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Sisters of Death

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RiffTrax Streaming -
Sisters of Death
SoD
Running Time 87 minutes
AKA Death Trap, Death Time, Death Time House
Movie Director Joseph Mazzuca
Year 1976
Cast Arthur Franz, Claudia Jennings, Paul Carr, Cheri Howell, Sherry Boucher, Joe Tata, Sherry Alberoni
Preceded by Fist of Fury
Followed by Attack of the Puppet People


The Movie

Sisters Of Death RiffTrax

Synopsis

At a sorority initiation, a young woman is killed in a game of Russian Roulette. Years later, the other women who were present are lured to a "reunion" arranged by the dead woman's revenge-seeking father. Two men get dragged into the trap as well, and the victims are killed one-by-one.

Notes

  • The Internet Movie Database provides a US release for this film of April 19th, 1976 (which was a Monday). Wikipedia lists the US release date as 1977, and claims that the film was shot in 1972.
  • Actress Sherry Alberoni (who played Francie, the sweet one) had been a Mouseketeer and is well-known to animation fans as the voice of Alexandra Cabot on "Josie and the Pussycats" and Wendy on "Superfriends".

The Episode

Obscure References

  • Over a shot of a barren desert landscape - "Aah! The Night of the Lepus!"

Night of the Lepus is a 1972 horror movie (co-starring DeForest Kelley) about giant killer rabbits who wreak havoc in a secluded western town. It became a RiffTrax presentation in 2014. The shot in Sisters of Death is reminiscent of the locations in Night of the Lepus.

  • "Let's sing the Frito Bandito song together."
Frito

The Frito Bandito

The Frito Bandito was the mascot the popular corn chips "Frito's" until the campaign was discontinued following complaints that the Bandito represented a crass Mexican stereotype.
  • "Still better than one of those Uber drivers who instantly pretends that they're your best friend."

Uber is a smartphone-based ride-sharing app that provides rides for users. It is similar to a taxi, except that drivers use their own vehicles and often try to make conversation. Uber is the most successful company in the emerging ride-share industry, prompting some people to associate the brand name with ALL ride-share services (similar to Kleenex, Xerox, or Band-Aid). Uber has been criticized for some of its business practices, prompting some users to switch to similar services such as Lyft or Sidecar.

  • "Christianity! I'm sorry, but as a Bahá'í I just find it funny..."

The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion that dates back to 19th century Persia. Its dogma isn't necessarily at odds with Christianity, and Jesus is considered to have been a Divine Messenger.

  • "The show 'Police Squad' is after them!"

"Police Squad" was a half-hour TV comedy created by the producers of the film Airplane!. The opening credits featured a POV shot from the roof of a police car with the lights and siren going (similar to the police car in Sisters of Death). The short-lived series spawned the more popular Naked Gun movies.

  • "Attention Sally! I think you better slow that Mustang down!"

Bill is paraphrasing the R&B song "Mustang Sally", which was written my Mack Rice and popularized by the singer Wilson Pickett.

  • "From the Apollo Creed line of hatwear."

Apollo Creed is a supporting character in the Rocky film series. Played by Carl Weathers, Creed typically wore American flag-patterned boxing trunks when fighting.

  • "Too bad for her, the officer's father, Koopa, was killed by Italians."
Koopa was the main villain in the film Super Mario Brothers, inspired by the video game of the same name. In the game, the term "Koopa" refers to a race of turtle-beings, but in the film he's an individual known as King Koopa. He was thwarted by the titular brothers, who were Italian plumbers.
Creosote

"Oh, shit! It's Mr. Creosote!"

  • Francie: "I'm ready to burst!" Mike: "Well, her uncle WAS Mr. Creosote..."

Mr. Creosote was a gluttonous character from one segment of the comedy film Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. He gorged himself on a lavish meal until he exploded.

  • "I was kind of hoping for the Lollipop Guild..."

The Lollipop Guild was one of the groups of Munchkins who welcomed Dorothy Gale to Munchkinland in The Wizard of Oz.

  • "'Cute' in that 'Leisure Suit Larry' kind of way..."

Leisure Suit Larry is the main character in a series of comedic (and saucy) video games. He is depicted as a sleazy charmer.

  • "Does that sign say 'Valley Lodge'? Aw, Hell!"

Valley Lodge was the name of the hotel that the ill-fated family was looking for in Manos: The Hands of Fate.

  • "Blo-ock-buster Vid-eo? What the heck is that?"

