Blood Sisters (1987)

What up, a-holes? It’s a new week and a new article from everyone’s favorite movie blog, B-Movie Enema! This week, Roberta Findlay returns with her 1987 horror-thriller Blood Sisters. What’s the big deal about that? Well, Findlay is one of a handful of female exploitation horror directors that were known from the 70s and 80s. While many worked for Robert Corman, Findlay actually worked more closely with her husband, Michael Findlay.

Michael Findlay was part of an underground movement on the east coast of directors who worked on early slasher films that were crude and incredibly violent. He married Roberta and she often worked as his cinematographer and directed films on her own as well. The couple met and befriended George Weiss, the producer of Ed Wood’s infamous Glen or Glenda. He suggested they continued down the path of violent sexploitation.

They did, however, while Michael continued to pursue violent sexploitation slashers, Roberta also would dabble quite a bit in both horror and porno. Michael would ultimately be killed in a terrible helicopter accident in which he was waiting to board a helicopter on top of the Pan Am building in 1977. The chopper turned over and the blades hit him and a couple other passengers waiting to get on board. The ghastly news report revealed that he was “literally cut to pieces” but the truth was that he only had deep lacerations that led to his death.

Roberta would continue working in film. She made several porno films in the 80s. Some were fairly well known with some available through our friends at Vinegar Syndrome. After making a controversial film about the suicide of porn star Shauna Grant called Shauna: Every Man’s Fantasy, she left the porn industry and made a few horror films.

This is how we previously crossed paths with her. Aside from Blood Sisters, Findlay also made Prime Evil, which was covered here almost exactly two years ago. That film, again a Vinegar Syndrome treat, came packaged with another of her late 80s horror films, Lurkers. I guess you can count on seeing Lurkers getting covered in September of 2023.

As evidenced in Prime Evil, Findlay had a good eye for horror, sex, and psychosexual eroticism. She also had a bitchin’ demon creature in it too.

I mean… LOOK at that guy. That’s an amazing monster demon. He’s got veiny wings, horns, a goat face, and ramen noodles for hair. It’s just great. I couldn’t have created a better monster puppet myself.

Anyway, let’s move onto Blood Sisters, yes? What’s this about? Well, I don’t really know. There’s no Wikipedia page, but I do have a boot… *ahem*… Um, I mean I have a new pair of knee high boots that I like to wear when I’m feelin’ sexy. What was I talking about? Oh yeah! I have a DVD here of Blood Sisters. It says, “Eight beautiful, sexy sorority girls attempt to brave the night in an abandoned haunted whorehouse. Unbeknownst to them, their boyfriends have rigged the house to scare the ladies witless. However, the old house seems to have a mind of its own. Our heroines face a triple-threat; the increasingly more dangerous practical jokes, a psychotic murderer, and the brothel itself!”

Okay. I almost stopped after “haunted whorehouse”. If you don’t know why, then you are new around here. This sounds awesome. I’m pretty much 3/4 of the way there with “eight beautiful, sexy sorority girls…” but then “haunted whorehouse” put me about 8/4 of the way there with this movie. I guarantee the house will supercharge the sexy bits of this movie. I’m looking forward to this. So, why wait? Let’s get rolling on Blood Sisters!

The movie opens with something kind of unexpected and super sudden. There’s a little girl berating a little boy about a request that he has about probably seeing her little girl bits or touching her little girl bits or something. Anyway, the girl says that there’s no way that she will let him touch her because she knows what this kid’s mother is and that he has no father. This means, by this girl’s calculations, that this boy is a pervert! I’m not sure what mathematical equation she is using to come up with that, but whatever. The boy runs home and, of course, we see that he either lives at or his mother is working at the movie’s scary, haunted brothel!

So we then go inside the brothel and we switch to the little boy’s point of view and the above lady is apparently the Madame at the brothel and kind of awkwardly approaches him like she wants to teach him a thing or two if you know what I mean, and I think you do. I have to ask if this is some sort of Sweet Sweetback situation or is this just supposed to say that this “lady of the night” just wants to fuck anything that moves despite the age of said thing? Or, is she just being cruel to the kid by teasing him as if he’s supposed to understand what she’s doing?

