The Dorm that Dripped Blood
Directors: Stephen Carpenter and Jeffrey Obrow
Cast: Laurie Lapinski, Stephen Sachs, Daphne Zuniga
Review by Brian M. Sammons
Last seen on DVD under the title Pranks, this 1982 slasher was best known for two things. One, it had very young Daphne Zuniga (The Sure Things and Spaceballs) as one of the disposable victims. Two, most of the gory kills was cut out of the film by overzealous censors and the splatter had never been restored.
That is, until now.
Synapse Films is not only the first company to bring out this slice of 80s slasher fare in High Definition, but also uncut. That’s right, all the glorious gory goodness is back in the movie. If that wasn’t enough reason for you to get this, then how about this: not only is this movie on Blu-ray, but it’s also on DVD for those who have yet to upgrade, and both discs come together in one nice, neat package. What’s not to love?
Oh wait, you’ve never seen The Dorm That Dripped Blood? Ok, let me give you the nickel tour. And yeah, as far as the story goes, a nickel is all you’re going to need. That’s not to say that this slasher isn’t any good, just that it’s not that original.
A group of college kids volunteer to help close up an old dorm building before it’s scheduled to be demolished but unfortunately for them a mysterious psycho is bumping them off one by one. And well, that’s it for the story. Ok, there’s a little bit more, but not all that much. There’s a decent group of kids for the slaughter playing up the usual slasher stereotypes of good girl, wise-cracking clown, tough guy, etc. What sets this movie apart, just like any slasher flick, is the kills, how creative and gory they are. Luckily Dorm delivers the goods now that the blood and guts have been restored. The infamous power drill scene is a clear standout but a baseball bat with nails pounded through it and a very large pressure cooker are all used to good effect.
Oh and let’s not forget the aforementioned cutie, Daphne Zuniga. If you had a thing for her during the ’80s like I did, then you’ll enjoy her here, slumming it in a horror movie to pay her dues. Yeah she’s not in the movie for long (oops, I guess I should have given a spoiler warning or something, but just watching the movie you can figure that out pretty quickly) but what little she does, she does well.
As for the extras that I love so much, there is an audio commentary track with the two directors, a short featurette with the composer of the film called “My First Score” and another with makeup effect guy (and later Oscar winner) Matthew Mungle. A pair of trailers round out the extras and that’s it for the behind the scenes goodies. So there’s not a ton of bonus content on this disc, but it is a lot more than what’s ever been done for Dorm before.
If you take the combo Blu-ray and DVD package, the buffed and prettied up video, the extras and most importantly the restored and uncut gore gags and add it all up together, you get a hell of must have for any fan of 80s slashers. This is the second Blu-ray from Synapse Films I’ve seen and it makes me hungry to see what they do next. Consider this one highly recommended.