This is perhaps the Troma-est movie ever released by a company other than Troma. Directed by David DeCoteau (some of the Puppet Masters, Full Moon regular), it was originally called “The Imp”, but was given what sounds like a very typical Troma title. But I need you to brace yourselves, sit down in a comfy chair, or otherwise prepare for momentous information.
The title actually makes sense! There are babes, they’re from a sorority, the majority of the movie takes place in a bowling alley and there are plenty of slimeballs! I was as surprised as you, I guarantee it. Full Moon, continuity-phobic as they are, at least make sure their titles sort of roughly describe the movie.
They also could never be accused of rushing the plot. There’s a leisurely first half hour, which involves a group of horny college-esque guys breaking into a sorority house to watch the initiation of two new pledges. There’s an extremely long spanking scene near the beginning, which could have been interesting (one of them discovers she’s into it, or really hates it) but it’s just…there. Anyway, for some reason they’re sent to the local bowling alley to steal a trophy, along with the boys, who were caught because their plan was stupid.
One of the bowling trophies contains a magic gremlin of some sort, who claims to want to grant wishes, but actually is much more like the Wishmaster than he is a classic genie. He’s a bit of a jive-talking fellow, and almost immediately decides he wants to kill the group who’ve broken into the bowling alley, and locks up the building with his magic genie powers, setting the scene for some murdering and so on.
I’m making this sound better than it is. David DeCoteau, an out gay man, seems like he was trying to hide that fact here, as the boys stay fully clothed and the women disrobe almost constantly. There’s a shower scene in that tedious first half-hour where there’s full frontal female nudity for what feels like forever…it’s a movie of curious choices, none of them particularly interesting.
This film has a peculiarly high number of positive reviews, most of them mentioning Linnea Quigley. She’s known as one of the “scream queens” of the VHS b-movie era, and has the sort of devoted fanbase that indicates she spends a lot of time at conventions being nice to people; but the sheer quantity of folks who adore her and her co-stars Brinke Stevens and Michelle Bauer indicates that I’ve still not scratched the surface of this world. Or that they’re all very easily pleased, because I would struggle to tell the three of them apart from any three other random 80s horror actresses.
Aside from the title, it does have a lot of that standard Full Moon feel to it. There’s plenty of humour (although it’s not particularly funny, you can at least tell they’re trying), lots of nudity, and a love of horror tropes (this movie seems to be a bit inspired by “The Monkey’s Paw”). It’s certainly got a lot of fans from its repeated broadcasts on USA Channel’s “Up All Night” strand of programming back in the 80s and 90s, people who love its cheesiness and poor quality effects – if you’re in a forgiving mood and really, really like softcore nudity, you’ll at least have an okay time with this one. But there’s so much better movies to choose from, even if you’re specifically in the mood for a cheesy 80s horror comedy – the also-Quigley-starring “Return of the Living Dead”, for one. But I think a lot of the fond memories tied to this movie come from it being on really late at night and viewers being tired, or drunk, or both, or from people who slept through the first half-hour.
Rating: thumbs in the middle