Doesn’t really matter. The camera’s gaze goes upstairs to a room with an older, larger whore who is with a john who doesn’t want to leave despite his hour being up. We see that this unseen assailant has a shotgun and proceeds to kill the couple. Thirteen years later, we enter the sorority Kappa Gamma Tau during rush week. New initiates are being tasked with final obstacles before joining the sorority. The major domo of the sorority (is that what they are called? I dunno) tells the girls that the place they must go to is a place that is supposedly haunted.

Here is a face of one of the pledges when she mentions the haunted house:

That’s a face that sums up these feelings perfectly.

While the most important and serious vow of devotion to Kappa Gamma Tau is being handed down, two other girls are gabbing over who is going to the dance, and who wants to date nerds or not. It’s obvious they are disrupting the ceremony, but I guess that doesn’t bother the major domo because she just keeps going with the vow. Later, at the local watering hole that apparently all the frats and sororities go to, we learn that Linda, the head of Kappa Gamma Tau, has a ruse set up with her boyfriend and some of his friends.

They are planning to make more out of the haunted house than just the spooky stories. You see, this guy and Linda are booby trapping the house for the pledges. They have spooky stuff and axes and probably ghosts and maybe some witches or other scary decorations that they picked up from the local Zayre or something.

I will give Linda credit for being rightfully concerned that this preppy boyfriend of hers and his dipshit friends are going to put these girls in mortal danger. While Linda and her boy toy make plans to fuck like rabbits while the Kappa Gamma house mother is away visiting a sick sister, I learn the name of another of the girls – Diana. Diana is the house slut. She doesn’t like wearing a bra. She likes to get down with all the guys.

We also have Bonnie. Bonnie is the dorky one who was wide-eyed at the thought of hanging out at a haunted house. There’s the “fat one”, Laurie, who gets a dressing down from the “health nut” track team girl, Alice. Another girl, Marnie, is frustrated at not having sex for the last three months. Another hasn’t said much of anything, who turns out to be named Cara. Ellen is yet another girl from the sorority who is desperate for her boyfriend to give her a hot beef injection. I think we’re all caught up to this point.

Meanwhile, Linda and her guy, Ross, are still going at it well into the next day, or at least it seems as though because we got an establishing shot of a window during daylight hours, but I suspect it is actually still the night time, whatever, Linda is showing her boobs all over the place.

Also, considering the angles, the close up of kissing, and such, it’s clear that Roberta Findlay directed adult films.

While those two fuck for the 27th time since last night, three other dudes start rigging up the old brothel for the shenanigans that night. Something kind of cool happens here. Even though I can see the wire very clearly, it pulls something across the room that gets sort of noticed out of the corner of the frat guy, Larry, who kind of looks like a young Roger Ebert. He starts to think there is something up with the place despite everyone saying it’s not a real haunted house. As they all leave the room, Larry sees the table moving in the room. I kind of like this set up for the haunted house. It’s not all jumping out at you and going for sudden scares. Instead, we’re seeing little things. There are even moans ringing out in the house that Larry believes are coming from a tape recorder, but the guy hasn’t turned on the tape player. He beats cheeks out of there and Ross is told by one of his frat dudes that maybe they should tell Linda to call off the whole thing. Something isn’t right in the house.

It was then when young Roger Ebert decided to give up drinking and partying and settle for being a film critic instead.

Here’s something that I actually quite like about this movie. No one in this movie is overly unlikable. Sure, they are kind of shitty frat and sorority people, and drink a lot, and play a whole lotta grab ass, but overall, some of the fringe dude characters in this movie want Ross to call off the whole prank because they aren’t bad people. Ross is kind of a jerk to not take his pals’ for their word that weird things were going on, but overall, I’m not seeing anyone I want to get what’s coming to them.

And yet, the movie is still pulling some fast ones for us with the spooky little things. As Linda goes into a room to set up shop, she sees a room full of ghostly prostitutes – all while weird carousel music plays.

And check it out! Ruth Collins is the blonde on the left!

