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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Sorority Row

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service

Early on in the cut-rate horror tale "Sorority Row" (Summit), a hard-drinking coed who goes by the poetic moniker Chugs (Margo Harshman) watches via computer cam as her brother Garrett (Matt O'Leary) beds Megan (Audrina Patridge), one of her sorority sisters whom Garrett has drugged to make her more cooperative. This uplifting scene pretty much sets the tone for the old-fashioned exercise in exploitation that follows.

The sketchy plot hinges on the fact that Garrett is Megan's ex-boyfriend whom she dumped for cheating. Out for revenge, she and some of her other sisters—Cassidy (Briana Evigan), Jessica (Leah Pipes), Ellie (Rumer Willis) and Claire (Jamie Chung)—have concocted a prank that involves convincing Garrett that the supposed date-rape pills he gave Megan (in fact just vitamins supplied by the girls) have poisoned and killed her.

For reasons too boring to detail, the trick goes terribly wrong, and Megan ends up really and most sincerely dead. Garrett and the girls agree to conceal the mishap by dumping Megan's body and claiming she simply disappeared. But their coverup starts to unravel several months later as the female members of the guilty group fall prey, one by one, to a black-robed slasher.

As directed by Stewart Hendler, the gruesome proceedings are interspersed with "Animal House"-style high jinks, gratuitous nudity (predictably, the stalker claims one of his victims in the sorority showers) and the early stages of a number of utterly promiscuous sexual encounters.

The film contains frequent bloody violence, brief nongraphic nonmarital sexual activity, upper female and rear nudity, a couple of profanities, and much rough and crude language. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O—morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R—restricted; under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

Mulderig is on the staff of the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


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Anthony Zaccaria: At the same time that Martin Luther was attacking abuses in the Church, a reformation within the Church was already being attempted. Among the early movers of the Counter-Reformation was Anthony Zaccaria. His mother became a widow at 18 and devoted herself to the spiritual education of her son. He received a medical doctorate at 22 and, while working among the poor of his native Cremona in Italy, was attracted to the religious apostolate. He renounced his rights to any future inheritance, worked as a catechist and was ordained a priest at the age of 26. Called to Milan in a few years, he laid the foundations of three religious congregations, one for men and one for women, plus an association of married couples. Their aim was the reform of the decadent society of their day, beginning with the clergy, religious and lay people. 
<p>Greatly inspired by St. Paul (his congregation is named the Barnabites, after the companion of that saint), Anthony preached with great vigor in church and street, conducted popular missions and was not ashamed of doing public penance. </p><p>He encouraged such innovations as the collaboration of the laity in the apostolate, frequent Communion, the Forty Hours devotion and the ringing of church bells at 3:00 p.m. on Fridays. </p><p>His holiness moved many to reform their lives but, as with all saints, it also moved many to oppose him. Twice his community had to undergo official religious investigation, and twice it was exonerated. </p><p>While on a mission of peace, he became seriously ill and was brought home for a visit to his mother. He died at Cremona at the age of 36.</p> American Catholic Blog Lord, help me make my life more about you and less about me. May others see you in me—your image and likeness. Teach me ways to increase my time with you, my service to others, and my love for my family, for strangers, and for the poor. You are the light in the darkness. With each new day, may we be light to one another.

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