Friday, March 17, 2017

Die Die Delta Pi (2015)

I continue my tour of recent horror movies suggested to me by Amazon Prime, and I think today might just be either a treat or the worse experience of my life.

Die Die Delta Pi is a 2015 horror movie with roots that go back to the 1980s.  It's clear that the movie was made on something of a home brew.  What I mean by that is that it was made on the cheap with whatever the makers could get.  So we definitely have something that isn't going to look that great.nor be all that well acted.

That isn't anything new here, but I appreciate that everything about this movie, from the title, to the poster/DVD cover (as seen to the left), and the premise is born from the slasher movies of the 1980s.  We live in a time in which nostalgia reigns supreme in Hollywood.  Be it reboots (ugh, I hate that term because I feel like I hear it all the time), the lesser-used remakes, rehashes, or sequels that come a decade, or more, later, nostalgia has become a formulaic math equation to get people to buy or watch whatever intellectual properties are out there.

There are times it's done right.  Certainly if you look to things like Netflix's Stranger Things, you see the formula used well to blend 80s sensibilities to modern day storytelling.  It's true that my generation that grew up during the era of video stores, action movies, low-brow comedies, and slasher flicks is now in charge of what entertainment we see, hear, and read.  It's a way to reconnect people who reminisce on a daily basis about how great it was to walk into a video store, rent the latest Chuck Norris or Stallone action movie or finally get the opportunity to bring home Friday the 13th Part V because it was ALWAYS rented out every goddamn weekend, with what we see today.  If the guys making the movie know why those movies back then were so damn fun and fueled our imaginations so much, then something can be made that is amazing (i.e. Stranger Things).  If they don't, then it could be a bit of a disaster (i.e. name just about any remake/reboot made in the 21st Century).

So what do we have here with Die Die Delta Pi?  Well, let's see what Amazon Prime says is the synopsis: "27 years after a gruesome and devastating attack at the Delta Pi Sorority that wiped out half of its members, new Delta Pi Sisters move in and begin dying one by one. It is suspected the serial killer has returned but it's much more than that."

It's probably a bit too much to hope this is just like Fox's Scream Queens, but one can hope it at least has a portion of that charm and wit.

The movie starts in Spring 1986.  A guy and a girl are making out on the couch of the Delta Pi house.  The house mother bitches them out about their lurid shenanigans.  The guy asks if the woman is the girl's mom and she responds about how "grody" the woman is.  I will give it to the girl's dialog about her being a "barfbag" and assorted other 80s things.  It actually was well done, but I can already see some other issues that are starting to take me out of the movie's 1986 setting.

First, the two guys we've seen so far (the guy making out with the girl and a guy outside in a toga spying on whoever is talking to the house mother when she escaped to take a couple swigs of booze from a flask) are not at all 80s guys.  The guy on the couch with the sorority girl has a bushy soul patchy beard.  The guy outside looks like Chris Evans with a fade haircut.  A bad wig would have been best on the outside guy.  Shaving would have helped the guy inside.  These are little things that come to my attention because I lived through the 80s and know what people looked like.  Also, two girls inside the house are talking about another murder that has taken place.  One of them says "for reals" which I'm fairly sure was not an 80s saying.  I'm not even sure if it was a 90s saying.

But, hold on a minute, what do we have here?

Random full frontal nudity.  Okay, that's an 80s horror movie thing.  She just comes in and starts bitching out the other two girls about makeup and boy toys and bonfires.  I dunno...  I'm distracted by the full frontal.  Though I definitely appreciate this head headed firecracker, I have to say her tattoos are not era appropriate.  Nor is her shaven bush.  That thing would have been out of control in 1986.

Seriously...  That bush would have looked like the Flying Spaghetti Monster down there.

The next scene has two girls dancing to some rad 80s tunes.  A girl comes in and tells them they aren't going to spring break until they go to this annual bonfire.  The two dancing girls are not into the idea, but they have to go for tradition.  The other girl starts talking about a nerdy girl, Marissa, who is not well liked by the other sorority sisters.  This whole scene of dialog is actually decently written in the proper tone.  The actresses are pretty bad.  I don't know if it's just because they were friends of the director or producer or if they were told to be purposely bad.

