NIGHT SCHOOL (1981) Reviews of Giallo-style slasher

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‘Man is the only animal that kills for pleasure’
Night School is a 1981 American Giallo-style slasher horror film about a series of gruesome decapitation murders happening in Boston, Massachusetts. Also released as Terror Eyes

Directed by Ken Hughes from a screenplay by co-producer Ruth Avergon.

The Lorimar Productions-Resource Films movie stars Rachel Ward, Leonard Mann (Death Steps in the Dark, Silent Night, Deadly Night III: Better Watch Out!), Drew Snyder (Zombie Bankers) and Joe Sicari.

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The film was originally offered to director Alfred Sole (Alice, Sweet Alice) but he passed on the project. Veteran British director Ken Hughes was ultimately assigned to direct and this would be his final film.

The music score was composed by Brad Fiedel (Just Before Dawn) and is among the best of the composer’s early work.

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Though the film is less graphic in its violence than many films of the slasher genre, Night School was still denounced by many critics upon release.

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Censorship:
In the UK, both the cinema and 1987 Guild Home Video releases were cut by 1 minute 16 secs by BBFC censors to heavily reduce the gore and shots of slashing during the changing room and café murders. Despite this heavy-handed censorship, the film was still cited as a video nasty!

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The film has developed a small cult following among slasher fans, and in 2011, it was given its first DVD release by Warner Archive with a remastered transfer.

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Reviews:

Night School for me is one of the more underrated slashers of the early 80s. It has a pedigree to it that a lot of other slashers lacked. It also has the Giallo convention of a leather-bound/gloved killer. This time the killer masked with a helmet (also used in 1975’s Strip Nude for Your Killer and later in Umberto Lenzi’s Welcome To Spring Break from 1989) It’s a fun way to hide a crazy.” Cinema Du Meep

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“This one is a solid thriller/slasher with a good plotline, some inventive killings, and an anthropological flavor tying it all together. Who woulda thought it?” The Terror Trap

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“All things considered this is definitely worthy of a watch, it’s refreshing to see a “slasher” with a more-than-capable director at the helm; not to mention with solid performances by the cast (even with this being Rachel Ward’s first film) throughout.” Church of Splatter-Day Saints

YouTube reviews:

Trailer:

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Cast and characters:
Leonard Mann … Judd Austin
Rachel Ward … Eleanor
Drew Snyder … Vincent Millett
Joseph R. Sicari … Taj
Nick Cairis … Gus
Karen MacDonald … Carol
Annette Miller … Helene Griffin
Bill McCann … Gary
Margo Skinner … Stevie Cabot
Elizabeth Barnitz … Kim Morrison
Holly Hardman … Kathy
Meb Boden … Anne Barron
Leonard Corman … Priest
Belle McDonald … Marjorie Armand
Edward C. Higgins … Coroner
William McDonald … Medical Examiner
Kevin Fennessy … Harry – the Janitor
Edward Chalmers Jr … Construction Worker
John Blood … Construction Worker
Lisa Allee … Lisa
Elizabeth Alice … Lisa’s Mother
Patricia Pellows … Screaming Woman
Ted Duncan … Garbage Truckman
Patricia Rust … Pat
Jane-Leah Bedrick … Receptionist
Wally Hooper Jr … Worker
Kevin King … Policeman
Nancy Rothman … Student

Technical specs:
1 hour 28 minutes
Audio: Mono
Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1

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