The Dorm That Dripped Blood (1982) Poster

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4/10
The finale saves this one from the trash.
AngryChair6 January 2009
College students, who are clearing out a condemned dormitory, are stalked by an elusive killer.

The Dorm That Dripped Blood (aka Pranks) is a bit of a mixed bag for slasher fans. The movies production values are pretty low and the story for the most part is pretty routine, there's even a creepy bum hanging around for a red herring. In fact much of the story's build-up is pretty forgettable, save for one or two brutal murders. But the movie is really made better by its surprisingly intense climax (in an atmospheric setting) and one fairly bold, unconventional conclusion.

The cast is lackluster for the most part. Stephen Sachs is the best of the lot as he does a pretty nice turn in character. Also look for a young Daphne Zuniga as an ill-fated student.

Over all this is a pretty standard B slasher effort, but the finale is well worth savoring and for this viewer saved the movie from being a complete ho-hum.

** out of ****
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6/10
Great dorm slasher...
Bub_the_zombie27 August 2006
This is probably one of the least known of the early 80's hay day hack n slash family - consisting of a slue of cousins which themselves have gathered dust, triumphantly sitting with legs crossed> on videostore shelves through half a generation. - that is, until DVD finally unearthed some lesser knowns for a second chance.

(I have the old Media VHS version, btw) (The UK DVD release is known as 'PRANKS)

A killer lurks on a college campus - through the closterphobic corridors of Meadows Hall, killing working coeds in some very creative ways. A baseball bat with barbed-wire around it. A girl is ran over.(Not too creative, but has to be seen within its context, consisting of three murders within thirty seconds.) A girl is shoved in a pressure cooker and is cooked to death. A janitor gets a drilling headache. A woman gets incinerated - you name it.

While the film is quiet amateurish, it delivers on most all levels that simply make up a good slasher film. I could take away merit by assigning scoff at the quality of the production - the dark-shoddy look of the film, etc; - but I won't. - A solid slasher film in all respects, with one hell of a twist ending.
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7/10
Solid slasher flick.
HumanoidOfFlesh20 August 2007
College girl Joanne Murray takes on the unenviable job of readying the student housing building to become apartments,which includes selling the unneeded furniture This takes place during a break,so a mysterious psycho is stalking the nearly-empty premises on campus."Dorm that Dripped Blood" is a low-budget slasher flick that is quite entertaining.The acting is pretty bad,the plot is predictable,but the gore effects are quite good.The film was made by UCLA film students Stephen Carpenter and Jeffrey Obrow for next to nothing.Soon a dreamy ambiance kicks in,very similar to the enveloping forests of Jeff Leiberman's fantastic "Just Before Dawn".7 out of 10.It's great to see Daphne Zuniga of "The Initiation" fame run over few times by a car.
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5/10
Creepy slasher
bigpappa1--219 May 2000
A group of college students closing down a school are attacked by an unknown person. Script, premise, acting; nothing praiseworthy, but the film itself has a creepy music score and ending. It remains exciting throughout and is better than a lot of other entry's in this genre. 7 out of 10.
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The people who made this must have been joking
The Yeti5 September 2001
Warning: Spoilers
This is just about what you'd expect from a teen slasher movie. Guys, Girls, a killer and a crazy plot. When I watched it though I actually thought it was o.k. Sure, it had characters you'd want to see dead and some killing at the start for no reason. The characters want to close a dorm down and a killer gets in the way. Weapons that follow are a nailed baseball bat, a big oven, some razor wire etc. Daphne Zuniga makes an appearance and gets killed! Trust me, it's not that bad. The ending is a classic piece of work!
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* * out of 4.
brandonsites19811 June 2002
Routine slasher about college kids working on boarding up a college dorm that is about to be demolished and being killed by an unknown, hiding in the shadows killer. Made on a budget of only $90,000 and featuring an unknown Daphne Zuniga at the time this is a lot better then I expected. Sure it is inept at times, but this film manages to be exciting, creepy and scary throughout. That's more then you can say about a lot of the other films in this genre.

