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Image Entertainment presents
The Sisterhood (2004)

"This isn't going to be your typical psychology class."
- Ms. Masters (Barbara Crampton)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: June 29, 2005

Stars: Barbara Crampton, Jennifer Holland, Michelle Borth, David Storm Newton
Other Stars: Kate Plec, Sara Michelle Ben Av
Director: David DeCoteau

MPAA Rating: R for (sexuality, some violent images)
Run Time: 01h:25m:13s
Release Date: June 28, 2005
UPC: 014381043525
Genre: horror


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
D- D-D+C- D

DVD Review

I'm sure one of the burning questions you've been asking yourself lately is: whatever happened to '80s B-movie scream queen Barbara Crampton? OK, so maybe none of you have been asking yourself that question, but I sure as heck have. After falling in love with Ms. Crampton through her work on the film adaptations of the H.P. Lovecraft stories, Re-Animator and From Beyond, I would pretty much be game for anything she appeared in, even her turns in the soap operas The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful. Unfortunately, I had lost track of her career at about the same time I realized I was actually watching soap operas and decided to seek help, but that's another story.

So, nearly 20 years after Re-Animator, Ms. Crampton has emerged once again, this time in the amazingly terrible The Sisterhood. Crampton is the only thing this waste of time has going for it, but she's relegated to the minor role of a psychology professor who just happens to know a thing or two about witches. Even if she was in every frame of this film, there's no way she could save it, which, from the Scream rip-off opening sequence to the preposterous ending, is an exercise in juvenile filmmaking.

The BATS are the most elite sorority on campus, but one night, a member is killed by a figure wearing a black mask. Enter Christine (Jennifer Holland), a young girl who has always had the mind power to read thoughts and move objects. Apparently Christine is a perfect fit for the BATS (could the name be any more clever?!), as they don't exactly party like the rest of the sororities. Instead, these girls practice witchcraft, using it to torture and seduce others, including Christine. So, she must use her powers, with the help of the abnormal-psychology professor, Ms. Masters (Crampton), on these sisters and convince them that they're better off just having keg parties.

Aside from Crampton's semi-tolerable, at least somewhat professional performance, the acting is as wooden, amateur, and as forced as it gets. Jennifer Holland is awful, and she's the performer that we have to put up with the most, unfortunately. The hack job that director David DeCoteau ("famous" for the Brotherhood films) does is legendarily bad, as the film was apparently shot on the cheapest cameras that a lack of money could buy. This is a film that I wouldn't wish upon even the most discerning of B-movie fans, who should just stick to repeat viewings of the Witchboard movies and the like.

While this shouldn't be a reason to watch any movie unless it has a XXX rating, there is absolutely no nudity in The Sisterhood. This would be just fine if we were dealing with a watchable film, but this just screams of a late-night Cinemax skin flick from ultra-cheap opening credits. It's easy to mistake this for a soft-core porn film, so I feel especially sorry for that audience who thinks they are about to see a sexy horror picture, and soon realize that they're getting something far less titillating. To tease The Sisterhood's target audience and then fail to deliver the goods only adds to the disappointment.

Rating for Style: D-
Rating for Substance: D-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: This anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen presentation isn't terrible, but it isn't very impressive either. Colors appear to be washed out at times with reds that bleed occasionally, and blacks that aren't even close to being deep enough. The images are relatively clear and detailed, but the film has an overall soft, cheap look to it.

Image Transfer Grade: D+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio is practically lifeless, and rarely utilizes the surround speakers. There's little to no bass presence, but the music, ambient sounds, and dialogue are adequate, and form a nice, overall mix.

Audio Transfer Grade: C-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 21 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Hillz, Dunsmore, Lana's Rain, Witches of the Caribbean
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The only extra features are trailers for other Image Entertainment DVD releases.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

Don't waste your time with The Sisterhood, regardless of your affinity for films that center on a coven of witches disguised as a sorority. The audio and video are average, at best, and there aren't any extras aside from previews for other horrible-looking B-movies.

 


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