Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama 2 (2022): Impey Dies Tonight

Here in the Darkness! Matty examines Full Moon’s newest offering — a long-awaited sequel to a classic original.

Even if you discount the thirty-four year gap between it and David DeCoteau’s iconic 1988 original, SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-O-RAMA 2 has had a long journey to the screen [1]. Periodically teased by DeCoteau and executive producer Charles Band over the years, Sorority Babes 2 was finally given the go as part of Full Moon’s Deadly Ten slate before COVID-19 caused the ambitious project — a series of pictures whose makings would be broadcast in real time across Full Moon Streaming and the shingle’s Amazon channel ahead of their streaming premieres — to be rethought. As it stands, only Necropolis: Legion (2019); Weedjies: Halloweed Night (2019); Puppet Master (1989) sidequel Blade: The Iron Cross (2020); and Femalien: Cosmic Crush (2020) were released in line with the Deadly Ten battle plan. The rest remain unmade (‘Shadowheart Curse’, ‘The Hourglass’, ‘The Grim Rapper’, and the equally long-awaited ‘Bride of the Head of the Family’) or, in the case of the upcoming Subspecies V: Blood Rise (2023), have morphed into their own separate entity. Sorority Babes 2 suffered a further blow when, during development, DeCoteau left amidst creative differences, and star Linnea Quigley refused to return per the legacy sequel dictum. Their decision resulted in Quigley’s role, Spider, being overhauled and recast (here, Chopping Mall (1986) cutie Kelli Maroney steps in as Spider’s sister, Snake), and fellow Babes/scream queens Michelle Bauer and Brinke Stevens picking up the slack as far as connectivity is concerned — the latter especially so. 

As well as cameoing with Bauer in spectral form, Stevens — who was initially appointed co-helmer, supposedly in a last ditch attempt to keep pal DeCoteau hooked — takes Sorority Babes 2’s reins. While some awkward staging and cutting raise alarm bells early doors, on the whole Stevens tackles her feature length directorial debut with aplomb. Having clearly learned a few things on the set of many a quality B-flick, Stevens’ waggish style becomes more pronounced and infectious as Sorority Babes 2 chugs along, and her and producer William Butler — one of modern-day Full Moon’s greatest assets thanks to his exemplary work on the likes of the Gingerdead Man trilogy, Demonic Toys 2 (2010) and its associated spin-offs, and the Miskatonic U saga — deliver the meat and potatoes: boobs, teen comedy, and, in the film’s final third, comic book horror. Frustratingly, the latter is where this otherwise enjoyable romp falters. Though the malevolent Imp at the heart of Sorority Babes 2’s carnage is a wickedly rubbery creation in the classic Band/Ghoulies (1985) mode — and, crucially, more pliable than the Imp in Sorority Babes 1.0 — the bulk of the film pulls its punches on the FX front. A practical pin-to-the-head gag is amusing, but the bursts of dodgy CGI and a spot involving a dude bro-type firing money out of his arse are unconvincing at best, poorly done at worst.

Primarily lensed at The Full Moon Manor in Cleveland, Ohio and at the Dickey Lanes bowling alley nearby (it’s a twenty minute drive away), Sorority Babes 2 sports a bright pop art look in keeping with its giddy tone. However, despite the back-of-a-napkin plot — in which another bunch of coeds and frat boys free a diminutive evil genie from a bowling trophy — copying its predecessor in terms of the basics, there’s a pleasing depth to Full Moon regular Kent Roudebush’s surprisingly weighty screenplay. Whereas Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama saw DeCoteau deconstructing the kind of camp midnight movies that inspired him, Sorority Babes 2 finds Roudebush exploring the same introspective notions that have preoccupied Band of late (cf. Famous T&A 2 (2022)). The reverential nods and homages to DeCoteau’s epochal text complement the scripter’s pokes at aging, nostalgia and regret very nicely indeed, providing Sorority Babes 2 with an unexpectedly poignant footing beneath its cookie cutter facade. Interestingly, the film isn’t the first time Roudebush has played in the Sorority Babes sandbox: his skittle-bound hemp epic Evil Bong 420 (2015) began life as ‘Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama 420’.

USA ● 2022 ● Comedy, Horror ● 62mins

Kelli Maroney, Audrey Neal, Glory Rodriguez, special guest stars Michelle Bauer and Brinke Stevens ● Dir. Brinke Stevens Wri. Kent Roudebush, based upon characters created by Sergei Hasenecz

[1] And no, SOV auteur Todd Sheets’ awful, DeCoteau-produced fauxquel, Sorority Babes in the Dance-a-Thon of Death (1991), doesn’t factor either.

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