoking a cigarette, like all sexy girls did in the 50s.  She talks about how she's got a little too much evil in her as she nearly gives an old lady a heart attack by nearly running over her poodle.  Sabrina ends up at college and is greeted by her new sorority girls who cheer for her and act generally goofy.  She meets Rita (Milano), Sabrina's new roommate and sorority president.  We also learn that Sabrina's sister Julia was one of the greatest presidents this sorority ever had.  Sabrina says she's nothing like her sister and always suspected she was adopted.  After Rita and a few other sisters don't know how to react, Sabrina just says she was kidding and everyone lightens up again.

Rita is immediately drawn to Sabrina's wealth and glamour.  It's clear that Rita is popular, but from a modest upbringing where as Sabrina has Coco Chanel designed dresses and that sweet ass car.  Sabrina sees a picture of Rita and her boyfriend, Mort, and makes mention that she met the guy when she first arrived on campus.  Rita suggests they go over to the little beach diner he owns.  That night, Mort's joint hosts a toga party and Sabrina immediately makes a move to talk to Mort.

Seriously, where do you get a headpiece like that?
A couple things of note here.  First Jamie Luner is, like, for real, a real life Amazon.  While I doubt Alyssa Milano is anything more than average height, Luner TOWERS over her.  So, she's got that model frame - tall with an hourglass figure.  That's going to get her noticed.  Next, she is a redhead.  That will always help make you stand out.  If you're a girl.  Redheaded guys do not stand out.  Next, she drives that Thunderbird.  Again, you see a beautiful woman in a classic car, you will turn your head.  At the party at Mort's joint, she's wearing a toga - never not welcome.  But then she has this crazy head piece.  Where did that come from?  It's like made from peacock feathers or branches or something.  It's not something you just carry with you to wear at a party.  That shit was made.  Who made it?  Did someone give it to you or do you have crazy headpiece making skills?  Seriously, look to the left.  No one just has that thing in their suitcase to whip out when needed.

So yeah, she's got some things going for her to grab some guys' attention.

Rita comes in and I'm all like, fuck this redheaded slut.  Gimme Alyssa Milano every day of the week and fifteen times on Sunday.  Especially in a toga.  Mort acts that way too, and it pisses Sabrina off.  She wants that Mort dick.  Mort, by the way, not only owns this joint, but just got accepted into med school.  Other guys try to talk to her and Sabrina shuts them down, hard.  Sabrina sits with Ellie, a naive pledge to this sorority (Alpha Beta Pi), who is eating a cake provided for the party.  Sabrina asks for a piece, and when Ellie gets up to fetch it, Sabrina causes Ellie's toga to tear off and reveal her bra and panties making all the guys laugh at her.  Rita rushes to Ellie's aid and realizes that Sabrina may have made that happen.

Sabrina causes some more trouble at a lake house with some guys.  She reads the newspaper in French class and boasts she's been to France several times and therefore doesn't need to learn the language.  Rita shows her up in class and that only pisses Sabrina off more.  When they get back to the sorority house, Rita gets a letter from home and gets upset.  Sabrina sees where Rita stashes the letter.  Rita explains that her mom lives in a hospital where it's hard for her to visit while Sabrina responds that her and her mom are practically sisters.

Girls, I think all of you know what should be happening here.
At a pool party, Sabrina shows up and turns every person's head - male and female.  She asks Rita where Mort is, which makes Rita a little curious.  It's clear that Rita, Ellie, and their friend Tina are seething with dislike and distrust and envy, but they are good girls, so they kinda keep it quiet.  Sabrina's mom shows up causing some to watch the interaction that shows Sabrina is not well liked by her mother.

In true 50s fashion, Sabrina defends herself to her mother by simply saying she's trying to be a better person for her mother and her sister's reputation.  Yet, it doesn't really seem like she is at all.  She's just one of those "rotten to the core" kinds of girls that were cautionary tales in the 50s.  She's fast, she's overly sexy, she smokes.  She's a redhead with big boobs.  There's another redhead (Tina), but she has smaller boobs.  She's not as alluring as Sabrina.

Duh.  Boobs = allure.

There's a subplot going on here with Tina.  Her boyfriend and her fucked on the beach during the toga party.  It was said then that neither had a rubber but it was all cool.  Guess what?  Tina got pregnant.  Ellie said that she heard about some places to go for an abortion - one of which is in Tijuana.  I'm gonna guess Tina is going to be sentenced to death by Mexican abortion.

