A semi-legendary B movie from 1988, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-rama, also known in the UK as The Imp, is one of those films that is awful, and knows it's awful, but you just can't look away and knows you can't look away, so plays it up to the hilt. It has a plot that can be described as schlock horror, a monster that inspires laughter rather than terror, possibly intentionally, industrial quantities of fanservice, and oozes The 1980s from every orifice.

Plot goes something like this - three STANDARD NERDS of college students, a thin one, a fat one, and a pervy one, spy on a sorority initiation because the two pledges, Lisa and Taffy, get hazed by being paddled while nude during said initiation, and then take it a step further by sneaking into the sorority house to spy on the pledges in the shower (said scene is extended far beyond its necessity). They are, of course, caught, and forced to go with the pledges to the final part of their initiation, which is to break into the bowling alley and steal a trophy. Only the sorority head girl happens to have family who owns the mall in which said bowling alley is located and is planning to fuck with them remotely from the security desks.

While at the bowling alley our heroes meet a punk girl called Spider who is in the process of burgling the place. She is also in the process of being a walking fire hazard due to the gratuitous amount of hairspray she has on her bonce, but that's by the by. As such, with her as the only competent member of the team they manage to get a bowling trophy and are on the way out when somehow the trophy gets dropped, the bottom falls off it, and they are confronted with a very unconvincing puppet imp with a very unconvincing voice. The imp grants each of them a wish, so fat nerd wishes for a heap of gold, pervy nerd wishes that Lisa wants to fuck his brains out, and Taffy wishes that she was prom queen. Unfortunately all the wishes turn out to go bad on them, and the Imp then turns two of the head sorority girls' mates into murderous demons.

The rest of the film involves Calvin (the thin nerd) and Spider attempting to escape the bowling alley and recapture the imp with the help of a janitor who they inadvertently locked in his closet earlier. While doing this, each of the characters within the alley get killed off one by one - fat nerd gets decapitated and his head bowled down the lane, Taffy gets pulled in two (come on, you DID see this coming, surely?), pervy nerd gets fucked to death by Lisa, who is in turn mangled by the possessed sorority girls, and so forth. It's all campy fun really with a side order of "be careful what you wish for" to boot in that the members of the group who fail to engage their brain or think with their little head over their big head end up dying horribly while Calvin and Spider who express skepticism end up managing to escape. There is a scene where Calvin proves he's not a total dweeb by successfully immolating one of the possessed with a Molotov Cocktail (especially given the fire hazard that is Spider's hair) but other than that... well, it's the sort of film that's best seen rather than told about. It's terrible, but it knows it's terrible and runs with it. The Imp puppet is particularly ludicrous, frankly. Apparently due to low budget the lion's share of the film was apparently filmed overnight without a permit in an actual real-life bowling alley, and as a result it looks a lot more convincing than it has any right to.

What does interest me, though, is how the film could never happen nowadays. A sorority that hazed its pledges would invite massive censure and anathemas called down upon their collective heads. There would be no motivation for the three nerds to spy on the nude hazing because, well, they have internets and free pornography as a result of same nowadays. The gratuitous fanservice would almost certainly cause consternation amongst moral guardians as well. Yeah. Also if they made it nowadays they'd probably end up inserting thousands of needless memes and pop culture references to try to appeal to the yoof.

It's worth a look though and is certainly better than a lot of the dreck that passes for cinema these days, what with the endless remakes, sequels, reboots, and comic book dross and barrel-scraping and hard-on for "cinematic universes" and similar. But that's damning with faint praise, surely.


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