In this feature, Vegan Voorhees examines those jaw-dropping revelations that the slasher film loves to bat our way from the blue, like a pushy parent tossing softballs at a kid who doesn’t want to learn baseball.
This month, we slide dirgey, cheapo 1981 slasher The Dorm That Dripped Blood under the terrorscope. If you haven’t seen it, beware humongaloid SPOILERS…
Set Up: College students who board at Morgan Meadows Hall are closing down the place for its imminent bulldozing. Good job too, it’s a right shitheap. Anyway, the handful of them sticking around during the holidays are picked off one by one by a shadowy killer. But who? And why? Final girl Joanne will save the day!
Twist: No she won’t. Once everyone’s dead and all red herrings off the hook, the real killer – smartmouth joker Craig – reveals himself to Joanne, tells her he loves her and will kill anyone who stands in the way of their love… AND THEN THROWS HER IN THE FURNACE!
The final shot is Craig being led to safety, while smoke billows from the furnace behind him as Joanne roasts away.
Problems with this revelation: The film is grimy enough without this downbeat ending stapled on, which lets Craig get away with his crime. Not that Joanne was the best heroine, but even so, the attempt at keeping things dark goes beyond the usual killer-is-still-out-there stuff into a place that just doesn’t work. No, I say. No.
Likely Explanation: The Dorm That Dripped Blood has little going for it to make it stand out. It plods along in underlit doldrums, with a few sticky murders chucked in, possibly realising the audience is slowly lapsing into a coma, so the eyebrow-raising coda was thrown on.