This is why I originally wanted to be a teacher.
Sabrina gets nominated by Ellie and Tina, Rita's BFFs, to run against Rita for president of the sorority.  Rita gets pretty pissed by it and Sabrina is warned that she needs to raise her French grade to be eligible.  So, instead of working on those grades like, say, Rita would, Sabrina sets up an encounter with the professor and creates an accident where it seems bumping into each other caused her to twist her ankle.  You know where this is going, right?  She's going to try to seduce the teacher for better grades.

It totally works.  But not like you think it would.  She pulls out a camera and takes a picture of the teacher undressing to use as blackmail.  She also picks the lock on Rita's desk to read her letters from home.  In front of Mort, Sabrina uses the information about Rita's mother to get her to pull out of the race for president.  It turns out that Rita's mom is a convicted felon and Sabrina is willing to shame Rita by telling Mort, whose family is surely not going to be down with that, and the entire school.  Rita stands firm but when Sabrina calls for Mort, Rita agrees to back out as long as she is given time to back out gracefully.

Lots of nice lit and shot stuff going on here.
Sabrina goes to tell her mother in hopes that she would be proud of her like her parents were of Julia, but her mother rushes off to the airport to meet Sabrina's father for an impromptu vacation to London.  Sabrina gets upset that her mother will miss the social where she will be announced as the new president.  Sabrina goes to see Mort who asks for a friend, but Mort says she must not make that very easy and she should consider being nice to people like Rita.  When Mort says Rita is visiting her mom, Sabrina reveals Rita's mom is a murderer.  It backfires on Sabrina when Mort and everyone inside his bar rejects her crass revelation about Rita's family.  He even uses the classic "And you wonder why you don't have any friends..." line.

Damn, Mort, go get 'em.
Tina nearly goes to Tijuana to get that abortion, but can't get the nerve to actually go through it.  Ellie claims she has not said anything about the pregnancy to anyone, though her facial expression totally says otherwise.  Outside, Sabrina overhears Mort telling Rita about what was said earlier and how everyone stood up for her.  Rita says she wishes she had seen Sabrina's face.  They kiss but it looks as though Mort is devouring her face.  When he goes to cop a feel on dem tittaes, Rita pushes him off and despite Mort's frustration, stands firm that she is not that kind of girl.  Sabrina now has her in with Mort who just wants to get his rocks off - preferably with a girl present.

That's just what Sabrina does.  She goes to Mort's and pulls her "it's hot" schtick.  She turns on the seduction and says she gets jealous of Rita because she wants him.  Mort, poor guy, tries to fight it, but it doesn't take too much for him to give in - chiefly, Sabrina saying she'll go all the way with him.  This time, when he cops a feel on some tittaes, it ends with him fucking the girl on one of the tables in the bar with Ed Townsend's "For Your Love" playing.  That's some hot shit right there.

The next morning, Rita is getting ready to go on a morning bike ride with Mort, but Sabrina tells her she fucked his brains out (not kidding, she said exactly that and it was awesome).  Rita asks Mort and he confirms that,  yeah, he's a scumbag and fucked that broad.  When he leaves in a huff saying Sabrina was the biggest mistake in his life, she says he's making a mistake.  Sabrina tells Joe, a guy she's been seeing, that Mort essentially raped her causing the two of them to fight.  Mort convinces Joe that Sabrina is some bad news.  With that plan backfiring to punish Mort for not choosing her, she has to move to her next scheme.

C'mon girls...  There's something you could do to work out
those frustrations with one another...  Just sayin'...
Sabrina next sets sights on Tina.  She says she heard Tina and her boyfriend talking about the pregnancy.  Sabrina knows a guy who can take care of that baby, but he's expensive and her allowance has been cut off.  Sabrina says she'll help as long as Tina does exactly what she says - which is to say Mort is the father of the baby, not her boyfriend.  When Rita comes back to get the rest of her stuff, Sabrina tries that lie out for size to see if Rita will buy it.  She doesn't exactly buy it.  However, it gets Tina kicked out because it doesn't look good for the school to have a pregnant girl on campus.