Rated R; Extreme Violence & Profanity.
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8/10
An amusingly awful early 80's collegiate slasher hoot
Woodyanders6 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Your average garden variety psychotic nutcase (deliciously essayed with unhinged glee by Stephen Sachs) knocks off various dim-witted young "adults" (to use the term very loosely) in Dayton Hall University, which is being closed down for demolition. Featuring dreadful acting by the entire cast (Daphne Zuniga makes her ignominious and inauspicious film debut here as Debbie, a bimbo who has her head crushed by a car!), a hefty corpse tally of 10, okay make-up f/x by Matthew Mungle, a few bloody murders (baseball bat bludgeoning, chicken wire strangulation, your standard drill through the head bit, that sort of gruesome thing), a downbeat surprise twist ending which was later copied in "Intruder," a creepy score by Christopher ("Hellraiser") Young, a slight smidgen of gratuitous female nudity, and endearingly incompetent direction by Jeffrey Obrow and Steve Carpenter (who also blessed us with "The Power" and "The Kindred"), this entertainingly abysmal slice'n'dice atrocity sizes up as a good deal of delectably dopey and drecky low-grade fun.
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This is not very good (even for an '80s slasher flick).
BillyBC20 September 2002
(*1/2 out of *****) It seems like an awful lot of time is spent looking around through dark basements and boiler rooms with flashlights in this unexceptional, mean-spirited killer-in-the-house retread. A group of students staying over the winter break to start renovations on their dormitory are systematically stalked and butchered by an unseen madman (and now, with only slight variation, you have the basic plot to about 90% of these kinds of movies.) Naturally, the killer's identity is a surprise and, naturally, the dialogue is quite bad and plodding. There is a second, unexpected twist at the end of the movie that you may or may not care for (depends on whether you're a cup-half-full or cup-half-empty kinda person, I guess). The cool-sounding title (which, really, is one of the only things this movie has going for it) is even stolen from the great, British, Amicus horror anthology "The House That Dripped Blood." I guess some of the chase scenes are mildly suspenseful, and there's a fair amount of mostly fake-looking gore. Daphne Zuniga is pretty cute in one of her first roles (but don't get too attached to her), and some other people star.

Lowlight: One girl is dumped into a vat full of hydrogen oxide (at least, I think that's what it was), and another girl is dumped into an incinerator. Ahhh, dorm life. ...
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6/10
A fair campus slasher.
Scott LeBrun25 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Five co-eds are left to their own devices on a mostly deserted college campus. Their job is to clear out a dormitory that's been targeted for demolition. They never do get around to doing very much work, and things are thrown further asunder when a mad sadistic killer is shown to be running around the campus and coming up with nasty ways to murder people.

"The Dorm That Dripped Blood" wasn't really all that bad for this viewer. It doesn't do much to rise above most of the entries in this genre, but it *does* have good atmosphere, and suspense. It won't be sleazy enough or gory enough to suit the whims of some fans of the genre, but Matthew Mungle does devise some decent enough gore. The drill to the back of the head is a mild highlight. And there are some breasts bared in one sequence.

The scenario is dependent upon some of the expected clichés, such as characters splitting up so they make better victims, and the red herring utilized is pretty obvious. One of the best components, which helps to raise the rating a bit, is the music score by the talented Christopher Young ("Hellraiser"), his first for a horror film. Methods of murder range from the expected hacking and slashing to being boiled alive and being run over by a car.

The cast is a little more "normal" looking than what we get in some of these films; there are no supermodel types here. The actors do a passable job with the material they've got. Laurie Lapinski is the requisite "final girl" type, Woody Roll the aforementioned red herring. Lovely Daphne Zuniga, who received an "introducing" credit for the subsequent slasher "The Initiation", actually made her film debut here.

At least "The Dorm That Dripped Blood" ends in an atypical fashion, which helps to make it more than just routine.

Six out of 10.
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3/10
How to waste 87min. of your life
Coventry25 June 2003
Warning: Spoilers
What the ........... is this ? This must, without a doubt, be the biggest waste of film, settings and camera ever. I know you can't set your expectations for an 80's slasher high, but this is too stupid to be true. I bought this film for 0.89$ and I still feel the urge to go claim my money back. Can you imagine who hard it STINKS ?