We then see another girl take off her shirt and flash her boobs to do her makeup and get her toga on.  Every fucking time I'm concerned about the movie veering off course into being unwatchable due to the video quality of the movie and the bad acting, someone pops her tits out.

We meet some more people who are going to the party.  They are mostly the typical sorority and fraternity douchebags.  We keep seeing a pair of women's cowboy boots walking around but I can't tell if they belong to the redhead who was full frontal earlier or if they belong to the house mom or to whoever she was talking to outside or what.  There must be a reason why we're not seeing it and I guess it's probably because they belong to the killer...?

So it's the night of the bonfire and Marissa is going to be "initiated".  One of the girls is ordered to spank Marissa on the ass four times with a paddle.  You know, basic sorority/fraternity shenanigans.  Marissa assumes the position and takes the spankings.  One of the frat guys shouts out things like "Holy shit!" and "Bitchin'!"  After Marissa gets her spankings, the sorority sisters spring this trap to spray her in the face with silly string.  Surprised, she falls into the fire and sustains a massive burn to her face.  When one of the frat guys goes to get help for her, he starts finding some of his brothers and the sisters from the sorority murdered.

It appears we have a couple things going on here.  First, you have the "cool" girls playing a prank on the "nerdy" sorority sister and it backfires into her being scarred.  There's the murderer roaming about killing people - and probably wearing those aforementioned cowboy boots.  We're getting some pretty decent makeup reveals on the murdered kids and I can always appreciate that, even in a bad movie.  Plus, Marissa's burn on her face is really well done.  The makeout couple has their throat slit.  The full frontal redhead is gutted.  One of the other girls had her face shoved into a pot of boiling water.  The guy who was going to help Marissa runs into the house mother who is wearing a cloak and carrying a knife.  She stabs him repeatedly but not before he is able to throw the pot of boiling water on her.

The credits roll and I have to say I really liked how they presented the title.  A lot of the cast and crew were presented in a much more contemporary fashion with some of the letters turning into Greek letters.  However, the title itself looks about as 80s as you can make it.

After the credits, the movie shifts to the present.  Some girls are trying to get people to pledge Delta Pi in the background of these early, present day scenes.  We're introduced to Diana who is likely our plain, good girl.  She seems a little timid, and a little awkward.  Her mom is dropping her off and she wants to take a picture of Diana to commemorate her going off to college and Diana initially starts to take a selfie.  So, awkward.  Endearing, I suppose, but she would have been best to be set up to be the present day equivalent to Marissa.  Spoiler Alert: She is not set up to be the present day equivalent to Marissa.

When her mom tells her to not make a "duck face" in the pictures, she's a little bit of a bitch saying parents don't understand anything going on today.  Hey, Diana, fuck you, alright?  Quit with the fucking duck face.

Diana meets up with a couple of her high school friends and they start in on getting settled on campus.  As Diana's mom drives away, she gives the Delta Pi house a suspicious once over.  She gets out of the van and goes to the beach where Marissa was burned back in '86.  We learn that Diana's mom is named Donna and was super instrumental in the prank that got Marissa burned.  She also runs into Allison, one of her old sorority sisters.  Allison is now a deputy on the police force.  Their conversation is being watched by a heavy breathing stalker with a big knife.

Alright, it's time to meet our new cast of frat bros and sorority chicks.   What's the best way to meet them?  In the gym during a workout montage.  The main bro guy is sparring in some martial arts thing and there's a girl there who gets a call from Diana.  Apparently everyone at this college went to high school together.  They talk about some bullshit.  They also talk about whether or not they are going to rush for a frat or a sorority.  I'd like to go back to the 1986 part of the movie now.  These millennials have ground this movie to a goddamn halt.
A goddamn halt.
 Donna and Allison give some more exposition.  The house mom who murdered everyone in the first scene was apparently never caught.  Marissa was taken to a hospital and that's all either of these girls know - which seems... odd.  There was also a Katie who is in a mental institution.  I think Donna, Allison, and Katie were the three girls who were talking shit about Marissa in the opening scenes.

