The sixteenth entry in the 31 Days of Slashers series is Stephen Carpenter and Jeffrey Obrow’s ultra-low budget The Dorm That Dripped Blood, also known as Pranks and Death Dorm (1982). Joanne (Laurie Lapinski) is a responsible college student who is staying over winter break to clean a dorm on campus before it is demolished and turned into student apartments. She convinces her boyfriend Tim (Robert Frederick) and her friends to help her. They quickly notice a creepy man peeking into windows at them and sneaking around the dorm. Soon, bodies begin piling up. Could it be the mysterious man or someone else targeting Joanne and her friends?
While The Dorm That Dripped Blood may be a pretty standard campus-set slasher, Carpenter and Obrow utilize the dorm setting quite effectively to add dark spaces that enhance the scares. They clearly had access to the entire building and they take full advantage of the space. What could have been just any boring college dorm location turns into a really eerie and rundown space. Location plays such a big part in slasher films for me. So often the films can fade into obscurity due to boring locations. This film definitely does the most with what it has and that is always respectable. The directors wrote the script while studying at UCLA and ended up filming it in three weeks in a building on campus over the university’s winter break.
The young cast turns in solid enough performances, with a very brief appearance from Daphne Zuniga as Debbie at the beginning of the film. Laurie Lapinski also proves to be a decent lead as Joanne. The rest may be pretty similar to the standard slasher victims of the majority of the films of the era, but they are enjoyable enough. The unique ending of the film, which is definitely much bleaker than other slashers, definitely sets the film apart from its peers.
With its fun location, impressively decent gore for such a low budget, and its shocking finale, The Dorm That Dripped Blood proves to be an effective little slasher that has definitely slipped under the radar of most horror fans. Check this one out!
Unfortunately, The Dorm That Dripped Blood isn’t featured on any streaming service. But the Synapse Films blu-ray, which features the uncut director’s cut that was originally counted as a Video Nasty, can be checked out from your local library and can be purchased HERE.
I’ll be back tomorrow with another exciting entry in the 31 Days of Slashers series!