Who is the violent killer in this film and what are his motivations??? Well actually, you couldn't possible care less. And why should you? The makers of this piece of garbage sure didn't care. They didn't try to create a tiny bit of tension. The director ( Stephen Carpenter -- I guess it's much easier to find money with a name like that ) also made the Kindred (1986) which was rather enjoyable and recently he did Soul Survivors. Complete crap as well, but at least that one had Eliza Dushku. This junk has the debut of Daphne Zuniga !!! ( Who ?? ) Yeah that's right, the Melrose Place chick. Her very memorable character dies about 15 min. after the opening credits. She's the second person to die. The first victim dies directly in the first minute, but nobody seems to mention or miss him afterwards so who cares ? The rest of the actors...they don't deserve the term actors actually, are completely uninteresting. You're hoping they die a quick and painful death...and not only their characters
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5/10
Average low-budget 80's slasher, not bad for it's type but not great either.
Paul Andrews16 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The Dorm that Dripped Blood, or Pranks as it's more commonly known among UK audiences as a one time 'Video Nastie', is set unsurprisingly in a 75 year old dormitory called Morgan Meadows Hall. It has been condemned and is ready to be torn down. Morgan Meadows is going to be completely inventoried, emptied and boarded up. In charge of the clean up is Joanne Murray (Laura Lapinski), she also manages to convince four of her friends to help her out, Patti (Pamela Holland), Craig (Stephen Sachs), Brian (David Snow) & Debbie (Daphne Zuniga). It is the Christmas holiday period and they have two weeks to remove the desks, beds & kitchen appliances. Unfortunately Debbie pulls out to spend the festive period with her parents (Richard Cowgill & Kay Beth) because her Grandmother is ill. Before they can leave the Dorm both Debbie and her parents are brutally murdered. The next morning the group become aware of the local weirdo named John Hemmit (Woody Roll) hanging around the Dorm & it's grounds. Also a slimy guy named Bobby Lee Tremble (Dennis Ely) turns up hoping to buy the cast off desks, but seems more intent on finding out if Joanne is alone. That night Bill Edgar (Jake Jones), the Dorm's caretaker, is killed. Debbie, Patti, Craig & Brian start to become increasingly concerned as strange things start to happen. The power gets cut, as does the phone-lines. They all feel in danger and that they are not alone. One by one they begin to die, but who is responsible? Bobby? John? Or maybe Joanne's boyfriend Tim (Robert Frederick)? You'll have to watch it to find out!

Co-written and directed by Jeffery Obrow & Stephen Carpenter with Obrow also acting as producer & editor and Carpenter as cinematographer, I thought the Dorm that Dripped Blood was a fairly decent early 80's slasher that is neither particularly bad or good. The script by Obrow, Carpenter & Stacey Giachino is a little slow to get going but does throw in a few decent killings and a reasonable twist ending even if it does go on for a bit too long. There are quite a few pointless killer point-of-view shots as well & be warned that all the slasher clichés are in here including plenty of false alarms and characters splitting up in the dark when their in danger. The Dorm setting builds a certain amount of isolated tension, the characters are likable enough not to be annoying and generally speaking it's fairly well made considering the supposed $90,000 budget. The gore is OK, the killer uses a spiked club & there's a sliced in half hand, wire slitting someones throat, someone has a power drill stuck in the back of their head and someone is boiled alive, we are also treated to some brief machete slicing and dicing! There is a brief sequence involving female nudity, but not much. I have definitely seen better slasher films like the Burning (1981) & the Prowler (1981) but at the same time I have definitely seen worse like Funhouse (1981) & Honeymoon Horror (1982). If your a slasher fan then it is probably worth watching, just don't expect too much and you might enjoy it. As for everyone else it's only worth watching if you have nothing better to do, it's 85 odd minutes reasonably well spent I'd say.
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5/10
Is this the same Stephen Carpenter?
Lee Eisenberg12 June 2012
"The Dorm that Dripped Blood" is about what you might expect of a slasher flick, making it completely enjoyable. One thing about which I'm curious is the director Stephen Carpenter. There is a Stephen Carpenter who wrote the screenplay for the "Ocean's Eleven" remake and created the TV series "Grimm". Is this the same Stephen Carpenter, does anyone know? Whatever the case, it's probably not important. What's important is to see the college students meet their ugly demises while they prepare a dormitory to get demolished. A noticeable cast member is Daphne Zuniga, who later played Princess Vespa in Mel Brooks's "Spaceballs".

