You survive Slaughter High, you survive the Final Exam, Splatter University and even that life changing event of Graduation Day. You might think you would be safe attending Night School. You’d be wrong.
Wendell College, an all girl’s school in Boston, has seen its share of murdered students. These students aren’t just being murdered their heads are being cut off and dumped in water. On the case is Judd Austin (Leonard Mann, Silent Night, Deadly Night 3) who looks more like a college professor than a detective on the Boston police force.
After the murder of the second student, first on screen murder, Austin heads straight to Wendell College. Once there his Harvard education, which we are reminded of quite often in the movie, pings him in on Professor Vince Millett. Millett is an anthropologist who’s been researching headhunters in Papua New Guinea. He’s also been having a lot of affairs with the student body.
From there Night School runs the typical 80s slasher movie gambit. More co-eds are killed in the most ridiculous ways. These victims could have escaped if it weren’t for the ridiculous screenplay. One victim is running away from the killer up a flight of stairs. The killer magically appears at the top of the stairs. How does the killer get from one place to another without actually walking past the victim?
Early in the movie a red herring is introduced in the form of a mentally challenged dishwasher. It may have worked if the set up wasn’t flawed and the identity of the killer wasn’t obvious before the second begins. All the photos, books, and exotic knives can’t distract the viewer from the killer’s identity. Even if these things weren’t on display how the killer walks is the biggest give away in the movie.
Night School isn’t a total loss if you’re looking for an 80’s slasher movie that isn’t Friday the 13th. There’s the obligatory cheesecake scenes with barely clothed women. There’s a reasonable amount of severed heads in found in weird places with an appropriate amount of blood.
Night School does have one thing going for it other 80s slasher movies don’t. It’s one of Rachel Ward’s first movies. Ward would go on to star in another classic horror movie The Final Terror before finding A-list status with Against All Odds. It’s also directed by the man who directed Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. How many horror movies can say that?