Coming after one of the sisters mentions that the place looks deserted, Mike refers to Blockbuster Video, a once-ubiquitous home video retailer that has since gone out of business.

  • Kevin: "The Powerpuff Girls' dark origin story is off to a slow start." Mike: "Weren't there only THREE Powerpuff Girls?" Kevin: "Like I said, dark."

"The Powerpuff Girls" was a popular animated TV series that aired on the Cartoon Network. A mixture of action and comedy, it featured (only) three super-powered Kindergarten-aged girls who fought powerful (though inept) villains and monsters, often with extreme violence and significant collateral damage. Their origin story did not involve murder.

  • "Come on, dude, even Pepe LePew thinks you're overdoing it at this point."

Pepe LePew is an amorous French skunk who appeared in several Warner Brothers cartoons. At the time of their production, his actions were intended to seem charmingly persistent (and oblivious to his targets' dislike of him), though some later audiences come to see his behavior as disrespectful, invasive, and stalker-y.

  • "Hmmm, look at that. Baby Ruth bar in the pool..."

Baby Ruth is a candy bar consisting of peanuts, caramel and chocolate-flavored nougat covered in chocolate. In the film Caddyshack, an unwrapped Baby Ruth bar gets dropped in the swimming pool at Bushwood Country Club and is mistaken for human excrement.

  • "Meanwhile, on 'Starsky & Suck'..."

"Starsky & Hutch" was a popular TV show during the 1970s. The titular duo were plainclothes police detectives who often used unconventional tactics and street-smarts to solve crimes.

  • "Always a good idea to trespass while wearing an outfit that requires cardboard and a pinhole to look at."
Use of two pieces of white cardboard (one with a pinhole in it held above the other, creating a makeshift reflector) is considered a safe method to observe a solar eclipse without damaging one's eyes.
Kanye

Kanye West

  • "We take you live to Kanye West's sunglasses cam!"

Kanye West is an American hip-hop recording artist who often appeared in public wearing slotted sunglasses.

  • "Ah, I get it! He's his Tyler Durden"

In the film Fight Club (based on the novel of the same name) it is eventually revealed that Tyler Durden is a figment of the main character's imagination.

  • "You call this a death cult reunion? I've seen better action at a Heaven's Gate homecoming!"

The Heaven's Gate cult was a group that came to national prominence when its members committed mass suicide in the late 1990s.

  • "The grim and inevitable fate of an Etsy seller"

Etsy is an on-line sales platform that enables users to sell their handicrafts.

  • "Make your own Weebles at home and save!"

Weebles are a line of egg-shaped toys with weighted bottoms, enabling them to wobble, but eventually return to an upright position. Various characters and environments have been produced in Weeble form.

  • Sylvia: "-But one of you, or two of you, or THREE of you-" Mike: "Auditioned to be Charlie's Angels! Now fess up!"

"Charlie's Angels" was a popular TV series in the 1970s that cycled through various iterations of the main cast of three "Angels". Claudia Jennings (who played Judy in Sisters of Death) did audition for "Charlie's Angels" at one point.

  • Kevin: "Our book club is off to a bad start." Bill: "I knew we shouldn't have started with 'Helter Skelter'."

"Helter Skelter" is the best-selling True Crime book of all time. Written by Vincent Bugliosi, a former prosecutor, it recounts the details of the infamous Manson Family killings.

  • Sylvia: "All right, if that's the way you're going to be-" Mike: "Maybe boys SHOULDN'T be on the side."

Boys on the Side is a 1995 feature film that explores the unconventional friendship between 3 women, with lesbian implications.

  • "I'm TV's Larry Hagman."

Actor Larry Hagman (1931-2012) enjoyed a long and successful career as a television actor, starring as Major Tony Nelson on "I Dream of Jeannie" and as J.R. Ewing on "Dallas".

  • Edmond: "Seven years is a long time." Kevin: "The unofficial slogan for 'Dexter'."

"Dexter" was a crime drama/thriller series that aired on the cable channel Showtime for seven years. While popular in its heyday, many fans think that the show's quality declined in the later seasons.

LizANSLMP

(from left) Elizabeth, Anna Nicole Smith, Lisa-Marie Presley

  • "Anna Nicole... Presley?"

Bill's comment is apparently derived from the portrait's resemblance to the voluptuous blonde model Anna Nicole Smith, with the heavy eye-lidded expression of Lisa-Marie Presley (daughter of Elvis and Priscilla).

  • "Another attempt at focus-testing 'Grown-Ups 2' ends in ruin..."