A really interesting mix of things.
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4/10
"I think he got the message"
lost-in-limbo19 November 2010
Nothing sets it apart from the conventional textbook 80s slasher offerings, but I always thought it wasn't as terrible as it's made out to be. Sure this almost poverty row production is amateurish and crude in some aspects, but the setting is surprisingly atmospheric (a condemned college dorm soon to be torn down) and the tone remains grim to the very twisted ending. Directed in tandem by Jeffrey Obrow and Steve Carpenter (who would get better upon each following movie; "The Power" and "The Kindred"), their pacing can get become meandering due to the threadbare plot… where walking about the corridors and rooms seems to be a focal point. The plot sticks to the clichés (the crazy looking, loner weirdo red herring is shoved in our faces.. Oh no the power's out, do you know.. ) and what formulates is predictably telegraphed, despite some randomly contrived inclusions which either plays some important part in the scheme of things (a character who's sees one man's trash is another man's treasure) or is just simply there. Like the scene with the topless chick… you gotta have one of those. The leaden direction plays more upon building up an uneasy mood, where the spaced out instrumental music score ominously finds its way in. It's a humdinger. When they hack out the jolts, it's a gruesome display more often that happens off-screen with some choppy editing, plenty of leering killer POV shots or framing the shoes and blood spurting here and there. Some imagination to it (where can you see the killer plug in a drill before using it), but the cheap execution gives it that plain feeling (where the photography is grainy) however it never loses that primitive, nasty streak where it cooks up to a fittingly intense, grimacing finale. The performances are diverting by Laurie Lapinkski, Stephen Sachs, David Snow and a small, but memorable (not for her performance though) debut by Daphne Zuniga.
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4/10
Title is clue to killer
lastliberal10 October 2008
I'm not looking for quality; I'm just trying to get through the 74 famous video nasties that were banned in Britain. This one was initially banned and re-released in 2001 with a whole 10 seconds cut.

Some college kids spend their Christmas vacation preparing a dorm for renovation. There are some creepy characters lurking about along with the four kids. Which of them is the slasher? The actual killings are not very gory, so this video nastie is not really nasty. There is the requisite flashing of the boobies, but it has nothing to do with the college kids.

I had a suspect very quickly and I turned out to be right. Maybe I've seen too many of these. The end twist was clever; I have to give the writers credit for that bit of originality.
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2/10
Aw, come on ...
Ravenswing6 May 2003
Warning: Spoilers
((NB: Spoiler warning, such as it is!))

First off, this is a teen slasher flick -- the Spam-In-A-Cabin genre, as Joe Bob Briggs piquantly put it. If you're looking for Roshambo, this isn't it and wasn't going to BE it. I'm desperately unimpressed by stabs at its cinematography, directing or acting performances.

Secondly, this wasn't Zuniga's first horror flick, it was her first screen appearance period, cinema, TV, whatever. For what it is worth; neither is Daphne Zuniga Susan Sarandon or Katherine Hepburn.

Thirdly, you have to give even a lame slasher flick props. Sure, it follows the deeply insulting formulaic message of its genre: any young woman having or showing interest in sex is beef on the hoof, and the harvest time is now.

Except this one gives the chop to the sweet, virginal protagonist as well! Now THERE is a mediocre teen death film that has the courage of its convictions! Interesting that this was said ingenue's only film role. Another One Hit Wonder, except that term gives the lass too much credit.

(Then again, this film probably has one of the highest percentage of one-movie actors in history. Of the nineteen credited actors, a whopping thirteen never appeared in any other film. Three appeared in one other movie by the same producers. Only one other besides Zuniga has as many as six screen credits. What was this, the Has Been And Never Were Mutual Aid Society?)

Granted, I saw this a long time ago on late night cable when I was bored and never anticipate being that bored in my life again, but I see no reason to hunt down everyone involved and toss them in the incinerator with Joanne.

