Sisters of Death (1977)

Two new girls are about to be initiated into an organization called The Sisters. Three girls stand hooded and chant, while another prepares the two pledges. Part of the ritual involves placing a fake bullet in a gun and putting it to the pledge's head - a different bullet for each pledge. However, in this case, someone has switched the bullet, and the pledge Elizabeth (Elizabeth Bergen) is killed.

Seven years later the pledge, Judy (Claudia Jennings) that survived is a successful actress. She receives an invitation for a reunion of The Sisters at an inn in Paso Robles, California. At first she thinks it was the doing of fellow Sister Sylvia (Cheri Howell), but it turns out that she thought Judy had sent it. It turns out the other three have received invitations as well, and are headed to the inn.

When they arrive, they find that two men have been paid to take them to their final destination, which turns out to be an isolated desert ranch house. They find a full table of food and alcohol laid out for them and a sign welcoming them to the house. They also have separate rooms with their names on them, each containing bathing suits. It looks like they are in for a fun reunion.

Anyone who knows the slightest thing about horror films can figure out this isn't the case. One of the drivers, Joe (Joe Tata) convinces his partner Mark (Paul Carr) to crash the party. Initially this doesn't go so well, but the women are glad for what little protection the men provide once their host, Edmond Clybourn (Arthur Franz) shows up. It turns out Elizabeth was his daughter, and he believes that one of the women murdered her, and he intends to find out who. He also reveals that one of the five Sisters is also secretly working for him, as she knows who did it. While it initially sounds like he intends to frighten the information out of the women, they start turning up dead.

This is largely a fun, low-budget thriller, light on the blood and nudity due to its PG rating, but still quite a bit more wild than a film that would get that rating today. No real standout acting, but it has a decent twist at the end and a few great scenes. If only the crew could keep that boom mike out from showing up.

Just a note: I saw the version from the Mill Creek box set, which I also think is the one in public domain, and that print is horrible. It appears there is a newer re-release, and I'm sure it's a bit more enjoyable.

Sisters of Death (1977)
Duration: 87 minutes
Starring: Claudia Jennings, Cheri Howell, Arthur Franz, Paul Carr
Director: Joseph Mazzuca


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