Horror Review: Night School (1981)

Who’s been decapitating the innocent girls at a local night school? The police are baffled.

There are some films that you wonder how they aren’t better known, this is one of those films for me.
Let’s be honest here, when it comes to Slasher style 80’s films people don’t usually expect a lot from them, it’s understandable as even with today’s slasher style films there are low expectations. Every now and then though you get a surprise and a very good one at that.
With this feature it mixes together slasher, mystery, crime and suspense, essentially what we have here is an American take on the Giallo style of film making and I have to say that it’s done extremely well. It certainly has a great story that hooks you in and keeps you guessing as the film goes on.
It also has a measure of, for lack of a better word, sleaze, also something the Giallo genre is known for but it’s done in a way that helps aid the story. The film has a score that I fell in love with and it is highly effective in adding tension and suspense. The story can be a bit jumpy which can affect that suspense but no films perfect.
I don’t remember having watched this before but there were scenes that were very familiar to me, this can be a problem when you’ve watched so many films over the years. Maybe I watched it really late one random night, who knows. At least this time, if I have watched it before, I’ll remember it.
“Night School” is a real hidden gem of a film, I don’t understand why this has gone under the radar for so many years. If you’re a fan of the Giallo style then I really do recommend you give it a watch.
If you want to see the “Night School” trailer then just click on the video below:
Miscellaneous facts about the film:
Writer Ruth Avergon was inspired by an article she had read about the real-life headhunters of Papua New Guinea. The idea of headhunting became the basis for this film.
Final film of director Ken Hughes.
Feature film debut of Rachel Ward.
The title for the film’s French release was “Les Yeux de la terreur”, which translates to “The Eyes of Dread”. The Italian title is “Il Killer della notte”, meaning “The Killer of the Night”.
Shot over five weeks in the spring of 1980.
In the UK the movie was called “Terror Eyes” and got a spot on the notorious Video Nasty list.
Alfred Sole was originally approached to direct this film, but passed on it for another project.

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