2/10.
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8/10
Incentive To Live Off Campus
Lebowskidoo9 February 2017
College students are stalked and murdered by a crazed killer. So original for an 80's horror movie, I know! Watched this recently, wasn't expecting much. Some of the acting was not great, but this movie was some kind of UCLA film project that became a legit movie.

The only recognizable face was Daphne Zuniga, who went on to fame in The Fly II, The Sure Thing and Spaceballs. Apparently this was her film debut.

It's your usual slasher on the loose movie, but there is an evil twist near the end that I appreciated, took it to another level and didn't just do the expected. Horror fans will enjoy it more than the average movie fan. Worth checking out!
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4/10
Dull and derivative slasher offering
Leofwine_draca12 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
A piece of dirt slasher film, lacking even that elementary 'veneer' or level of polish which makes it look like a sophisticated film. Instead this looks like just what it is, a cheap-as-chips slasher effort with a routine plot, no memorable twists or surprises, and some shoddy gore effects thrown in during a desperate attempt to entertain the horror crowd. God, if only this cheesy film wasn't so boring, it might even have been kind of fun, as we watch an unknown killer going around bumping off various uninteresting characters for the duration of the film. In fact, the only imagination here comes from the variety of the weapons wielded by the psycho, ranging from an electric drill to a garrote, an axe, a knife, a car, and even a deep fat frier. Sadly either the rather poor gore effects are nevertheless cut by those butchers at the BBFC, making the Vipco re-release an almost pointless exercise.

The cast is a bunch of unknowns who act like amateurs, and as is usual for these affairs, the only person of note is the lead. Here it's the slim and pretty Daphne Zuniga (THE FLY II), appearing in her first motion picture, if you can call it that. She's marginally less annoying than most scream queens you'll have the opportunity of seeing if you're a horror fan. Amusing supporting characters include a bonehead jock, a weirdo-type with frizzy hair, a strange guy who would rather hunt around in a skip than watch his wife strip off her nightie, and some typically dumb cops.

Although the run time is only eighty minutes, it seems like an age as the murders are spaced out too far and nothing happens in between. Most of it takes place in the dark in depressing locations, but the similarities with the horrific MANIAC end there. Instead this is dull and derivative through and through, not worth watching even for those with a penchant for this kind of cinema. Watch it only for the amusing hand-slicing-via-knife nightmare opening shot.
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5/10
"Not Bad 80's Slasher!"
gwnightscream27 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This 1982 horror film stars Laurie Lapinski, Stephen Sachs, David Snow, Pamela Holland and Daphne Zuniga. This features a group of college students, Joanne (Lapinski), Craig (Sachs), Brian (Snow) and Patti (Holland) who are helping to clean out their campus that's about to be torn down. Soon, a mysterious killer stalks and kills them one by one. This isn't a bad 80's slasher with a decent cast, some gruesome deaths and chilling score by Christopher Young as usual. Zuniga (Spaceballs, The Initiation) appears briefly as Joanne's friend, Debbie and the film is also known as "Pranks" and "Death Dorm." Fans of the genre should give this a chance.
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5/10
Okay 80's slasher
dworldeater10 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Since John Carpenter 's Halloween was such a huge success , that inspired many filmmakers to follow suite with something similar . The 80's churned out thousands of low budget slasher films of varied quality . In my opinion most of these films suck and for every brilliant slasher film ala Halloween , there are a hundred that are garbage . The Dorm That Dripped Blood is somewhere in the middle , it does stick to the formula early in the film . However, I applaud the film for the plot twist and dark ending . It also has a few real well done gore scenes that were in some places censored , thus earning video nasty status in England. The score is good as well. For a slasher flick I found this to be alright . However, for the most part slashers aren't my bag. Crazy dude with machete chasing teenagers that can't act gets old for me real fast. If slashers are your thing, this film may appeal to you, as many worse movies of this type exist.
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7/10
an under-appreciated slasher flick
jmoore343 July 2007
Don't believe all of the negative reviews this movie receives. Yes, it is cheaply made. Yes, the gore is laughable. And, yes, the acting is sub-par. However, this is a textbook example of an early slasher flick, and if that is your "thing" (its mine!) then you will enjoy this one. There are enough good aspects to this movie to more than compensate for the drawbacks. For one, the score by a then unknown Christopher Young is very creepy and accents the violence perfectly. The ending is a welcomed break from the predictable upbeat endings of most movies. And last, but not least, the setting is what made the film for me. The makers of this film could have done a much better job "dressing" the set to make it more believable as a college dorm. However, if you can overlook this flaw, the setting is great. Four collegiates all alone in a huge, abandoned, condemned building just waiting to be torn down.... it reaks of possibility. When watching, allow your imagination to do some of the work and you may enjoy this film as much as I did.
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bad movie night?
saint-2123 March 1999
From 1981, a chiller, if you wanna call it that. Centers around an old abandon college dorm, that is to be closed down durning the christmas break, a counsellor, some students and a maintenance man spend the weekend cleaning it out. Then a killer shows up, stalking and killing everyone. Who is it, why is it? Now who ever made scream had to of seen this too, and used the unexpected ending. The acting is very bad. There is a scene in the beginning where some teen (older looking) is being chased by somebody, and then killed. They never explain who he was or nothing. As bad as this movie is you get to see a very young daphne zuniga who only last through the first 15 minutes. Then after that, turn it off. The ending was a little weird, but kinda cheesy. And watch for the cops in the movie. They are the worst acting cops i ever seen.. good luck.
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7/10
Underrated, even if certainly not perfect.
punishmentpark13 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I'm surprised at how unappreciated this vicious slasher is. Maybe it helped that before this, I saw the truly inferior slasher 'Drive-in massacre' and was happy to be able to see what was actually going here, but I'll try to explain why I liked this one even beyond that.