Diana and her friends sign up for Delta Pi.  Diana gets automatically accepted because of her mom.  The bro in the tank top in the above picture hits on some twins who are Delta Pi sisters.  Apparently Diana has no dad because she has her mom's last name - which is the same as it was in 1986 when she wasn't married.  That's how they knew Diana would get automatically accepted into Delta Pi.

Fuck.  This movie is devolving badly.  Scenes are slow to unfold.  The plot is almost at a dead stop when Diana and her pals are involved.  They talk about bullshit.  They are mostly unlikable and uncharasmatic - except for one girl who I will talk about a bit later.  The movie started on a decent note.  What with the 80s stuff?  That was a good try at recapturing a tone and a feel of the horror movies of that day - mixed with the college stuff too.

What is almost interesting is Donna trying to find out more about what happened since the murders back in 1986.  She goes to visit Katie who is in a mental hospital because she thinks someone is coming to kill her.  She has scars on her wrists and she babbles about stuff that makes it seem like nothing ever came to a true end after the murders and they are all still in a lot of danger.  The lady playing Katie is actually pretty good.  She might be doing the best job in the movie itself.  I honestly believe she's crazy in a Sherry Moon Zombie kind of way.  Really, at any moment I expect this woman to pull hair out of her head and eat it.

Katie tells Donna that they will all suffer for as long as they are still alive - especially Donna.  She then goes on a huge rant about how they shouldn't have reopened Delta Pi and that they are all new lambs for the slaughter.

So we go back to the people associated with Diana and things slow down again to a crawl. There's a scene with "Adolpho" who has some molly that falls out of his pocket that he's going to sell to the main douche.  Fuck, I don't care.  However, it should be said that the chemistry professor was one of the frat guys in the opening of the movie.  He has cyanide pills that he shows off to the class.  Why?  Why does he need physical cyanide pills to talk about who invented them?  He has them so he can be murdered after receiving a note written in blood that reads "Die Die Delta Pi".

That night, Katie is awoken and finds her psychiatrist killed by a barb wire garrote.  Katie is killed the same way.  That same night, the Delta Pi is having their traditional bonfire.  Diana and her friends are going to get paddled.  First, they get drunk on vodka.  Diana is squeamish about drinking and gets some fun poked at her.  I don't know what the name of Diana's "hot" friend is, but we did get to watch her take a shower just a few moments before the bonfire scene started.  I do know her blonde friend, and the girl I'd be into is Kelly.  She's kinda funny and cute.  She also facilitated our chance to watch the hot friend shower because she played a prank by coming in dressed in a cloak and carrying an ax that she just happened to find outside the sorority house.

I would be a little more concerned about that fact concerning the ax and cloak that just happened to be outside, but we got to see the "hot" friend's tits and Kelly was being suuuuuper cute.

The girls play Truth or Dare which leads to what I think is supposed to be a funny moment with this black girl sorority sister being asked what she's afraid of and she goes into a rant about how that must have been a race thing and she's not like some honky bitches who tends to always run toward trouble.  I dunno what that was all about but this adds to some other really weird race stuff that has been compounding throughout the movie whenever the main douchey guy shows up.  He's either always making a big deal out of one guy being Asian or misidentifying Adolpho as black when he is not even close to black.  I don't know.  I do know that it's not funny.  It's probably meant to be edgy or some such shit, but it's weird and oddly placed.  It's doing the opposite guys.,  And I am not even all that weirded out by race labels or what have you.

But fuck all that noise.  The girls, including my sweet, sweet Kelly strip down to play a game to find out who can get dressed fastest.  I sincerely doubt a beach full of girls have ever played this game.  I feel like this was tossed in so there can be more boobs to distract me from how truly bad this movie is.  Thanks, movie!

Seriously, Kelly goes from cutesy and kinda innocent to tits out in like 4.2 seconds.  I mean, she's...  She's a pistol and I like it.  I found out that the girl who plays Kelly is named Amethist Young.  She's been in a few other movies and I think I want to see them.  But for real, I did look her up and found that she seems to be a pretty cool chick.

Fuck.  I think I just admitted to stalking.  Shit, guys.  I really only wanted to see if she's done any other movies.  I really just accidentally became an internet stalker.  Goddammit.