Upset, Tina runs to the top of a cliff to kill herself.  Sabrina follows and stops her just before she jumps.  She tells Tina that they can run away and start a new life in a new town, but when asked about where she can get the money to do so, Sabrina says Tina can get it from Mort.  Tina goes to Mort to get the money.  He's going to give her the money because he's a friend and wants to help her, but he's trying to figure out why she's doing that and if the baby is actually her boyfriend's.  Tina tells the truth and reveals that Sabrina made her blame Mort.  I guess this is to say that girls who fuck are manipulative and easily manipulated.  Just don't have sex, kids.

Or, I guess, don't fall under the spell of a teenage witch named Sabrina.

Not exactly what I had in mind, but, meh, I'll take it.
Rita continues to run for sorority president because, shit, at this point, Sabrina has already done everything she can to her.  What can she do now?  Ellie tells Rita that Tina has been lying and that Mort is not the father of her baby.  Rita talks to Mort and he plays a recording of Tina's confession.  At school, Jimmy comes back and proposes to Tina so she gets a happy ending.  Back at Mort's Sabrina hears Mort playing the recording to Rita and they kiss and make up.  Sabrina comes in with a rowing oar and bashes Mort in the head.  She then turns on Rita and we get a sweet cat fight!  They toss each other around, and Sabrina tries to strangle Rita and it's pretty awesome.  She locks Rita and Mort in the storage room and uses booze to light the joint on fire.  However, Sabrina runs into Jimmy and Tina while trying to run away.  Jimmy hears Rita calling for help and he goes to save them while the rest of the guys and gals at the beach party go to help.  Ellie tells Sabrina she watched her follow Rita so she knows she had something to do with it.  Jimmy is able to save Mort and Rita and all of Sabrina's schemes unravel.

While I don't put this in the "Good Movie" category that I have as a tag on the blog, I actually really liked this movie!  Sometimes this happens, folks.  Sometimes I pick a movie that has a title that is pretty awesome.  It seems like it will fit right in with some of the other movies I've covered before.  Then, all of a sudden, it turns out to be really interesting or really well made or is really well shot.  As it turns out, Confessions of Sorority Girls is all three.

The end isn't that great.  It has a dumb shredding guitar soundtrack over silent reactions to people learning how much Sabrina fucked them all over and her reacting shocked that things didn't turn out like she hoped.  It was a bit too long and that was horrible when you could have underscored the scene with a classic late 50s song as they did in that hot sex scene earlier.

That said and out of the way, this movie was perfectly in tune with the 50s exploitation movies that inspired it.  Whereas the originals would have been done in black and white with girls who were likely burlesque performers trying to break into film, this one uses color to the max and uses Jamie Luner and Alyssa Milano to show off some bitchy Melrose Place like rivalry - a show they both would eventually end up on.  Without a doubt they both used their looks to keep me interested.  Luner was incredibly sexy and Milano was simply lovable as the good girl.

But let's talk about that production value.  This movie uses more than the girls to be a treat for the eyes.  The visuals use color in ways that helped set you in the proper pulp mindset.  It's like it could have been confused for a romance comic about a bad girl ruining good people's lives or even some of the mood lighting Creepshow employed.  Considering Creepshow used 50s pre-code era comics as its inspiration, you have to think the producers of the show wanted to keep with that pulp atmosphere to add a little edge to it all.

But don't take it from me, let me give you some examples of how some scenes were shot and how the color was used:






What is hard to really relate is how the reverse shot of the one above with Rita in the blue light is of Sabrina in a glowing orangish-yellow light as if they are not anywhere near in the same room together.  Sometimes the orange and blue were used in conjunction:

It was like blue was used when someone was being hurt by Sabrina - the sex scene which lured Mort away from Rita, and when Rita learned Mort had that sex scene.  Orange, or yellow, was used when Sabrina was getting something for herself - a scene in which she said something nice to the house mother to make a friend, or when she was telling Rita that she fucked Mort's brains out.  The shot above of Tina talking to Mort and extorting money from him showed how half of it was what Sabrina wanted, and the other was hurting the two people in the scene.  Red made an appearance every now and then when she was scheming.  The scene displayed earlier of her blackmailing Rita in the bathroom was in red.  Her preparing to run into the French teacher to begin her game with him showed her in red.

So, I guess I shouldn't always pick a movie with a sexy title just because I think it's going to be so bad it's good.  Sometimes they turn out to simply be good(ish).  I guess the joke really was on me this time.

Next time, we continue pressing forward with our Alyssa Milano Month.  We're edging even further into her sexy movies of the mid 90s as I take a look at Poison Ivy 2: Lily.  Come back and see how embarrassingly aroused I get watching that one.

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