The characters are all slasher-worthy; American (post-)teens with their typical problems, played by enthusiastic amateurs (as far as I know and can tell). Laurie Lapinski's lead character won me over in a second, and it was especially nice to see Daphne Zuniga, as well. To say anything about one particular other actor, I would have to get into the plot, which I do not want to do, other than have you know that how 'Death dorm' unfolds is pretty awesome (even if storywise, this is no brilliant feat - at all). Then there's a good load of gore, which must be considered one of the key ingredients for slashers. Another one of those ingredients, gratuitous nudity, is rather poorly represented, but still, it's there.

The film is nicely shot, which always helps. This one wins by surplus of perfect slasher elements, rather than being a perfect slasher. A good 7 out of 10.
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5/10
Watchable but not great
acidburn-1017 January 2014
"The Dorm That Dripped Blood" or under its UK title "Pranks" is another one of the long line of 80's slasher movies, but what set this apart is that it simply ended up on the Video nasty list, which I can't see why, but this movie is more grittier than most of the slashers that came from this period and it does succeed in some places, but it does falter in others.

The opening murder really does set the tone of what's to come and there are plenty of deaths to keep the gore hounds happy even if some of them are a bit badly done and this movie does well at keeping the viewer in suspense and the mystery element is handled rather well and the final showdown was quite brutal and shocking for it's time.

But what does let this movie down are the wafer thin characters, which were dull and uninteresting and personally didn't feel for any of them and the dialogue was sleep inducing most of the time. Laurie Lapinski gave us a one-dimensional and extremely unapproachable final girl, whilst the rest of the cast were never offered anything authentic to escape their stereotype. Even Daphne Zuniga gets no chance to shine in her short screen time, despite her gruesome death scene.

All in all "The Dorm That Dripped Blood" has all the right ingredients, it just has something missing and could have been a whole lot better if it had a better more convincing cast.
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3/10
Kinda Crappy
artpf12 January 2014
Joanne, Patty, Brian, and Craig prepare the old dorm building to be torn down.

They are pursued by a serial killer with a wide range of murder methods, ranging from power drill to industrial steam cooker.

Is it that spooky weird guy John Hemmit killing off the incidental characters, or is it someone/thing even more terrifying?

This movie was copyrighted in '82 but it has a very mid-late 70's look and feel to it. There's even a guy doing a weird John Belushi impersonation.

Typical fare that you're used to is you watch slasher movies. The kids get picked off one by one.

Only it's not really suspenseful nor is it all that good of a movie.
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