It seems odd that even Linda double-takes for a moment when she sees the hookers, but kind of shakes it off. There are two ways I can read this. The first is that everyone is just on edge planning and making all this stuff work the way Linda wants, so they are buying into the idea that they are just letting their imaginations run wild. The other read is that the house is messing with people to show them things, but manipulating them to not react to it as they typically would – particularly our lead characters of Ross and Linda.

But I’m not so sure I can say anything for sure about the second read because the large prostitute clearly shows herself to Cara and she’s really freaked out by it. In addition that, she’s not shaking it off like her imagination is running wild. Maybe the house just plays with people however best fits the house’s fancy. Sure, Ellen doesn’t take Cara’s word for it that she saw anything weird. She wants to hang around with Ellen, but Ellen is expecting some serious deep dickin’ later on so she wants Cara to make like a salad and get out of her room.

Linda is preparing the girls for a scavenger hunt. She notices that Laurie is missing. Turns out Laurie got lost on her way back from the non-working bathroom. After Laurie joins them, Linda tells the girls about the brothel. Linda tells the story all serious-like about how a terrible scandal closed down the house, but Marnie jokes about how it had to have been closed because the pros were shitty at giving blowjobs. Cara pipes up and says she’s already seen a ghost.

Now, I know I just mentioned a short bit ago that so far there are no bad characters that I am actively rooting against, but Marnie decides to fill that gap by being a sarcastic cunt about the house, the spookiness of it, and that Cara is apparently into girls. While I definitely don’t mind the characters even though they are a bit thin in personality, I do appreciate the atmosphere of this movie. It’s not overly exciting, but between the atmosphere of this creepy house and the solid horror score, I like this movie quite a bit. It’s a tiny bit tame despite Linda and Ellen showing their boobs, but It’s not a bad little movie. I think this could make for a fun little Halloween watch.

Things pick up a little bit as we near the halfway point. As Diana reads from a diary of one of the prostitutes about the murder that took place 13 years prior, Cara sees the scene play out in the mirror. This is actually a really great callback to the start of the movie too. In the scene in which the prostitute and her john are killed, we see a lot of that scene through a mirror on a closet door. That’s the mirror Cara is looking into while hearing the story. Nice touch, Roberta Findlay.

Elsewhere, Laurie and Alice are exploring another portion of the house. They hear a baby crying in a room. This seems like a particularly scary and unexpected thing to have ringing out in an abandoned whorehouse, but okay. Alice even says it has to be the wind. It is very clearly not the wind. It’s a crying baby. They find themselves inside a child’s room in the whorehouse to which Laurie asks the very good question, “Why is there a child’s room in a whorehouse?” Just as they close in on where the crying is coming from a mannequin drops down with a noose around its neck and hangs to near the two girls who no longer have anything left in their bowels.

An unseen person locks the two girls into the child’s room and they freak the fuck out. The same person comes and unlocks the door so they can get out just as they were thinking they would have to jump out of the window to the ground, only to find out it is too high, so they land on the idea that they are going to die in that room. They were so damn scared in that moment that they went from fight to flight to “eh, fuck it, we’re gonna die.”

In yet another area of the house, Marnie is on her own – probably because she’s a bitch. She finds a sexy little nightgown. She decides to check it out to see if it would look good on her. A ghostly voice calls her name and she’s overcome with the desire to touch herself sensually while looking at herself in the mirror.

Now, call me a snarky little prick, but my guess is that, since Marnie’s makeup shotgun that day was set to “whore”, the house thought she must fit in here and decided to possess her to make her one of them. She watches a scene play out with the Madame from 13 years ago doing business with a john while the ghostly voice calls out for Marnie and she continues to masturbate with the nightgown. While she watches, she decides to take off her sweater, take off her bra and let those sweater puppies breathe.

I like that every time I say something like, “There are no bad people in this movie that I want to root against!” suddenly, Marnie turns into a raging bitch. Then, I say, “This movie is pretty tame and relies heavily on spooky house and horror music!” and then Marnie starts masturbating in a mirror while watching a whore fuck a john. No comment on whether or not I suddenly find Marnie to be extra sultry sexy now.

Oh god, please, I’m so sorry for calling you a bitch and a cunt, Marnie. Please degrade me, please step on me, sexy lady!

