Set in 1979, the 2008 film doesn't reach for visual authenticity the way Ti West's "The House of the Devil" did. But it has the slasher formula down pat, if needlessly padded to two hours, partly with fairly explicit sex scenes that push boundaries — yes, promiscuity is a staple of the genre, but not once in any of those efforts did you see a semi-erect member as you do here, at least twice. Proud the guys may be of their meat machetes, such cocky cameos are out of place, or else the film is merely mismarketed.
Director Alex Pucci (not, even with all evidence to the contrary, David DeCoteau) examines the concept of "brotherly love" on two levels, both surface. One is the familial bond between siblings Sean and Bobby; the other, the superficial bond between the boys of Delta Iota Epsilon (DIE, get it? Subtlety!). I'm not sure how the frat continues to function, because it hazes their pledges, and then murders them. Bogus, bro! When Sean becomes one of those casualties, Bobby pledges to get revenge, thus swinging the pendulum of slaughter from the upperclassmen to himself.
His kills are bloody, yielding impressive makeup effects, just as the golden days of Tom Savini amid the "Friday the 13th" calendar. A choreographed disco party even suggests a dose of the original "Prom Night." The terrific music of Claudio Simonetti sonically recalls every bleedin’ giallo with a Goblin soundtrack. If only it had stuck to such tributes, "Frat House Massacre" may have succeeded in being entertaining. But it layers on so much hate — not just for its characters (females and Jews especially), but viewers — that it forgets the single element that kept moviegoers coming back: fun. —Rod Lott