Night School is a flawed but fun enough 1981 film that’s part slasher part giallo that isn’t filled with many surprises yet it’s still entertaining if only for some decently suspense-filled scenes and a, ahem, fine performance from Rachel Ward.
Genre(s): Horror, Mystery
Warner Archive | R – 89 min. – $21.99 | October 24, 2017
Date Published: 11/24/2017 | Author: The Movieman
THE MOVIE — 3.0/5
Note: This review contains major spoilers, so readers’ beware!
Plot Synopsis: A ritualistic killer is on the loose in Boston and apparently targeting the women attending the night school at Wendell College. Investigating is Lieutenant Austin (LEONARD MANN) alongside his partner, Sergeant Taj (JOSEPH SICARI).
Quick Hit Review: Night School is a mixture of Italian giallo type filmmaking and early 1980s slasher. On the former, it works pretty well with some truly suspense-filled moments and the latter, sure there is some blood but it’s rather tame compared to the likes of Friday the 13th and any of the slews of slasher genres from that era. One issue I had is I predicted a couple aspects about the killer early on. For one thing, based on how the killer was dressed (motorcycle gear and dark helmet), it was a she and by the time we’re introduced to a variety of characters, mostly red herrings, I correctly called who it was and the reason behind the killings.
So once you get that out of the way, there’s not really a whole lot of mystery but by the same token, this was still somewhat entertaining just for the fun of the story and getting a good laugh at some shoddy scriptwriting and some bad performances, albeit Rachel Ward in her feature film debut wasn’t half bad.
In the end, Night School doesn’t quite stand out amongst the others from the 1980s, but is probably worthy of a rental or viewing on Netflix/Hulu/Amazon (whichever platform it’s available on), just don’t go in expecting some hidden cultish slasher classic or anything.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 0.5/5
|The only feature is the Trailer (2:26; SD).
VIDEO – 4.25/5, AUDIO – 3.75/5
Night School cuts class headed onto Blu-ray and is presented with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and a new 1080p high-definition transfer. For the most part this does look pretty damn good with some bright colors, natural skin tones and good detail though the noise is pretty thick which isn’t a hindrance and only helps give it that 1980s feel. On the downside, I did notice a few minor dust specs but nothing distracting.
The disc includes a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono track and… it actually sounds good. Dialogue levels are incredibly crisp, clear and clean and even when Brad Friedel’s (of The Terminator fame) sweet 1980s score chimes through, as well as when the bass kicks in, there is a modest depth.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, Night School is a flawed but fun enough 1981 film that’s part slasher part giallo that isn’t filled with many surprises yet it’s still entertaining if only for some decently suspense-filled scenes and a, ahem, fine performance from Rachel Ward. The Blu-ray released through Warner’s Archive Collection offers up great video and solid audio but, not surprisingly, lackluster in the features department.