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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Friday, June 30, 2017

Girls Nite Out (1982)

I’ve tried to avoid the obvious slashers of the ‘80s for this marathon. Girls Nite Out is certainly one of the lesser known from the genre. Honestly, I hadn’t seen it until maybe fifteen years ago when I got the DVD in a box set. Time to join the students of DeWitt University as they go on a scavenger hunt and find death! Wow that was really cheesy…

The movie opens in an Asylum where someone hangs themselves. The action then moves to the big basketball game that sends DeWitt to the playoffs. Other than the victims being members of the team, cheerleading squad, or girlfriends that is all we ever hear of the game again. The night after the big game is a scavenger hunt organized by the college radio station. This sends the students wandering around the campus late at night in dark buildings looking for stuff. Thru some exposition we find out that the person who hung themselves was in fact a former student named Dickie. He murdered his girlfriend after she broke up with him. Now someone else is murdering co-eds as they wander around in the dark for the scavenger hunt! But if Dickie is dead who is it?

This one is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. I will admit that the acting isn’t very good at times and the budget was obviously very low. The most familiar face is Hal Holbrook and if you watch carefully he isn’t ever in the same scene with the main cast! Really, they use inserted close ups with only him on camera, or the old I’m on the phone trick to put him into the scenes. It also does a bad job of hiding the identity of the killer. They basically show you who it is early on in a way that anyone who has watched horror movies is going to notice. The kills are pretty tame with most happening off screen or in cutaway shots. We get a couple neck appliances to show gruesome wounds but that is mostly it. Girls Nite Out has many flaws that should make me not like it. But I do like it and I’m going to try and explain why.

The killer rules!
First it has a great soundtrack filled with familiar hits from the ‘60s. I’ve never seen a slasher movie with recognizable oldies before and that was kind of fun. While we know who the killer is we still get a lot of suspects which gives a not great cast a chance to chew some scenery. The acting is good enough that instead of being miserable it is kind of goofy. Really, I wrote the word goofy in my review notes and it fits. But the absolute best thing about Girls Nite Out is the killer. One of the first victims is the mascot and the killer takes his costume. For most of the movie we have a bear mascot with claws made from steak knives running around taunting people in a creepy voice. That is awesome!

I debated whether I was going to review this for the blog. On one hand, I love this movie. On the other hand, I’m not sure I can recommend it. It has many of the flaws that make so many entries into the genre tough to get thru. Bad acting, revealing the killer to soon, mediocre effects, and no nudity (sounds creepy every time I write it!). The story isn’t even that original or clever. But damn it there is a bear mascot as the killer! You have been warned, but if you do watch it let me know what you think by sending me an email on the form to the right.

Next up in my Slasher marathon is The Burning

© Copyright 2017 John Shatzer

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