Newest Reviews
Blonde. Purple
Dirty Ho
Dying to Divorce
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
Trouble with Being Born, The
Last Matinee, The
Strings, The
Free Hand for a Tough Cop
People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan
Dear Future Children
Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus
Thin Red Line, The
Petite Maman
Fast & Furious 9
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat
Sweet Thing
Father, The
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Night House, The
Father of Flies
80,000 Years Old
Dead & Beautiful
Whisker Away, A
Wild Indian
Whale Island
Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires
Don't Breathe 2
Closing Time
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Newest Articles
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
  Girls Nite Out Killer on campus
Year: 1982
Director: Robert Duebel
Stars: Julia Montgomery, James Carroll, Suzanne Barnes, Rutanya Alda, Al McGuire, Lauren-Marie Taylor, David Holbrook, Laura Summer, Mart McChesney, Hal Holbrook, Carrick Glen, John Didrichsen, Lois Robbins, Matthew Dunn, Susan Pitts, Paul Christie
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: At Dewitt University a party to mark the start of the local sorority's annual scavenger hunt unfolds amidst various sexual shenanigans. Star basketball player Teddy Ratliff (James Carroll) has a good thing going with nice girl Lynn (Julia Montgomery) but is trying to sleep with Dawn (Suzanne Barnes) even though she is dating someone else. Teddy's teammate Pete (Mart McChesney) can't get over being dumped by his girlfriend Leslie (Lois Robbins). Meanwhile misfit Mike Pryor (David Holbrook) has a very public bust up with his girl Sheila (Lauren Marie-Taylor). The next night while all the girls are out hunting for clues around campus, a mysterious maniac in a bear costume stolen from the team mascot brutally murders them one by one. Could it have something to do with the urban myths surrounding newly escaped mental patient Dickie Cavanaugh? Or is there some other evil at large?

Released as The Scaremaker in 1982 before reverting to its alternate title thereafter, Girls Nite Out tends to divide opinions. Many dismiss the film as a routine hack job, among the plethora of subpar slashers polluting cinema screens in the early Eighties. For others the film’s eccentricities, seemingly semi-satirical bent and relative technical merits are enough to render it interesting, if still no classic. Certainly director Robert Duebel's prowling camera-work, moody lighting and eerie audio effects combine to create an unsettling atmosphere. These motifs were obviously lifted from John Carpenter's work in Halloween (1978), along with certain plot points, but are done fairly effectively. On the flip side Girls Nite Out suffers all the familiar flaws: contrived plotting, pacing problems, tonal inconsistencies and crass characterizations. Perhaps most damagingly for die-hard genre enthusiasts, the film also can't seem to settle on whether it is a straight slasher or a spoof. Given the killer sports a friggin' bear costume throughout, repeatedly prank calls the campus DJ and - in a gag recycled from an actual slasher spoof: Student Bodies (1981) - delivers a whispery wisecrack after each kill, it is hard to gauge whether the filmmakers are trying to be serious or not. Even when its sexual politics prove as problematic as any other slasher film with the murderer spitting venomous insults like "bitch" and "whore" at their blood-drenched teen girl victims.

It is a whopping forty minutes before Girls Nite Out truly kicks into horror mode. Prior to that the film strains viewer patience with a first act dwelling on the kind of inane frat boy antics that were dubious long before the #me too movement. Strangely, for all the aggressively hetero posturing of its male characters, there is a curious homoerotic subtext to the relationship between Teddy and Pete. They hang out shirtless in their bedroom and later don bizarre S&M costumes for the Halloween party. It is not really commented on but worth mentioning. Needless to say none of the thirty-something actors make remotely convincing teenagers. This is especially true of two craggy-faced would-be comedy relief characters that sadly don’t fall prey to the bear costumed brute. As if to underline the point this is one of those college campuses where everyone listens to golden oldie Sixties hits instead of anything that was actually charting in 1982. In comparison to the broad Saturday Morning cartoon performances delivered by the majority of the cast, special guest star Hal Holbrook brings a modicum of sobriety to proceedings as the campus security chief. He also gets to share a scene with his real-life son David.

Once the film finally kicks into stalk and slash mode, viewers are treated to a string of abrupt and unimaginative kills. Duebel whittles down cast members in rapid succession to reach the de rigeur showdown between the killer and final girl Lynn. Or so you would think. What happens instead is the film turns into an episode of Law & Order. Police descend on Dewitt University, lockdown the campus and interrogate Lynn along with several other characters. The actual resolution does not involve the characters we initially assume are important and replaces a physical confrontation with a slow-burning, relatively tense and skin-crawling dialogue exchange, prior to a William Castle-like final sting at once both creepy and laugh out loud ridiculous. It also does not resolve anything and as a side-effect tacitly endorses the killer's belief promiscuous teens deserve to die.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 218 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt


Last Updated: