Uh oh, another fraternity prank gone wrong! It’s absolutely vital for a slasher movie to have a backstory, so that an hour of indiscriminate killing can have a point. That’s opposed to slashers without a backstory, which merely have an hour plus of indiscriminate killing. Key distinction.
Pledge Night is the story of the ill-fated aspirants of Phi Epsilon Gnu, guys eager to join their psychopathic cricket sweater-wearing brethren.
One pledge is warned about these kinds of organizations by his mother, although he should’ve been tipped off by the creepy, sinister homoerotic initiation rituals such as the “cherry racing” (hopefully something that only exists in the minds of the movie’s creators — we didn’t Google) in which cherries are picked up by the buttocks in an entirely revolting relay.
Anyway, back in the day, sayeth mom, there was an ill-fated prank at the previous incarnation of the frat (since disbanded):
“The fraternity brothers were preparing this mix for initiation. It was supposed to be a harmless mixture…my boyfriend Sid was up first.”
“This mix” was a bathtub full of what was supposed to be something stinky and unpleasant to dunk a pledge in, but it turned out to be…A VAT OF ACID.
Boyfriend Sid is played by the singer from metal band Anthrax, who looks like he wouldn’t be caught within an acid bath’s distance of ANY dumb frat let alone this one…anyway…
Or did he…bwaaaaaaaaaaa!
What makes this one a marginal cut above the usual frat house massacre movie is this red herring: “every year they pick a brother to scare the other pledges.”
As a result, victims are reticent about sounding the panic alarm.
And how’s this for dedication, making the killer’s job that much easier? “The screams are just to freak us out. Remember: we’re confined to the basement so we remain brothers.”
So, these “dirty pledges” “scum” and “the lowest forms of life” get theirs, while the viewer gets some fake scares (interspersed with the usual picking a victim off one by one).
There’s one notable killing that would make Martha Stewart or Gordon Ramsay proud: an eggbeater murder!
*** (out of 5)