Susan Cabot stars as Sabra Tanner, a poor-little-rich-girl in this dark tale of teenage rebellions and bribery. Sabra feels alienated and misunderstood by her mother and when she is turned down for membership of her college's most prestigious sorority she takes out her frustration on her peers. Muttering dark imprecations she vows revenge on the girls that rejected her. She succeeds in her endeavours to a point, however she is outcast when one of her stunts nearly drives a girl to suicide. Susan Cabot's convincing performance of Sabra - a girl who ruins people's lives but cannot understand why - has won her many accolades over the years.
Cheap thrills long past their sell-by date
- Sorority Girl review by Count Otto Black
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You rated this film: 2
This is another of those minimalist early Roger Corman B-movies with a budget so tight that it barely manages to be an hour long and thus qualify as a feature film (speeded up from 24 to 25 frames per second by the DVD format, it doesn't even reach the 60-minute mark on disc). It's also another of those films which this site describes as a classic, apparently because with cars, "classic" just means "old", so obviously the same is true of films. Since it was made in 1957, this movie would indeed be a classic, if only it had four wheels, an engine, a steering-wheel, and ran on petrol.
The worst thing about it is that the two minutes of opening credits show us extraordinary semi-abstract images implying that we're about to see a Surreal horror movie involving teenagers possessed by Japanese demons, women shape-shifting into eight-armed insectoids, and nude girls being flogged with a cat-o-nine-tails, possibly co-directed by Salvador Dalí and the Marquis De Sade. If the remaining 58 minutes delivered anything like this, the movie would be a true classic that makes "Spider Baby" look like "Little Women". Alas, the nearest we get to seeing this magnificent bizarreness brought to life is a few seconds of non-explicit fully-clothed spanking.
Susan Cabot's performance is good enough to save it from one-star dismalness, but not quite good enough to make us care about the obnoxious bitch she's playing. In fact, she probably seems better than she is because everybody else is lousy. The permanently sneering Dick Miller is supposed to be a nice guy, Barboura Morris, who was in so many of these movies despite being completely devoid of acting talent that I assume she must gave been Roger Corman's girlfriend, gives her usual non-performance, and the wet blanket who gets bullied for being slightly fat is very annoying indeed.
Also, although I obviously didn't expect "adult" entertainment from a 60-year-old film rated PG, I did expect the attractive, amoral Sabra (is that really a girl's name? - sounds more like a curry) to be highly sexed. Back in the day that was almost the textbook definition of bad behavior for girls, so her apparent asexuality seems very peculiar. It's true that she does attempt, briefly and unsuccessfully, to be a seductress, or at least a temptress, but even then it's made clear that she doesn't really fancy the fellow, or indeed anyone. And the pregnancy subplot is treated so coyly that it almost seems as though the poor girl caught babies the way other people catch measles.
Overall, this is a very minor film with one good performance (two if you include Sabra's vile mother, who appears for just long enough to show us where her daughter got it all from), and feminine misbehavior which, despite being the entire point of the film, is mostly rather dull. Though if there are any aspiring directors out there, isn't it about time we finally got to see the movie those jaw-dropping opening credits promised us...?