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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Night School

     NIGHT SCHOOL is a super-fun lost slasher from that most rad year in horror, 1981- and it's got everything a slasher fan could want. Okay, so not much in the gore department, but stick with me here. Boy, did I have fun with this flick last night.  An absolute blast from start to finish!

It seems a series of brutal beheadings are terrorizing students at all-girl Wendell College in Boston, and baffling police as well.  The victims all happen to be students of the womanizing Professor Millet's night classes, and he's sleeping with them behind the back of his girlfriend, played by Rachel Ward (in her film debut).  It appears the heads of the victims are all being found near or in water, and police can't seem to make heads or tails of the case. Did I mention the killer rides a motorcycle?  And that Professor Millet also owns a motorcycle?  And that the lesbian headmistress of Wendell College is determined to protect her students and school at all costs, including possibly bedding a few nubile beauties in the process?  I'm not making this shit up.  All this and more awaits you in NIGHT SCHOOL.  

     It's a peculiar slasher. While it does incorporate many of the classic early 80's slasher characteristics and plot devices, it sometimes leans more toward mystery/thriller territory, which certainly isn't a bad thing. It fits in well with films such as EYES OF A STRANGER or VISITING HOURSThere are many things I liked about NIGHT SCHOOL.  The killer, for one. Some scoff at this murderer, but I don't know, I found him kinda cool. He reminds me of Maxwell Caulfield from GREASE 2 gone berzerk.

     There are some creative murder sequences in NIGHT SCHOOL, and I also liked the Boston locations used in the film, and the mood it gives the film.  It was totally believable, and I'm a sucker for the college slashers of the 80's anyway. NIGHT SCHOOL also has some pretty good production values, some decent acting for once, a rather menacing score, and genuine suspense and chills to boot. There's not much blood, but the killings are quite vicious and disturbing.

     I think it's a somewhat underrated slasher that's finally finding not only an identity, but an audience as well.  It's a fun and engaging murder mystery that despite its shortcomings, still manages to be thoroughly entertaining and a hell of a lot more fun than the 'slashers' being passed off today. Great, cheesy  fun all around.

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