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Film / The Dorm That Dripped Blood

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"...where the only thing you'll learn is how to die!"

The Dorm That Dripped Blood (a.k.a. Pranks and Death Dorm) is a 1982 Slasher Movie.

College students Joanne, Craig, Brian, and Patty are cleaning out a condemned dormitory while everyone else is on Christmas vacation. Unfortunately for them, a psychopathic killer is making the rounds and is using a variety of tools to bump people off one by one. Who is responsible for the brutal murders?

The story behind The Dorm That Dripped Blood may be more interesting than the film itself. College students Stephen Carpenter and Jeffrey Obrow made it while still having classes at UCLA, hoping to use the film to get their foot in the door at Hollywood. They did what they admit was a shameless cash-in on what was popular at the time: slasher flicks.

The film is notable for a couple more reasons; first, it was the debut of Matthew Mungle, an effects artist who eventually won an Oscar for his work on Bram Stoker's Dracula. Secondly, Christopher Young, who has definitely moved onto bigger and better things since (though mostly still in the horror genre).

"The tropes that dripped blood":

  • Ambiguously Gay: Joanne and Debbie have some emotionally charged conversations. Notably, the gay pride flag is prominently displayed in some scenes.
  • Batter Up!: The killer uses a spiked bat to off Debbie's father as he is going up the stairs to meet with her.
  • Big Bad: Craig's the killer, driven by his obsession over Joanne.
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: As Debbie's mother waits for her husband and her daughter to get into their car, the killer sneaks into the backseat without her noticing and kills her with a garrotte.
  • Downer Ending: Craig murders several people, manipulates the police into shooting and killing Bobby Lee (under the assumption that he was the killer) and dumps Joanne's unconscious body into an incinerator before escaping.
  • Fainting: Seeing her mother's garroted body, Debbie faints on the spot. The killer uses this moment to run her over with her parents' car.
  • Final Girl: Joanne checks all the boxes. Except for making it out alive.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: It's a Christmastime slasher.
  • Red Herring: John Hemmit, a creepy guy prowling around on campus.
  • This Is a Drill: Bill goes for a washup in the bathroom. The killer attacks him form behind and drives a hand drill into the back of his head.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Bobby Lee manages to gain the upper hand when he fights Craig. Two cops arrive soon after, and Craig manages to manipulate them to shoot Bobby Lee by pretending to be a victim.