Sisters of Death (1977)

Rating: D+

Dir: Joseph Mazzuca
Star: Arthur Franz, Claudia Jennings, Cheri Howell, Sherry Boucher

When a sorority initiation rite goes wrong, and a recruit is killed, it’s called an accident. But seven years later, the participants are lured to a remote house, where someone wants revenge for the victim. And because the place is surrounded by a high-voltage fence, they can’t leave. Fortunately for them (you’d be hard pushed to find a more irritatingly helpless band of bimbos), the two sleazeballs who were hired to deliver them also end up inside the stockade, fair game for their hunter. Can they escape before ‘justice’ is served?

It’s a very interesting premise – an unseen hand terrorises a group of former friends, who gradually start to show their true colours under pressure – but after the electric fence is activated, all that potential evaporates like mist. The film persists on showing the tormentor from the ankles down even though we’ve never seen him before; it’s absolutely no stretch to work out who it is, however. The first death doesn’t occur until 50 minutes in, and far from building tension, they’re entirely flaccid affairs, carried out with little style or sense of menace. Even drive-in queen Claudia Jennings hardly stands out in the (remarkably tame, sex ‘n’ violence wise) proceedings, and if the ending is memorable, it’s mostly for the wrong reasons, since it makes little sense. Nice idea; shame about the execution.