Focus-Testing is a process by which film companies attempt to gauge a film's appeal by showing it to a small group of people and asking for their reactions (Best Brains' experience with this was mocked in Experiment #704 The Incredible Melting Man). Grown-Ups 2 was a film comedy produced by and starring Adam Sandler. It was widely derided for being an exercise in pandering.

  • "Daisy... Daaiiisssyyyy..."

The red light resembles the "eye" of the sentient computer HAL-9000 from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. "Daisy" is a well-known song that HAL sings as it slowly deactivates.

  • Edmond: "It's dead." Kevin: "Jim!"

A play on the line "He's dead, Jim", which was frequently said by Dr. Leonard McCoy in various incarnations of the original Star Trek.

  • "It was a standard Mötley Crüe backstage rider."

Mötley Crüe is a heavy metal band that especially popular during the 1980s. A "rider" is a list of accommodations that performers require of their venues, which typically includes food,drinks, and other luxuries. Mötley Crüe was notorious for engaging the in the typical rock-and-roll debauchery of the 80s, though expecting to be provided with female companionship may be an exaggeration.

  • "Who are you to judge, Judy?"

"Judge Judy" is a long-running TV courtroom show in which retired Manhattan Family Court Judge Judith Sheindlin hears small-claims cases and plays on her persona as a no-nonsense jurist.

  • "That's for Nancy Grace to conjecture!"

Nancy Grace is the host of a current affairs show on the HLN network. A former prosecutor, she has been criticized for declaring people in prominent legal cases to be guilty or innocent before all of the relevant facts have been brought to light.

  • "Not to be confused with 'The Final Countdown', which is the theme song to my Flex-ecution tapes!"

"The Final Countdown" is a grandiose, keyboard-heavy song by the Swedish rock group Europe.

  • "She grows up to be Angela on "The Office", right?"

"The Office" was a long-running sitcom on NBC, inspired by a British series of the same name. The character Angela (played by Angela Kinsey) was blonde, prickly, repressed, and generally joyless.

Calumet

Several cans of Calumet Baking Powder (left), on the shelf behind Jack Nicholson.

  • "Where's the Calumet Baking Powder? How will nut-jobs form crazy theories about our movie?"

Calumet Baking Powder features an image of a Native American warrior on the package. Several cans of Calumet (along with some other examples of Native American imagery) can been seen during Stanley Kubrick's film The Shining. The Shining is the subject of several theories involving hidden meanings/messages in the film.

  • "I plugged 16 shells from a thirty-ought-six and the Black Crow snuck through a hole in the sky, so I spent all my buttons on an old pack mule, and I made me a ladder from a pawn shop marimba..."

These are the opening lyrics to the song "16 Shells from a Thirty-Ought-Six" by Tom Waits.

  • "I love my shrine to Loretta Swit."

Loretta Swit is a blonde actress best-know for playing Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan on the TV series "M*A*S*H".

  • "I'll put on a little Tull to jam with... How about some 'Bungle in the Jungle'..."

Jethro Tull is a progressive rock band whose songs prominently feature the flute. Their 1974 song "Bungle in the Jungle" was their second and final song to hit the Top 40 in the US.

  • Joe: "How long do those girls have to wait in their rooms?" Bill: "That's what Buffalo Bill's butler was always asking."

Buffalo Bill was the serial killer from the novel (and subsequent film) The Silence of the Lambs. He would abduct women and hold them hostage until he was ready to murder them and wear their skin.

  • "Say, that's more like it... Oh, sorry guys, I just got the update from the Domino's Pizza Tracker that they just put the pepperonis on my pizza. What's going on here?"

The Pizza Tracker is a service that Domino's offers that notifies patrons of the status of their order from the time it is received, through its preparation and delivery.

  • "He bought stock in Betamax AND Commodore 64."

Betamax and Commodore 64 were early forays into the businesses of home video and home computer technology, respectively. Neither enjoyed long-term success.

  • "Hmm, 'Where the Red Fern Grows'... Sure, I could use a laugh."

"Where the Red Fern Grows" is a Young Readers novel with several sad elements.

  • Arthur Jackson, sheds, etc.

And early sketch on the Monty Python's Flying Circus television series concerned a TV interview with composer Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson (played by Terry Jones), wherein the interviewer (Eric Idle) was more concerned about the origins of Jackson's nickname than his music (much to Jackson's annoyance).

  • "She didn't 'Carradine', did she?"

A reference to how the actor David Carradine died (via auto-erotic asphyxiation).

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