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12.13.2017
Night School (1981)
Movie Review by The Mortician
10.07.13

Night School (1981) As the slasher rage jutted out like a painful hemorrhoid in the early 1980's, an avalanche of American made movies with "whodunit" plots like the original FRIDAY THE 13th started rained down upon us. Who could keep track of them all, then or now? This one I did see back in the day, on HBO, and really enjoyed it then...as well as now. A leather coated, motorcycle helmet wearing madman is going around and slashing up women [and decapitating them!] in a Boston college district. We meet a professor who is the prime suspect [as he is dirty dawging many of his female students and teaches courses on ancient tribal mating rituals that put murder in an almost positive and normal light!] and a few other red herrings as police investigate. There's some great stylistic murder setpieces in this movie, like the merry-go-round slashing in the opening and another brutal scene where a woman is stalked and slashed in a locker room. Everyone says this movie isn't very violent effects-wise, and it isn't---but this scene was pretty violent and bloody! There's also a few wild scenes with the decapitated heads from victims, one where the noggin is thrown into an aquarium tank where a turtle decides to take a few nibbles on it---pretty creepy, and I bet that wasn't planned by the filmmakers! Hard to direct a turtle to munch on a prop head on cue. Anyway, NIGHT SCHOOL has decent suspense, a great setting, great "slow burn" photography and setting, and I really found myself immersed in this slasher-esque setting! Rachel Ward, in one of her earliest roles, plays a jilted lover and later, a suspect in the killings, and I loved the "double-twist" ending...Nice pay off! Plus, Ms. Ward gets naked and down and dirty in a pretty bizarre shower and sex scene, so...another added bonus for your viewing pleasure! Check it out if you're in a retro mood or if you love early slasher movies.

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