Review: Frat House Massacre (DVD)

Synapse Films brings this retro inspired, independent slasher to DVD!

  • Director: Alex Pucci
  • Starring: Rane Jameson, Chris Prangley, Jon Fleming
  • Year: 2008
  • Runtime: 116 Minutes
  • Company: Synapse Films
  • Format: DVD
  • Discs: 1
  • Video: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Region: 0
  • Released: 8/9/2011

Brothers Sean (Chris Prangley) and Bobby (Rane Jameson) together plan on attending Newcombe University before an automobile accident sends Bobby into a coma.
Sean decides to return to the University for the second semester, leaving his still-coma-induced brother behind. At the University, Sean pledges to join Delta Iota Epsilon (D.I.E), the frat to join that ensures you have the time of your life. Led by vicious president Mark (Jon Fleming), Sean immediately regrets joining as the initiations become deadly. Problem is once you join the frat, the only way out is with your life. Mark and his frat follies torture Sean to death, coincidentally awaking Bobby from his long term coma. 
Shortly after, Bobby heads to Newcombe University to find his brothers killer. It doesn't take Bobby long to assume the brothers of D.I.E. were behind it, and possibly other freshman pledge disappearances. A massacre ensues. A frat house massacre.

Before I express my dislike for this film, let's talk the positives of Frat House Massacre. First off, the cinematography is excellent. The crew fascinatingly made this low budget indie look like an honest to god 70's-80's horror film. If it wasn't for some obvious annoyances (I'll get to those in a minute) I would have thought this was from the golden age of slashers. Another plus is the music, composed by none other than ex-Goblin member Claudio Simonetti. His synth sounds always add on a level of awesome, no matter what film it's attached to.

Frat House Massacre also doesn't hide it's homoerotic subtext, which actually leads to some laughs. It's fully intentional and meant to poke fun at other horror films that are afraid to acknowledge the subliminal taboo.

Now, what I really disliked. Clocking in at almost 2 hours, Frat House Massacre simply feels bloated. A good 20 minutes could have been cut out, instead I kept clock watching waiting for the end. The pretty boy actors also really took me out of the film. None look the 80's part but it's hardly detrimental, just a minor annoyance. About half way into the film I simply lost interest. Many scenes tend to go on far longer than they need to, thus losing any suspense it had building up.
Frat House Massacre certainly isn't the worst, especially when compared to today's horror fare. You can definitely see the love that went into producing this film and I dig it in that aspect. It shouldn't be taken seriously, which should be a given for the initiated.

  • Video
Synapse has faithfully transferred the film's 70's film look on to DVD. It has a nice film grain layer giving Frat House Massacre an old school vibe like the films it's obviously homaging. Detail is great, colors look slightly soft but that is more than likely due to the stock it was filmed on. Overall this is a great looking disc and showcases the films retro cinematography nicely.
  • Audio
An English 5.1 track is the disc's sole audio option that sounds just right. Dialogue is never distorted or inaudible, same with the films era soundtrack. A clean mix to go with the solid video quality.

Bonus Features
  • Audio Commentary- Director Alex Pucci
  • Audio Commentary- Film Crew
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Featurette - "Making of Frat House Massacre"
This 14 minute "Making Of" is essentially a puff piece with the Director, Actors and Crew discussing the film. All involved seemed to have enjoyed their time working on Frat House Massacre, many even acting as douchey as their on screen counterparts.

Rent It