The jerkoff trance breaks when the historical re-enactment of the gunshot slices through the mirror and causes the Madame to stop doing what she was doing to that young man. Marnie realizes she’s wearing something weird and her bra and sweater are on the floor. So we move onto Bonnie who is also on her own and hearing screams in one of the rooms. As she works her way toward the source of the screams, she trips over a wire that is connected to a tape player playing the screams. The girls go to Linda who has a good laugh over how the sisters were all freaked out. She owns up to the guys setting up some booby traps to scare them, but she sends them back out for the remainder of the scavenger hunt now that they know there are planted tricks waiting for them.

Elsewhere – Ellen is getting that diiiick.

Again, this movie definitely shows off the fact that Roberta Findlay used to make porno before this movie. We are about to enter into the final 30 minutes of this movie and no one has been killed, and nothing more than just some ghosts sort of appearing “over there” kind of like what you’d see in The Shining when they all come out and start messing with Wendy and such. There’s a moment in which the other character that is kind of going around and locking people into rooms and creating some spooky moments and so on starts to sneak up behind Bonnie with a hunting knife. However, it gets ruined a bit when Bonnie drops something from the cupboard and it causes this unseen extra character to run off.

I am beginning to wonder exactly what these last 30 minutes are going to accomplish. I could see this turning into a giant bloodbath OR a big ol’ prank that results in no deaths whatsoever. I’m actually hoping for the latter. It would be a little nicer and less mean spirited despite that it is a bunch of pranks being pulled on unsuspecting girls. Anyway, the extra person in the house with the hunting knife keeps sneaking around behind Bonnie, but again is scared off by her tripping another prank.

Elsewhere, Cara, still fighting the good fight on the scavenger hunt. She locates a garter. When she picks it up she is transported to a scene in which the brunette that looks like someone from a French erotic film goes to town on Ruth Collins. I guess Cara is into the ladies. So, again, another callback that actually pays off.

Cara doesn’t quite have the same reaction that Marnie did when she was put into a trance by the house as she just kind of stares blankly at the scene playing out. She doesn’t use the garter to get herself off. She… just… stares. When the girls disappear, she snaps out of it and hangs the garter back up where she found it. You know. Because it’s haunted.

She hears someone moving around and goes to see who it is, believe it to be Diana. Suddenly, she’s attacked from behind by our mysterious creeper who uses the garter to strangle her. She screams and struggles, to which Alice says, “Hey, that sounds like Cara.”

Marnie, ol’ reliably sexy and freshly, er, released Marnie says, “Oh give me a break!”

Meanwhile, apparently a lacey garter is able to stay together long enough to choke a woman to death. You know… I wouldn’t have put my money on that.

Laurie finds the coffin that was brought in by the frat dudes as a final gag, and she’s shoved inside by our mysterious murderer and gets nailed inside. I think the nails are implied to have gone into Laurie too because the potato chip bag she was carrying and dropped when she got shoved in looks like it has blood drops on it. And now it’s a murder fest as the mysterious killer moves upstairs to shoot Ellen and her boyfriend, Jim.

Okay, I said either the final 30 minutes were going to be packed to the gills with murder or it would just be innocent pranks all the way through. I hoped for the latter, but it turned out to be the former. I have mixed feelings about this. I’ll explain more in just a bit because we’re losing girls left and right. Alice sees the killer standing over Ellen and Jen and tells Linda they have to go because there are dead sorority people now – which, of course, was not their plan. Linda tells the remaining girls to go outside to the van. Linda keeps asking where Laurie and Cara are. Alice says they are probably dead. Marnie is suddenly the voice of reason in saying that someone should just take a person’s word for something. They get to the van and finally find the keys and a bunch of wires in the engine have been cut.

So the remaining girls decide to huddle inside the van to wait out the night. Except it’s really cold and everyone is pissed at each other. Marnie, like a dumb sexy girl that she is, says she’s going back into the house. Everyone decides to join her. Despite the fact that a killer is inside the house wanting to kill them all, but whatever, it’s cool.

