The road to hell is paved with frat-house hazings, or so this film argues with more conviction than polish. Freshman John Dietrich (Sam Trammell), who hails from the Nebraska sticks, is dazzled by the East Coast's Harrington College, especially its fraternities, which he sees as the key to his future success, since Harrington's Greek system is famous. He quickly befriends two fellow newcomers, Allen Phillips (Jerry Laurino) and Steve Trayer (Eddie Robinson), and together they rush the school's most desirable frat, Kappa Psi Lambda. But only Allen and John are invited to pledge; Steve, who's African-American, is not. John fails this first test of character, convincing himself that he can divide his loyalties between Steve and KPL president Jake Tyler (Mark Dobies), a swaggering bully boy who John chooses to believe is just a good-time kind of guy rather than the sociopath he obviously is. Soon the hazing begins, and since the movie opens with John emerging from the penitentiary, it's not spoiling any narrative surprises to say that everything quickly goes very, very wrong. Kudos to first-time feature filmmaker Jonathan M. Flicker, who, inspired by a real-life hazing incident, had the perseverance and ingenuity to make a serious-minded film for a paltry $50,000. As a college student, Flicker made educational videos on subjects like date rape, and his commitment to consciousness-raising and provoking carefully channeled discussion is evident: Betraying friends, going along to get along, racism, homophobia and misogyny — bad. Unfortunately, Flicker wasn't able to rise above the limitations of his microbudget, and his message is compromised by student-film production values and performances that range from adequate to pretty awful. But it should find a cozy niche on the shelves of guidance counselors and campus crisis centers.