While I was going on and on about this random girl in a crappy movie, I missed girls getting spanked by the Delta Pi paddle.  By the time I picked interest back up, they stopped doing it and started telling scary stories.  One of the new girls tells the story of the massacre that Diana's mom was involved in.  The black chick and the main sorority girl go off to pee.  All the while, Kelly is just chilling without her bra on.

Oh, right.  Sorry.  Really trying to not be creepy, but there's not much more to keep my interest.  Even the scary story about the killing and what's clearly kicking off our final act.  Kelly is keeping me in it, guys.  She's the single light in the sky of this turd salad.

The main guys find the chemistry professor dead in his classroom.  They also find the cloaked killer.  Adolpho gets overpowered by the killer and is force fed the cyanide capsules.  I guess the writers really do think he's black because he was the first person killed in the present day.  At the sorority house, the girls who went to pee get attacked and killed.  The head sorority chick gets her face burned off on the grill.  The black chick gets shot by a bow and arrow.  The douchey guy calls the police to report the crazy killer guy, but refuses to give his name and just wishes to remain anonymous, despite his buddy possibly being dead.  I don't fully understand why he does that.  But whatever...  Shitty movies don't typically give us much clue as to why shitty characters do anything.

At this point, the movie goes into warp speed by having a whole lotta crap happen in a very short time.  The cops show up and find the professor's body outside.  Why was his body outside?  He was inside the classroom.  Anyway, Allison says she knows him because they went to college together.  She also mentions there was a massacre at the mental hospital.  She doesn't seem all that upset about it.  She does almost faint when she sees the note left in the guy's pocket for "Die Die Delta Pi".  She calls Donna to tell her the killer has returned.  Allison tells Donna to stay at home and lock herself in, but Donna decides to do the dumb thing and come to the college.  The douchey guy and the Asian dude find that the campus police are all dead.  Douchey McDickbag is confronted by the killer.

It's the old house mother.  Just like it was in 1986.  Shocking.  Douchey decides to call the house mother butt ugly.  Dumbass, she's holding a shotgun.  Guess what?  He gets shot.  The Asian dude gets killed by a second killer.  It's Marissa.  Shocking.

Okay, so now the two burn face bitches are now starting their attack in earnest on Delta Pi.  Sweet, sweet Kelly and the "hot" friend find the two sorority sisters who got killed at the house.  They're dead and have Die Die Delta Pi scribbled above them with their blood.  They run out of the house where Hot Friend gets beheaded by the old house mother. Marissa throws a knife at Kelly killing her.  I am sad.
No, Kelly!  We were just getting to know each other!
Sorta...
Allison shows up and just straight shoots both the old house mom and Marissa.  No, really, she Indiana Jones them.  It's just that anti-climatic.  One of the other cops shows up and says he went to the school too and was the guy who looked like Chris Evans spying on the house mom and what appears to be Marissa setting up what they thought was a prank, but was Marissa bringing the house mom a severed head.  Marissa reveals before dying that she should have been left to die back in 1986 when she failed to kill them all.

However, this was not the only ending.  The final moments shows the other three surviving Delta Pis (minus Diana) getting locked in a car and some gas flowing in to kill them.

Okay.

This movie isn't too far off from some shitty late night HBO or Cinemax fare from the 80s or 90s.  It hits a lot of hallmarks - revenge, slasher deaths, body reveals, dickhead dude bros, tits, and poor pacing.  Much like the other college horror movie from earlier in the year, Killer Party, this movie can't seem to quite nail down its own tone.  When it wants to try to be funny, it isn't.  When it wants to be a horror movie, it compacts it into brief moments that unfold too quickly.  Unlike the major slasher films of the 80s, it's not evenly paced to play out deaths a little at a time during your second act.  Instead, it puts a bunch in the first act, and a bunch in the last ten minutes.

I'm trying to figure out if I truly feel that this movie is not that much of a waste or if I'm still a little in love with Kelly and her total coolness to just hang out topless when no one else was.  I probably will say that if you can watch the opening and the ending and cut out the rest of the bullshit in the second act, you might be mildly entertained.  It's only about 75 minutes of actual movie so it could be much worse.

But don't confuse that with me being lenient on the movie.  It still fucking sucks.  Hard.

No comments:

Post a Comment