Alice decides to get the fuck out of there. She’s a cross country runner. She can make it to the highway to get help. She is immediately chased by the killer who isn’t too far behind her. Clearly, she ain’t that great of a runner. She ditches her reflective vest and flashlight to avoid being easily seen by the killer. She flags down a car. Meanwhile, back at the house, the remaining girls go to find Laurie and Cara, but the killer snatches Diana. Not only are ghosts moving from one room to the next, but rooms are starting to smell like bad musky sex.

Marnie is the next to die as she’s attacked by the killer, forcing Linda to run away and try to take Bonnie with her. Unfortunately, Bonnie loses her glasses which causes her to apparently be completely blind and unable to operate like a normal person. She falls over the railing and the terminal velocity of the fall turns her into a dummy.

Linda appears to be saved by Ross, but it turns out that he’s the killer! Like, no shit, right? He starts to have a bit of a freak out and calls Linda “Sally” who was the little girl at the beginning of the movie. Ross was the child of the hooker. The big prostitute’s kid. He snapped when Sally rejected him and killed his mother and the man she was with. When Linda asked Ross why he’s doing this, his reply is rather simple, “Because I’m crazy.”

Well, can’t argue with that.

Linda’s death is particularly brutal in this movie. She is stabbed repeatedly by the hunting knife and she dies honestly confused by Ross’ craziness. It’s actually sad. The next day, a police car pulls up to investigate with Alice in tow. The cops go in to check things out and they find no bodies, no girls, nothing. Alice exclaims that they have to be in there and that the van wasn’t working. Guess what… The van starts right up. The cops leave pissed at Alice for all the trouble. She laughs at the stupidity of this ending, only to find a bloody hand on the floor next to the driver seat and Ross sneaking up from behind her to hold her in place so he can stab her to death.

Still, not a really clever or ironic death to be found at all in this movie.

Most of the first hour of this movie is quite enjoyable. Where things fall apart are in the final 20 or so minutes, when the “horror” element starts to take over. The spookiness, the ghostly visions, all that was fine. However, when the murderer starts knocking off girls, it creates this tension that almost becomes self-aware at times when Marnie comments on the van not starting being typical for a horror movie. Other times, Marnie is acting like a cartoonish scaredy cat. Then, as Linda claims something is calling to her to go to a particular part of the house, Marnie quips that she’s not going in for these tales of visions or ghosts or nuthin’. She believes there is a maniac and that’s all there is to it. No supernatural shenanigans here! No siree!

Need I remind her of this:

The movie simply loses its mojo that it had built up in the first hour of the movie. The early scenes played out like an “Old Dark House” style movie. Instead it feels the need to actually kill the girls, but none of the girls are dispatched in any ironic way. The one actual moment I thought would play off in that ironic kill sort of way was when Alice ditches her reflective vest and flashlight to get away from the killer. I expected that she would be killed by being hit by a car that didn’t see her. Why do I believe that? Well, it’s because that jacket was called out when the girls arrived at the house for being too loud. She talked about how her coach wanted her to wear it so she is seen by cars along the road. The reflective bits are a call back because she has to get rid of it in order to not be seen by the pursuing killer, but that’s the wrong callback.

Still, we get a solid hour of creepiness and horror score and that general atmospheric mood that gives us those good Halloween vibes. Yes, they say this movie is actually taking place in mid-November, but there’s enough here to make me think I might want to revisit the movie in late October as part of my usual scary times celebrations and movie viewings. I just wish it could have at least tried to stick the landing better.

Well, that should do it for this week’s B-Movie Enema. It’s hard to believe that by this time next week, yet ANOTHER article of B-Movie Enema will be out there for you to read! To stay up to date on that, but sure to follow B-Movie Enema on Facebook and Twitter. Next week, we’re going to ship some booze across state lines with Marcia Brady and John Saxon on the Moonshine County Express!

Oh! And Claudia Jennings is there too!

Be sure to be back here for that, but first! In 8 days, the return of B-Movie Enema: The Series hits YouTube with Season 2! Check out the epic trailer below:

Be sure to subscribe to the B-Movie Enema YouTube channel and be ready for when Season 2 kicks off on September 11, 2021 with The Centerfold Girls!

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