Much like Blue Underground and Anchor Bay Shriek Show/Media Blasters takes a good deal of time and effort in restoring obscure movies to DVD. This triple feature/pack focuses on 1980 horror films featuring “damsels in distress”. The movies range from great to somewhat disappointing.
“Girls Nite Out”
I would have to say I found this movie to be the weakest in the collection. Mainly due to the fact the title of the movie has no conduit to the film itself. There never really is a “girl’s night out”, rather a long and drawn out scavenger hunt. This hunt takes place on a college campus and there is an escaped mental patient killing students. Now the interesting twist is the killer is using the college’s mascot costume, which is a bear, as a disguise to kill. Another interesting aspect is the killer has made “claws” with knives. I believe this film pre-dates “Nightmare on Elm Street”.
However the first forty-five minutes of this movie is dull and there is no character development with the students. I did find Hal Holbrook’s character interesting, but he is really a supporting player. There is some good gore and even a few creepy scenes but overall the movie is too long and disjointed for its own good. As for the shocking ending, I found it lackluster and “Sleepaway Camp” did a better job.
Oh and I wasn’t sure when this movie took place. I felt like it was the 1960s but it seemed like it was taking place in the early 1980s. If it was suppose to take place in the 60s then the AC/DC and Nosferatu (1979 version) posters were textbook anachronisms.
2 out of 5 stars
“One Dark Night”
This movie I found to be the strongest in the collection, it was just different. There are two stories in this film that end up blending together. The first story revolves around Meg Tilly’s character wanted to join a popular group of girls. It should be noted that these are high school girls so of course there is some tomfoolery to be had. The leader of this “popular click” is played by Robin Evans. Ms. Evans is absolutely stunning, the epitome of a California Girl with blonde hair, blue eyes and smooth skin. Anyway, the click wants Meg Tilly to spend the night in a mausoleum as a hazing ruse to be accepted to the group. Well Robin Evans is still sore about Meg Tilly dating her ex-boyfriend so she is going to make the night pretty tough on her.
The second tale revolves around a woman whose “creepy warlock like” father just died. He has been buried in the same mausoleum where this hazing prank is transpiring. The odd thing is he might not be as dead as we all think. Adam West (Batman from 1960 TV show) has a supporting role as the son-in-law of the recently deceased “creepy warlock”. This movie has mood and atmosphere going for it. There is an eerie vibe that makes this film really shine. I have read that many people are upset about the transfer on this DVD. I found it to look pretty good; there are some scratches here and there. Nevertheless, the picture is clear and the audio for the most part is crisp. I have seen much, much worse slapped on DVD for higher prices.
5 out of 5 stars
This movie isn’t bad, this movie isn’t great. Here we have another hazing exercise, but it is for college not high school (yet does it really matter?). This sororitywants to have its new pledges spend the night in a haunted bordello. In addition, one of the fraternities has put all sorts of spooky things all over the house in order to really scare the girls. And this movie wouldn’t be complete without a killer on the loose.
The whole haunted bordello isn’t explored as much as it should be in this movie. In addition, there is a very slow build towards the end. Yet the pathos of the 1980s, shoddy acting, sub par special effects and horror movie stereotypes really make this one enjoyable movie to watch.
It should be noted that Joe Bob Briggs does commentary and an introduction for this movie. Joe Bob is awesome and I have always appreciated his wry sense of humor.
3 out of 5 stars
The packaging of these movies is great. They come in a standard DVD case that houses four disks, so no flippers here. GNO is on disk one and the picture quality is very good. ODN is on disk two and as noted prior the picture quality was good. The third disk is features for ODN and an alternate version of the film called “A Night in The Crypt”. I have not seen the different cut yet so I can’t comment on it. Notwithstanding, it is pretty cool it is included. The four disk is for BS and the picture quality is also very good and has the Joe Bob commentary and some trailers.
Overall this is a smart investment for horror or 1980s nostalgia fans. I am glad this set is in my collection and will certainly be watching ODN again. Fiscally speaking this mini box set is much more cost efficient then buying all of these movies separately. So dim the lights grab a snack and get ready to have a good time.
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